This turned out to be an excellent read for me, which was somewhat a surprise. I have not visited this genre for many years, but now I'm looking forward to reading more like this. The story is based in fact, both of the characters and the ships. Mr. Spilman has done a wonderful job of taking the reader to the early twentieth century, and into the culture of the sailors of that long ago time.It's a good introduction for the novice reader in this genre, and a thoughtful story for the more experienced. The writing is done in the style and jargon of the period, and thankfully a glossary is provided for those, like me, that are not familiar with the terminology. The Author's Notes at the end of the book is also a must read, as it explains much of the history behind the ships and sailors.My only negative comment is the book could have been twice as long, as there is more depth to the characters than is written of, and the story would have been all the better.I give it five stars, and a must read, rating.