The California Run

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
New York, 1850. Two clipper ships depart on a race around Cape Horn to the boomtown of San Francisco, where the first to arrive will gain the largest profits and also win a $50,000
wager for her owner. More

Available ebook formats: epub

About Mark A. Rimmer

Mark was born in London and grew up on the south coast of England. Since as far back as he can remember there have been two passions in his life - tall ships and writing.

Not surprising, then, that he took full advantage of an opportunity to sail aboard a square-rigger in New Guinea when he was 16, then went on to join the British merchant navy as an apprentice navigation officer on cargo ships worldwide. After graduating with his Mate’s license he moved to Hong Kong to teach sail training aboard a brigantine in the South China Sea, voyaging between Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.
Since then Mark has spent many years engaged in sail training in the Old School fashion aboard a variety of tall ships, teaching naval cadets and civilian trainees how to traverse the world’s oceans using only wind, stars, a sextant and a compass. From the complete re-rigging of the replica galleon Golden Hinde to achieving four transatlantic crossings aboard a full-sized clipper, Mark is presently one of only a handful of captains worldwide who is qualified to command a fully-rigged ship the size of the clippers he writes about in THE CALIFORNIA RUN.
A lifelong fan of such authors as C. S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian, it occurred to Mark at an early age that a large proportion of the Nautical Fiction genre is occupied by fighting sail. As a merchant mariner, perhaps Mark might be forgiven for having subscribed to that inherent bias which prevails among his peers, that your average historic naval vessel is all but identical to any merchant ship of its time, except with more guns and bigger hats. Besides, as Mark’s own experiences have shown him, and as events in THE CALIFORNIA RUN portray, life aboard a merchant ship and the interactions between those who sail them can be equally as exciting, if not as terrifying, as any full-on naval engagement.
Mark has also enjoyed his own share of adventures, having so far survived three hurricanes, one typhoon, been bombed, shot at, shipwrecked, assisted numerous yachtsmen in distress, helped rescue the crew of a burning oil tanker mid-ocean and has led one successful mutiny aboard a storm-tossed brigantine in the middle of an Atlantic hurricane.
He finally stranded upon the shores of America, quite literally, after being shipwrecked himself off Bermuda, rescued by a passing Greek tanker and landed ashore in Long Island in only the clothes he stood up in and a soggy ‘tenner’ in his pocket. His original US immigrant status of Shipwrecked Mariner is one that, as a proud seafarer, he displays on his wall to this day. He has been living in Oregon ever since.

Learn more about Mark A. Rimmer

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Carol S reviewed on Aug. 27, 2018

The California Run proves to be an amazing voyage in itself. Mark A. Rimmer invites the reader to experience the multi-faceted humanity aboard ship in the mid 1800s, as well as the incredible ingenuity required to navigate the high seas.

The many characters are alive and real. I have curled up with this captivating novel for hours at a time with anticipation of what will happen next. The author hones in on many aspects of human nature, the despicable along with the benevolent.

The author’s detailed and historically accurate descriptions of on-board procedures cause one’s jaw to gape in discovery of what it was like to navigate a clipper more than 150 years ago. Some procedures described in these pages include navigation by sextant, depth-sounding by weighted line, and estimation of velocity with actual knots every 50 feet along a rope. Wow!

This gripping story of The California Run profoundly jumps from the page with so much realism that I find myself almost expecting to see photographs of every event. I easily imagine the face of each character, and I even ponder which actor might well portray him or her in a motion picture version of this adventure.

I heartily recommend The California Run to everyone who is ready for the historical and literary ride of their lives. I also look forward to any and all upcoming writings by Mark A. Rimmer, and am deeply impressed by his obvious human passion and his authoritative rendering of the seafaring life.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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