Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sailing On The "Sophie"

I have been on a voyage with Captain Jack Aubrey and Doctor Stephen Maturin this past two weeks. It is my second trip with these engaging characters of Patrick O'Brien's seafaring series of maritime adventures during the Napoleonic wars. Who wants to stay in muggy Nashville during July, that most superfluous and enervating month, when they can travel to Gibraltar and Catalonia, and Port Mahon.

And in what company! Who could be more interesting a companion than Steven Maturin, physician and naturalist? A man fascinated by apes, and insects, and plants, and all that creeps or crawls whether in Spain or the Galapagos Islands. Book after book. At least twenty. I could be away for a year-

Jack Aubrey,- "Lucky Jack" when afloat, though not so much on land, where he is hounded by jealous husbands and wily creditors, is also good company.He loves good food,plays good music, harasses the French shipping for adventure and prize money.

Patrick O'Brien, who created this pair, also wrote a biography of Sir Joseph Banks, one of the great botanical explorers, and a man larger than life. I have the book now, courtesy of Inter-Library loan.

No voyage this morning, though. "Post Captain", second in the series, will have to wait till this afternoon. I have a garden to groom this morning, which is enjoyable, then errands-which are not, especially when the day will reach 99 degrees.

"There is no frigate like a book", Emily Dickinson wrote.

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