The Cape Horn Breed

with terms

A book I have enjoyed very much is 'The Cape Horn Breed' which was written by William H. S. Jones and first published in 1956 and then re published in 1999 by Australian Print Group. It relates the experiences of Mr Jones as an apprentice in sail on a Full-rigged sailing ship.
Extract from 'The Roaring Forties'
''....the gale increased to a veritable hurricane. It was now dark, and the dense masses of storm-cloud encompassed the ship like an impenetrable wall, which rose from the horizon, seemingly quite close. Every few minutes the darkness was rent asunder by vivid streaks of dazzling white, as the crests of the great combers curled over and broke in a smother of foam.
Torrents of rain and blinding sea spray, driven by the wind, slashed at our faces like whips     ''
 Following are extracts from the chapter 'Towards the Ice'
'' ..the scream of the wind, the crashing of the seas, and the sickening lurches of the ship as she slid down the backs of the mountainous water, fortold that each watch would be a repetition of previous watches.
 Reluctantly, I would put on the wet clothes, oilskins and saturated sea-boots hanging on the bunk-side and adjust the 'Soul-and-Body Lashings'.
These were rope-yarns lashed around the legs of the oilskin trousers in the vain hope of preventing water from getting into one's boots, with rope yarns also around each wrist to keep the water from running up ones arms, and another around the waist to prevent the oilskin coat from being blown over one's head.
The constant chafing of the oilskin cuffs, on wrists wet and salt-grimed, caused every man, after a week or two, to develop ........''
''..... at other times we had to wade waist-deep along the decks, holding onto the lifelines with our sea-boots full of icy water, to coil ropes which were being washed about and tangled, or to do other emergency tasks. The further south we went, the colder was the air and water. Snow lay eight inches deep on the dech-houses and other parts of the ship not awash. The snowstorms and hailstorms blotted out visibility for hours on end .........''