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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors W - We

Wadelton, Tommy (Thomas Dorrington) (1926-1975)

Silver Buckles on His Knee. Coward-McCann, 1945. 167 pages

Typical WW II boater.

Wakeman, Frederic (1909-1998)

Shore Leave. Farrar & Rinehart, 1944. 310 pages

Three decorated Navy pilots finagle a four day leave in San Francisco. They procure a posh suite at the hotel and Commander Crewson, a master of procurement, arranges to populate it with party people.

Waldock, Sarah J., Mrs.

William Price and the 'Thrush'. CreateSpace, 2012. 224 pages

Inspired by Jane Austen's Mansfield Park this introduces William Price, just promoted to Lieutenant, who finds his new commission places him on a ship sailing under sealed orders and a potentially mutinous crew.

Wales, Ken (1938- ) and Poling, David

Sea of glory : a novel : based on the true WW II story of the four chaplains and the U.S.A.T. Dorchester. Broadman & Holman, 2001. 357 pages

In the early morning hours of February 3, 1943, a German submarine torpedoes the American troop ship Dorchester en route to a top-secret radar installation in Greenland. The four Army chaplains on board could scarcely be more different from each other: Methodist pastor and war veteran George Fox: intellectual and athletic Rabbi Alex Goode; scholar, poet and Dutch Reformed minister Clark Poling: baseball fan and "regular guy" Father John Washington. yet in the terror and confusion following the attack by a deadly U- boat wolfpack, the chaplains unite in a final triumphant sacrifice that transforms the life of every survivor who lives to tell of it.

Wall, Bill (William) (1955- )

Donal Long series:

  1. The Powder Monkey: A 1798 Story. Mercer, 1996. 160 pages

    Set in the troubled days of the 1798 Rebellion, The Powder Monkey is the story of a boy, Donal Long, who steals a boat to escape his violent uncle and is picked up by a British warship. He is adopted by the ship's crew and becomes the "powder monkey" whose job it is to carry powder to the guns.

  2. The Slave Coast. Mercer, 1997. 144 pages

    Taken on as cabin boy aboard an American ship, Donal makes his escape from the tragic Ireland of 1798. But the Provident of Boston is not a normal trading vessel, the ship is bound for Africa to pick up slaves

  3. The Cove of Cork. Mercer, 1998. 144 pages

    In 1813, Donal Long and his shipmates are made prisoners of war after a sea battle with a British ship. To his surprise he is brought back to Ireland, to the Cove of Cork, close to his birthplace. Paroled as an officer, Donal's past is waiting in the wings to catch up with him.

Wallace, Willard Mosher (1911- 2000)

East to Bagaduce. H. Regnery, 1963. 318 pages

Based on a true event. US Navy lays siege to Maine town during the Revolutionary War, but effort ends in humiliating disaster. Not for sunshine patriots.

Jonathan Dearborn; a novel of the War of 1812. Little, Brown, 1967. 376 pages

American privateers.

The Raiders: a novel of the Civil War at sea. Little, Brown, 1970. 470 pages

Cruise of the Confederate raider ALABAMA, as seen by Lieutenant Scott Pettigrew from Maine.

Wallenius, Kurt Martti

Men from the Sea. Oxford University Press, 1955. 268 pages

Five tales of Scandinavian and Finnish Lapland, held together by a common theme -- the impact of the Arctic ruggedness on its people ... Always present is the struggle for survival, the dependence on the sea, the helplessness of these people before the elements, and their familiarity with death. Translation of Miesten meri, 1954.

Wallop, Douglass (1920-1985)

Regatta. Norton, 1981. 285 pages

A crack international yachtsman steps down in class to race his fifty-eight foot yacht against ordinary weekend sailors in a thirty mile, 150-boat sailing race on Chesapeake bay. His chief adversary, in a much smaller sloop, gives him all he can handle.

Walmsley, Leo

Three Fevers. Knopf, 1932. 284 pages

The struggles of the "Lunns" and the "Fosdyks", rival inshore fisherman in North Yorkshire coastal village of "Bramblewick". The book is actually semi-autobiographical, and is based around real families who lived in the early part of this century at Robin Hood's Bay. Leo Walmsley wrote several such books, mainly based around his experiences in Robin Hood's Bay, and also the time he spent living in Fowey, Cornwall, where he eventually died. The book was adapted into the first film made by Arthur Rank, and was released as TURN OF THE TIDE.

