Windjamming to China
Windjamming to China sails on the fringes of history. It covers the first half of the twentieth century, a time when almost all wind-driven vessels of the sailing age had been discarded, replaced by steam and steel.
In the larger sense, the book is about the American sailor, a folk character and even a hero, who speaks through the mists of 200 years of history, shouting for recognition. The American sailor was born on the icy shores of Plymouth, he was rocked upon the waves of the Atlantic, and he cut his teeth on New England codfish. He built his muscles at the halyards of New Bedford whalers, and gained his sea legs atop the mizzen of Yankee Clippers.
A memoir, this wonderfully told story is written in the voice of a fifteen-year-old boy, covering his experiences and the colorful characters he meets sailing the North Pacific in the 1930s.
Sailing is a proud tradition, and Windjamming to China evokes that tradition so it will never be forgotten.
This eclectic series of twelve stories based on some of the life experiences of Gustav Tjgaard runs the gamut.
The nonfiction narrative presents dramatizations set in the lush ambiance and grandeur of earth’s largest temperate rain forest. The book is a picture album of life in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.
These adventures and perilous undertakings occur in a forest of big trees, big birds, big fish, and big bears, where immense peaks are wrapped in great glaciers that break off into bays and fjords where big whales spout. The peaks are capped by perennial snows that form the highest coastal mountain range in the world, rising abruptly from salty coves to blue ice and black crags. Surely this is landscape to swell the soul and humble the ego.
From Chapter 4: This was a phenomenon experienced in the dead of winter while at the author’s dacha on Baranof Island. The weather outside was malevolent with a wind factor that brought the temperature down to well below zero. Comforted by the warmth of the stove and a glass of Tennessee whiskey, while listening to Schumann’s “Waldszenen,” the author dozed off. It was in this state of mind that he recognized their midnight visitor was Percy, a former fiancé of his wife, Sophie. It wasn’t until the following spring that they learned Percy died two weeks before his visit.