40, 000 Miles in a Canoe


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Introduction by Jonathan Raban 40,000 Miles in a Canoe 1. An Adventurous Proposition 2. Vancouver Island 3. With the Indians 4. Into the Wide Pacific--Sea-Going Qualities of the Tilikum 5. The Calm Belt--Land in Sight! 6. Penrhyn Island 7. Manahiki 8. Danger Island--Samoa 9. Niua-Fu--Fiji Islands 10. To the Australian Continent--Disastrous Voyage 11. Sydney 12. A Genuine Fortune-Teller 13. A Lawsuit 14. Repairing a Wreck--An Overland Haul--With an Intoxicated Crew off for Adelaide 15. A Sad Recollection at Hobart--Running Too Long and its Consequence--The Albatross 16. Arrival at New Zealand--Oysters and What They Effected--The City of the 'Mac's' 17. Christchurch--A Practical Demonstration 18. Where is the Light?--My First Lecture--An Amusing Incident--Meeting with Maoris 19. Wanganui--Ladies on Board--A Wet Afternoon 20. A Gale in Cook Strait and an Uncomfortable Night--New Plymouth 21. Nelson--The Tilikum as a Mail-boat--'Pelorus Jack' 22. Historical Reminiscences--Auckland--The Ambitions of Mr Buckridge--Engaging a Fresh Mate 23. Leaving New Zealand--A Sea of Rocks--Crossing My Former Course: Flag Half-Masted--Savage Islands: Missionary and Trader 24. The Great Barrier Reef--The Pearl and Beche-de-Mer Fishing Industries of Thursday Island--A 'Cure or Kill' Remedy--Marine Life Extraordinary 25. In Sight of the Cocos Keeling Islands--A Miscalculation and Its Consequences--Tropical Rains--The New Zealand Fruit Cake Arrives, but at the Wrong Destination 26. Exciting Fishing Experiences--The Devil in the Cockpit!--A Luxurious Breakfast--Rodriguez Island--The Effects of a Cyclone 27. Another Miscalculation and a Meagre Xmas Dinner--Sad News Received at Durban--Unexpected Vindication and Meeting of an Old Friend--The Tilikum as a Mountain Climber 28. Johannesburg--'Mac the Boar-Hunter,' Another Surprise--Success in Life and How It Was Gained 29. What Happened to the Tilikum in Landlocked Pretoria--Engaging a Mate Again--Genuine 'Cape Hopers'--Leaving Cape Town 30. Culinary Presents and Why My Mate Did Not Care for Them--St Helena--Pernambuco--My Contract Fulfilled--Changing the Flag 31. Bound for London--The Atlantic Calm Belt--What the Tilikum Did for My Mate--When Ships Meet on the High Seas--Short of Provisions--Boat and Crew in Quarantine 32. The Azores--A Royal Reception--Two Excursions--A Mule as Disturber of the Peace--Leaving the Hospitable Shores 33. The Colonial Empire--Arrival in England and a Hearty Welcome! Sea Queen Chapter One Chapter Two In Conclusion Appendix

About the Author

Captain John Claus Voss said of himself, “My seafaring life commenced in 1877, when I was quite a young man, and was spent… in large sailing vessels, during which period I have filled all sorts of positions from deck boy up to master.” It is unclear what year Voss was born—possibly 1861, possibly earlier—but in the 1890s he left the sea for residence in Victoria, British Columbia, where he was listed as proprietor or co-proprietor of several hotels by 1895. By that time he was married with two sons and a daughter. His career in small boats began in 1897. His greatest voyage, in the Indian war canoe Tilikum, began in May 1901. After reaching England in 1904, Voss joined an expedition to Equador to search for gold, finally returning to Victoria in March 1906, by which time his marriage had ended and his former wife had moved to Oregon with the younger children. He married again in the spring of 1906, but his bride died in August of that same year. Voss went back to sea commanding sealing schooners until 1911, when sealing was banned by international treaty. Finding himself in Japan, he undertook the voyage of the Sea Queen described in this book. Later he fitted out yet another small vessel and vanished from Yokohama into the Pacific. Many presumed that he had drowned, but new evidence suggests that he spent his last years in the small inland California town of Tracy, where he drove a Model T jitney, or taxi, and is photographed with his daughter in 1920. He evidently died in Tracy in 1922.
HOMETOWN: Victoria, British Columbia (deceased)

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