Walsh, Joseph Patrick

King's Arrow. Lippincott, 1951. 380 pages

English medical sudent, in hiding after a duel, gets pressed into the Royal Navy. Escaping with a Nantucket sailor and a Native American, he becomes involved in smuggling goods to the Colonies in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Meanwhile, his ladylove emigrates to the Colonies after the death of her father. The collapse of his shipping business impoverishes her. She marries a Yankee loyalist, who is a businessman and a former ship owner. Sparks fly when the patriot smuggler and the Loyalist women encounter each other once again in Providence, Rhode Island. Despite anachronisms, a rollicking good tale.

Wambaugh, Joseph (1937- )

Floaters. Bantam, 1996. 293 pages

Set in San Diego's Mission Bay during America's Cup '95, water cops Mickey Fortney and his partner Leeds are on the trail of Cup saboteurs. This one is worth reading just for the commentary on the Cup scene. Fast paced & funny.

Wanttaja, Ron

The Key to Honor. Royal Fireworks, 1996. 188 pages

15 year old Midshipman Nate Lawton reports to USS CHESAPEAKE, blockaded in Boston by HMS SHANNON. Fatherless and seeking revenge because seven years earlier the English had impressed his father (and impoverished his family). Hiding a shameful secret and groping for truths he might have learned from his father, Nate immediately runs athwartship 2nd Lieutenant Westcott who abhors Nate's blind acceptance of natural gifts for which "others worked so hard." But it's Westcott that starts Nate on his search for honor. Of course, the CHESAPEAKE goes out and fights the SHANNON. Whether intentionally or not, the book is Patrick O'Brianish in every good sense: it demonstrates civility and honor, teaches leadership, teaches the nautical stuff along the way, is a bit better than reality, has a happy ending, and feels authentic. For young readers.

The Price of Command. Royal Fireworks, 1998. 330 pages

Midshipman Nate Lawton of The Key to Honor continues his adventures and maturing by joining Oliver Hazard Perry on Lake Erie right smack in the center of the Perry-Elliot controversy. Chance has thrown Nate into second in command and his captain moves to make him a scapegoat as well. For young adults 12 and up.

Warga, Wayne

Singapore Transfer. Viking, 1991. 151 pages

A rare-book dealer gets mixed up in smuggling and a murder mystery in Singapore involving junks, an ocean liner and the wreckage of USS ARIZONA at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.

Waters, Don

Vengeance Reef. in "The Saturday evening post reader of sea stories". Doubleday, 1962. 310 pages

Shipwrecked sailor single handedly destroys the dastardly german submarine that sank his ship - c.f. Forester's Brown on Resolution.

Waters, Kenneth

Sea Officer. Blacksmith, 1996. 266 pages

Novel based on the Black River Raid, the burning of Hampton and the great Atlantic storm of 1861. Our hero, Jonathon Comstock, fights for the Union aboard the sloop of war BENNINGTON. This was intended to be the first of a series of historical novels based upon naval actions during the American Civil War.

Watkins, Paul (1964- )

Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn. Houghton Mifflin, 1989. 280 pages

Young man expelled from college joins the crew of a fishing boat against the wishes of his fisherman father. Takes place on the Rhode Island Shoreline.

Watson, John

The Iron Man. Warner, 1998. 488 pages

Captain Jakob Zof, disappointed by events that have reduced the Soviet Navy to a shambles, seeks to restore some of his pride by allowing himself to be persuaded to commission a WW II battleship. This is no ordinary battleship; named after Stalin, it was to have been the culmination of Russian naval design and construction. It has been hidden from the world for years in a Vladivostok backwater. The endless supply of dollar bills from Zof’s mysterious new employers puts new life into the under-motivated and unpaid Russians. It’s not long before the STALIN is committing acts of piracy in the Pacific but it soon becomes apparent that there is an even more sinister motive. Another novel where heavy armour does not readily succumb to modern weaponry.

Webb, Alexander

Fates Anointed. Kimber, 1985. 191 pages

1805, Lt. Phillip Naseby, RN, formula period piece but readable.

Webber, Gordon (1912-1986)

The Far Shore. Little, Brown, 1954. 236 pages

1944: the Normandy Beaches.

Weber, Joe

Defcon One. Presidio, 1989. 336 pages

A worst-case scenario of the future of U.S.-Soviet relations envisions the failure of the current Soviet reform, leading to a desperate attack on the U.S. that threatens to escalate to nuclear war.

