THE LONG WATCH by Robert Mirvish


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A bad captain, a bad crew and an old ship background Raymond Halder's almost losing battle to conquer his alcoholism and a chance for reinstatement on American lines Sailing on the Panamanian Morning Pride, Ray, as Sparks, has faith in Capt. Sondergaard but realizes what faces him when the Skipper gets pneumonia and has to be transferred to the weather ship in a North Atlantic storm. For Moore, the Mate promoted to Captain, is not only sadistic, grasping and vicious but fanatic in keeping his command and, when the crew signs off in Cherbourg, recruits criminal replacement. Ray is pursued by Moore, finds a security in his affair with Annette and determines to stick it out to best Moore and his own inclinations toward futility and inertia. Annette's signing on in a menial job spells trouble; Aden brings rebellion; the copra loaded in the Philippines marks the last leg home. But cupidity drives Moore to overload with unauthorized cargo and he takes advantage of Ray's destructive drinking bout to ship out. Bad weather works up to a storm and the vessel starts coming apart; all except Moore and Ray are taken off by other ships and the two men spend 12 days trying to bring the sinking ship into Hong Kong in tow. Ray is unable to exact his vengeance as world-wide recognition of the unsuccessful feat whitewashes both men and marriage to Annette promises stability for the future. Mirvish packages tough men and their weaknesses, tough ships and ports and weather into a sea-worthy story.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1954
Publisher: William Sloane- Morrow