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Authors: Peter Nichols

Final Voyage (34 page)

BOOK: Final Voyage
I’m more grateful than I can say for the love and support and generosity of Roberta Franzheim and Josephine Franzheim.
Thanks enduringly to my sister Liz Sharp, Tony Sharp, Annie Nichols, Matt deGarmo, Cynthia Hartshorn, my mother Barbara Nichols. This book would not have been written without the love and support of my brother, David Nichols.
Hopefully you all know.
And my beautiful son, Gus, for every minute.
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Early in his career, the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen learned the great advantage of Eskimo clothing in such conditions, and this was a factor in his success in reaching, and surviving, the South Pole ahead of the doomed, wool- and canvas-clad English party led by Robert Falcon Scott.
I crossed the Atlantic myself at nine. Only five days on a Cunard liner, but the impressions made by both the ship and the sea were indelible, certainly a germinative factor in my later interest in the sea. Nine-year-old Thomas would have been at sea for four to six weeks.
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This depiction of an island of dope fiends has been hotly contested on Nantucket, with claims that St. John de Crèvecoeur was a fabulist writing fiction, or that his sources were corrupt: “A lie. Without a shadow of foundation,” wrote one island elder. Yet Nantucket historian and resident Nathaniel Philbrick, writing about Crèvecoeur in
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Willie in 1859; Mary in 1861; and Flora, who was born in the Japan Sea in 1867 and died in 1869.
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