Webster, Rank V.

Two Boys of the Battleship. Cupples & Leon, 1915. 208 pages

Ned and Frank join the navy. It's off to South America aboard the battleship GEORGETOWN to deal with them furriners in the carefree days before the Big War.

Weiser, Bruce

Nicholas Chenevix Series:

  1. The French Imposter. Leisure, 1980. 278 pages

    British lieutenant Nicholas Chenevix is sent to Cadiz to spy as Admiral Nelson cruises offshore.

  2. Dispatch From Cadiz. Leisure, 1981. 283 pages

    Chenvevix allows himself to be captured by the French as part of a plan to lure the French out of Cadiz so Nelson can defeat them. Unfortunately, Chenevix, once caught, is tried as a spy, then kept aboard the BUCENTAURE during Trafalgar -- and the subsequent storm when the ship runs aground. Contains a long dream sequence about a world where Nelson loses Trafalgar.

Wenger, Susan

The Port-Wine Sea. America House, 1999. 190 pages

A rousing parody of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series. It is a story about a British naval captain during the Napoleonic War, and his friend, a naval physician/espionage agent. They set sail once again aboard HMS AGHAST during the War of 1812 to demonstrate to the upstart Colonies the errors of their ways. The doctor/spy tries to establish liaison with the Creek Indians to create a diversion to the main British assault. Meanwhile the noble Captain is diverted by a teenaged Maryland vixen. Along the way, they encounter a skittish horse, a demure skunk, a whooping crane, and an escaped colony of termites aboard the ship.

West, Nigel

Cuban Bluff: a Documentary Novel of the Cuban Missle Crisis. Secker & Warburg, 1990. 250 pages

Feautres a last-minute scramble to find a missing Soviet submarine.

Westbrook, William

Nicholas Fallon Sea Novels:

  1. The Bermuda Privateer. McBooks, 2017. 328 pages

    It’s 1796, and Sea Dog’s owner, Ezra Somers, employs Fallon to protect his Caribbean salt trade from French privateers and pirates. Wicked Jak Clayton is especially ruthless. When the two meet just off the Bahamas, even Fallon’s cunning can’t overcome their mismatch in firepower and desertion by a cowardly ally.

  2. The Black Ring. McBooks, 2018. 328 pages

    The year is 1798. The African slave trade is in brutal flower, and the great powers are fighting for control of the Caribbean’s immensely profitable sugar plantations. Nico, meanwhile, has been trying his damnedest to become a salt merchant under Ezra Somers, father of the beautiful Elinore. But when an urgent request arrives from Admiral Davies of the Leeward Island Station, Ezra and Elinore give Nico their blessing to head off in search of plunder and adventure.

Westcott, Jan Vlachos (1912-2011)

Captain Barney. Crown, 1951. 286 pages

Privateer battles British from home port of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary war.

Westergaard, Ross

Midshipman Kirk : being the adventures of a midshipman, Royal Navy, aboard the iron screw corvette HMS Calcutta, during the 1880s on the west coast of North America. Horsdal & Schubart, 1993. 167 pages

Midshipman Eric Kirk aboard HMS CALCUTTA, patrolling Pacific Coast in the 1880s.

Westerman, Percy F. (Francis) (1876-1959)

A lad of grit : a story of adventure on land and sea in Restoration times. Blackie and Son, 1909. 240 pages

The quest of the Golden Hope : a seventeenth century story of adventure. Blackie and Son, 1912. 255 pages

With Beatty off Jutland: A Romance of the Great Sea Fight. Blackie, 1918. 284 pages

Another book for older boys - Sub-Lieutenant Sefton is having such a busy war aboard the torpedo boat destroyer CALDER; U-boats, fishing boats trawling up German spy service cables etc., that when a seaman falls overboard he jumps in after him and they are both picked up by the cruiser HMS WARRIOR that gets reduced to a sinking wreck in the Battle of Jutland. Prior to WARRIOR's demise Sefton is taken off by his captain and enjoys further heroic adventures!

The Salving of the "Fusi Yama" : A post-war story of the sea. Nisbet & Co, 1921. 288 pages

A riveting tale including an element of desperate rivalry, sea-plane flying, diving, a hurricane, and all the incidental thrills inseparable from a quest for sunken treasure.

The Third Officer: A present day pirate story. Blackie and Son, 1921. 288 pages

A ripping yarn from a once popular and prolific nautical author.

