The author spent most of his early years on board the whaler that his father captained. This book is his reminiscences of the year when, at age 7, he was signed on for the first time as a regular crew member. Whales play a minor part in his memories, more vivid are his own experiences learning, and getting tangled up in, the ropes. His Jobs took him on all parts of the ship and generally ended in some Sort of mischief and then the inevitable punishment, usually a hairbrush wielded by One of his parents. Although the book is heavily rigged with authentic details about shipboard activity, it does not offer any high adventure or even any special aspects Of whaling. Primarily, this is an amusing account of a spirited, accident-prone little boy with a touch too much repetition of boyish scrape followed by the inevitable punishing.