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A pedestrianly written but interesting enough naval adventure of the old type, full of cyclones and mutiny and men dying in open boats and other melodramatic staples of the sea. Captain Stone blunderingly navigates the Moonraker, courtesy fatigue and alcohol, into the storm's center during the routine transport of cargo and his young niece from Australia to Mauritius. This mistake, plus the incompetence of the indifferent crew, totally disables the ship which drifts ever south to the freezing ""Roaring Forties,"" unsighted by passing vessels and evidently headed for destruction. Despite the charge of mutiny, the crew deserts the ship, leaving the semi-insane Captain, his niece, the passage-worker who loves her, and the faithful servant miraculously discovered by Captain Evans of the tiny ""coaster"" Myfanway. He grabs the Moonraker for the salvage money with the same tenacity the men in the sinking life raft bail water to save their lives. Most of the sailors are rescued and, despite competition from a predatory salvage tug, Evans successfully tows the wrecked ship to Australia, finding that the tough companionship of his valiant crew more than offsets the loss of the Captain's niece who goes back to the passage-worker after all. The book is written by a former South African naval commander with considerable technical detail and understated efficiency and it will be heavily promoted toward a (once?) watertight audience.

Pub Date: June 12th, 1972
ISBN: 1845596684
Publisher: St. Martin's Press