The Wireless Officer. Blackie, 1922. 320 pages

The Pirate Submarine. Nisbet & Co, 1923. 296 pages

Tom Trevorrick and Paul Pengelly are about to bring disgrace to all Cornish mariners. They are dismantling surplus ex- Royal Naval ships in order to sell them for scrap value but the value of brass falls to an uneconomic level. They must answer to their shareholders and their solution to the problem is both simple and startling. A doomed ship will be disguised and they will sneak out to the Channel and turn it into a modern day pirate.

A Cadet of the Mercantile Marine. Blackie, 1923. 256 pages

The hero is Peter Kelso (incidentally a motor-bike fanatic), who sails as a cadet on the Golden Vanity, a fully-rigged ship of 3200 tons. That first voyage, full of incident, makes a sailor of him and takes the reader through a series of experiences combining to make a first-rate yarns in the author's best and most popular style.

The Good Ship "Golden Effort". Blackie, 1924. 256 pages

Keith Harrington rescues a Mr. Whatmough from an attempted street robbery. Whatmough is the chief partner in the famous shipping line Whatmough,Duvant and Co and Keith is given his chance to become a cadet. He makes friends with Peter Kelso and Dusty Miller and joins the Golden Effort - one of the famous Golden line.

Captain Cain. Nisbet & Co, 1924. 284 pages

Captain Cain is the commander of the Alerte, a pirate submarine, pursued by the HMS Canvey. It is damaged and sinks in a shallow West African Lagoon where Cain and a select few escape the vessel in diving suits. Arriving ashore they steal a whaling craft from an unsuspecting fisherman and join a Greek Ship heading for Paraguil del Norte wher the pirates become embroiled in a local war.

The Buccaneers of Boya. Nisbet & Co, 1925. 319 pages

East in the "Golden Gain". Blackie and Son, 1925. 256 pages

The Luck of the "Golden Dawn". Blackie and Son, 1926. 256 pages

Chums of the "Golden Vanity". Blackie and Son, 1927. 255 pages

Captain Blundell's Treasure. Blackie and Son, 1927. 320 pages

The Junior Cadet. Blackie, 1928. 255 pages

Junior Cadet Norman Mansell takes up his first post on the Golden Pursuit at Southampton Docks. His first voyage is to Philadelphia in the U.S.A. during which they suffer from both heavy fog and a tremendous storm. The lifeboat is launched to rescue the crew of a sinking French ship, General Sardinot. The voyage continues to Cape Town and Madagascar, where they experience a tidal wave, and then home via Port Sudan and the Suez Canal.

Pat Stobart in the "Golden Dawn". Blackie, 1929. 256 pages

Leslie Dexter, Cadet. Blackie, 1930. 255 pages

The Senior Cadet. Blackie, 1931. 255 pages

His Unfinished Voyage. Blackie, 1937. 255 pages

Cadet Alan Carr joins the Golden Effort in the port of Southampton for a voyage to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and then Montevideo in Uruguay but after a series of adventures trouble withe the main shaft followed by a collision mean that Alan's voyage ends in Cape Town.

Cadet Alan Carr. Blackie, 1938. 255 pages

Cadet Alan Carr is appointed to the Golden Vanity currently in the port of London. The voyage takes him to Funchal in Madeira, Cape Town, where the cadets climb Table Mountain and get lost in a fog, and Auckland in New Zealand where Alan is caught in a terrific hailstorm whilst ashore. The ship the returns to the Atlantic and England by way of the Magellan Straits.

In Eastern Seas. Blackie, 1939. 255 pages

Alan Carr is in Swaledale when he learns that he has to join the Golden Venture at Liverpool. The ship is stranded on the sands at Formby at the beginning of her voyage but is able to continue her voyage to the Panama Canal via the West Indies. It then proceeds to Yokohama and is involved in a tsunami after an earthquake. Finally they voyage to China before heading home.

The War - and Alan Carr. Blackie, 1940. 254 pages

The S.S. Golden Venture is at sea when war is declared between Britain and Germany. After narrow scrapes with U-Boats the ship arrives safely in Cape Town where the cadets have a run ashore and unwittingly betray their next destination to a German spy. Lourenzo Marques contains a German freighter which has supposedly been interned by the Portuguese. However, it breaks out to sea where the Golden Venture overcomes her in conflict. Later Captain Harrington manages to outwit the German pocket battleship Graf Spee by pretending to be carrying a cargo of explosives.

