Rowland describes in these memoirs his fifty years as a seadog along the East Coast, mainly around New England. Part of the charm of this book is that most of it takes place aboard schooners under sail rather than on heavy, motorized vessels. Even in Rowland's teens, his father gave him permission to make cruises in his own sloop or to sign on with cargo-hauling tough old schooners built in the last century. Inevitably, whether in his own small sloops or helping to pilot larger ships, the elements would whip up dangerously and call for greater judgment than he suspected he had. The day he joined the Navy he walked out of the recuiting office with his head in a whirl: he had been commissioned a lieutenant (j.g.) He did not know that war had been declared that morning. We follow him during two wartime tours of duty and as a civilian yachtsman. There are neither deaths nor shipwrecks here, just the love of sail.