The First Lieutenant (2021)

(The second book in the Call of the Sea series)
11 Oct 2021

Nick Turnhouse is captain of his own sloop, and increasingly aware of how rapidly he has been promoted and how much he does not know. He is reliant on the professional skill and goodwill of Master and Boatswain, both of whom are long experienced and old, coming close to the end of their seagoing days.

Nick Turnhouse continues his helter-skelter advance from Dorset farmhand to naval officer, relying on his sword arm and quick intelligence to achieve success. As he progresses, he is increasingly conscious of all he does not know, and how much he must rely on his subordinates to provide their knowledge of the sea. He also keenly appreciates how much he needs the aid and advice of Captain Woodmore, who has done so much to help him rise in the world.

His pursuit of promotion and prize-money is almost diverted when Arabella Whitefield, the squire’s daughter and now the voluptuous wife of a major, appears in English Harbour and fondly recalls their early romance. Nick manages this affair of the heart adroitly, narrowly avoiding jeopardising his next promotion. Rising to Master and Commander, he will henceforth earn two-eighths of every prize he takes in his own sloop.

Taking to the sea again, and hoping to bring his wardroom with him, he becomes aware of the increasing unrest of the lower deck hands, whose pay has not risen in more than one hundred and twenty years and who live in miserable poverty. A serious situation that must be addressed, somehow.

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