War Cargo. Blackie, 1941. 255 pages

Destroyer's Luck. Blackie, 1942. 223 pages

Alan Carr in the Near East. Blackie, 1942. 256 pages

The story of a Cadet's life and adventures aboard the S.S. Golden Venture during the World War.

Alan Carr in the Arctic. Blackie, 1943. 255 pages

Secret Convoy. Blackie, 1944. 224 pages

The S.S. Golden Crest is in dock in New York shortly after Pearl Harbour. Her holds and decks are converted to take ramps for Sherman Tanks intended for a secret destination on the other side of the Atlantic. The tanks are shipped in Chesapeake Bay and as part of a convoy they set off.

Alan Carr in Command. Blackie, 1945. 224 pages

His First Ship. Blackie, 1946. 256 pages

Alan Carr is too young to be accepted by the Golden Line but the junior partner of Whatmough and Duvant, Mr. Dexter, manages to get him a job on the small coastal vessel called the Mary Rumbold. Alan begins the voyage in Boston, Lincolnshire and travels up to Dundee and then on to Thurso. He experiences many adventures and learns the harsh lessons of life at sea. On her last voyage to the breakers' yard the Mary Rumbold founders in a gale in the North Sea. Alan conducts himself well during the time of crisis which gains him a cadetship on the Golden Effort.

By Luck and By Pluck. Blackie, 1946. 232 pages

This is the story of Dick Danesby and Tony Andrews, apprentices on the tramp Mulcaster, before, during and after the landings on "D" Day. Their skipper is the well-known Alan Carr. The Mulcaster was one of the ships destined to play a humble but essential part in the operations by being purposely sunk off the Beaches.

The "Golden Gleaner". Blackie, 1948. 272 pages

Angus Cross anxious to follow the example of his uncle, known as "Fiery Cross", and go to sea, is lucky enough to be accepted as a cadet by the owners of the famous "Golden Line". Certain events connected with the launching of the ship on which he has his first seafaring experiences cause the superstitious to shake their heads, but on the whole the voyage of the Golden Gleaner is not unlucky, though certainly eventful.

The Mystery of the Key. Blackie and Son, 1948. 288 pages

John Cloche, his many war-time sea adventures behind him, is at rather a loose end when he has the chance of making one of a party which, onboard a former trawler, set out to try their luck at sponge-getting. The company of the Dream of Devon is a mixed one, but every man has had wide experience, and under Jimmy Ellicot, owner of the craft, they pull well together. It is well they do so, for they encounter emergencies which call for mutual trust and combined effort.

Missing, believed lost. Blackie and Son, 1949. 224 pages

A holiday yachting cruise in the Channel, under the command of their sporting schoolmaster, might well have provided plenty of interest for the four boys who accepted Mr Morgan's invitation to sail with him in the Marie, but something quite foreign to the programme transformed the cruise into a strange adventure indeed. As the result of a war wound, Mr Morgan began to be the victim of illusions, believing himself, sometimes, to be living in the days of Morgan the pirate.

Held to Ransom. Blackie, 1951. 288 pages

Sir Montague Corton decides to answer an advertisement offering a Mediterranean cruise in the ex-naval craft Zenna. His little party includes Major Haworth, his old friend, and his son Hugh, and Hugh's friend Alastair. They had no means of knowing that the Cornish Skipper and mate had actually stolen the yacht in the absence of her owner.

Working their Passage. Blackie, 1951. 256 pages

Phil Pryor and Jack Desmond, Sea Scouts, set out, despite a stiffish head wind, to sail the Scouts' dinghy ten miles to her "home port" and ran into trouble. Their little craft was swamped, and they were lucky, with the help of a lifebelt, to manage to reach the precarious safety of a buoy. From this they were rescued, none too soon, by the Golden Gleaner. Thanks to various fortunate circumstances, they found themselves installed as more or less unofficial cadets, and completed the voyage with the ship that had saved their lives.

Round the World in the "Golden Gleaner". Blackie, 1952. 253 pages

Held in the Frozen North. Blackie, 1956. 222 pages

Wetjen, Albert Richard (1900-1948)

Fiddlers' Green, or, The strange adventure of Tommy Lawn : a tale of the great divide of the sailormen. Little, Brown, 1931. 261 pages

After his death Second Mate Tommy Lawn learns that the sailors now go to Fiddlers' Green, an underwater paradise where everything a sailor-man could want is his, including great company. Practically every sailor yarn and maritime legend is featured.

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