Cruising in the Antarctic.

Recounts a whaling journey from Odessa to Antarctica in 1952-53 in a flotilla of 16 ships. Rather typical Soviet narrative with great harmony, a few problems heroically overcome, and excellent discipline:

p. 4: On every ship meetings were held, devoted to the Nineteenth Party Congress. In off-hours the sailors equipped a room for political education…. Our library started functioning. All the hundred members of the Pishchevik Sports society started training.

p. 24: Words fail me when I attempt to describe the beauty of everything around us…. Time and again I would reread a passage in Goncharov’s book, which expressed my own emotions and aptly described the fantastic sights around me….

p. 42-43: political education in the “Red Corner” of the ship: Twice a week the flotilla organ, Soviet Whaler, was issued and the crews put out wall newspapers…. [Entertainment included films, radio, and operas on loudspeaker—mentions Onegin, Gudonov, Carmen, and others.]

Every next man in the flotilla was a book fan. The crews of the catchers ordered books and magazines in the library by radio. These were passed over to the ships when they steamed up for refueling. We had no staff librarians—the job was done by our medical workers, accountants, and waitresses, who gradually managed the books available—some 24,000 volumes. Every ship held readers’ conferences on classics and modern books.

p. 47, the author mentions reading an English book by A. Bennett on Antarctica.

p. 66, [Feb 21. Soviet elections were held at sea for the local Soviets since the ships were an independent election district of Odessa.