I read this book about 26-Aug-2012. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1920. This note was last modified Wednesday, 26-Sep-2012 13:47:46 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
The author claims this is a narrative of his own experience, "somewhat condensed, but little changed". I'm reviewing it as fiction anyway; but this may actually qualify as primary source material, if he did in fact serve at sea (which I have no cause to doubt).
He gets a job as first mate on a merchant ship just by telling the captain he's a mate, even though he has no sea chest and has to borrow a sextant fromt he tug boat. But apparently he is a mate, a qualified navigator and able to direct the sailors and so forth.
The captain dies fairly early. Then there's a ghost story about the captain, which I guess we're supposed to take seriously. The interesting character so far is the socialist cook; he's also a materialist (as is proper), and tries to explain the ghost, but nothing works out.
This is actually listed in the ISFDB. Nothing else by the author, so this book is the cause. I wonder if it gets even more fantastic?
No, just seems to wind to a close slowly.