Two Years Before the Mast

audiobook (Unabridged)

By Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

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Two Years Before the Mast is Richard Henry Dana Jr's captivating account of life as a common sailor on board a merchant ship in the early 1830s. Initially an attempt to remedy the author's eye fatigue, the two-year voyage from Boston to California had a transformative effect on Dana, whose diary gives a fascinating snapshot of pre-Gold Rush California. Dana captures the cruel conditions on board ship, the injustices of merchant seamen at the hands of brutally unforgiving captains, and the treacherous icy weather at Cape Horn. He portrays a rich cast of characters (human and non-human), including the people of Mexican California from whose ranches Dana would load and ship cowhides—then the most active trade along the California Coast. An iconic maritime memoir said to have influenced Herman Melville, Two Years Before the Mast remains one of America's greatest and most vivid seafaring tales.

This recording includes Twenty-Four Years After, Dana's nostalgic reflection on his famous adventure.

Two Years Before the Mast