Annie Ricketson's Journal: The Remarkable Voyage of the Only Woman Aboard a Whaling Ship with Her Sea Captain Husband and Crew, 1871-1874


The incredible adventure of Annie Ricketson's years at sea, as told so simply in her journal, is impressive even by today's standards. Very few women in the 1870s would have chosen to do what Annie did. The idea of leaving family and friends for nearly three and one half years to sail to areas of the world which were not even listed on a map must have been daunting, but to do this as the only woman on a ship where some of the crew may have resented a woman onboard, and others may not have had the highest character references, was absolutely courageous.

Annie sailed on the A. R. Tucker with her husband, Captain Daniel Ricketson, to many of the world's whaling grounds. Her journey took her from her home port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, down the Atlantic around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, and across the Indian Ocean to the Pacific off the coast of Australia. Her journal entries not only tell of tragedy and death, of dangers and bad weather, but also of friendly natives and sightseeing, shopping and fashion concerns. They are an invaluable record of life onboard a whaling ship-the excitement of the hunt, a powerful storm, even an earthquake-and the boredom of day after day when nothing happened. Annie's love for her husband and adventure, her sense of humor and her amazing ability to adapt is obvious from the very beginning of her fantastic story.

Laura Ricketson Doherty

2010, 5½x8½, paper, 96 pp.

ISBN: 9780788450488