chapter  10
20 Pages

Sailors and the sea

The fishermen and mariners of Chapters 8 and 9 were people who lived in constant contact with the Baltic and the North Seas, seamen perhaps even more so than fishermen. Even when not working, sailors nevertheless remained at sea on board their vessel, and though the sea did ebb further away during stop-overs in ports, its effects arguably never entirely left them. Although the influence of the shoreside, home and nationality on a seaman’s life should not be underestimated, the sea – or, more precisely, the demands and prerequisites of the maritime livelihoods born around it – shaped the nineteenth-century seaman’s experiences and outlook on life in very specific ways. Moreover, the demands of making a living by sailing flowed over from the workplace to the seaman’s private life to such an extent that sailing was not merely a profession, it was much more a way of life.