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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: Blue at the Mizzen (Book 20), Chapters 1-2 (pg. 6187-6242)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

Shipyards on the Tyne, c1880. Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images


We begin not long after the events of the previous book, with the Surprise sailing towards its next mission and the prize money from the captured treasure galleon being distributed among the sailors. Their sudden and immediate wealth becomes a problem when the ship’s forced to return to Gibraltar for emergency repairs following a collision with another ship in dark, stormy seas. Most of the non-long-term Surprises desert (the war is over after all), while the rest spend greatly on various vices — Aubrey himself strikes up an affair with Lord Barmouth’s wife, That’s not entirely smart, but it proves to be beneficial in getting Barmouth to help them repair: to get Aubrey on his way and out of town as quickly as possible.


The plan is to sail to Madeira for further repairs, then back to England for even more repairs to make sure the ship can handle a voyage around South America to Chile. But the shipyards at Madeira are out of commission thanks to a massive fire, so they’ll have to try to get back to England in their current state to enact those still much-needed repairs.





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