A Gipsy of the Horn.

An account of a young mariners first voyage, including this passage on reading during a voyage around the world:

p. 230: Sing-songs were almost our only amusement on the long passage home. Reading was impossible, for the very good reason that we had no books left. The few that had survived the West Coast had succumbed to the rigours of the Horn and been dumped, a sodden pulp, overboard. My battered old Shakespeare was the only book left in the half-deck and I hung on to that with grim solicitude. It was the Globe edition and I often blessed the serviceable paper and neat print—less good workmanship would never have stood so much salt water. We often read scraps out loud, and on one occasion, when the bosun came in I fired off the first scene of The Tempest at him. He was immensely taken with it, but would hardly believe it was Shakespeare at all. However, he knew what ‘bringing a ship to try’ was, which was more than I did at the time or, I dare swear, a good many others who read the play.

Shakespeare knowledge of the sea always struck me as remarkable…. [goes on with two more pages about Shakespeare]