The Voyage of the Rose City by John Moynihan
An Adventure at Sea

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Synopsis

A gripping, beautifully told story of a young man’s coming-of-age at sea
 
When John Moynihan decided to ship out in the Merchant Marine during the summer of his junior year at Wesleyan University, his father, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was not enthusiastic: As a young man, before joining the U.S. Navy, Pat Moynihan had worked the New York City docks and knew what his son would encounter. However, John’s mother, Elizabeth, an avid sailor, found the idea of an adventure at sea exciting and set out to help him get his Seaman’s Papers. When John was sworn in, he was given one piece of advice: to not tell the crew that his father was a United States senator.

The job ticket read “forty-five days from Camden, New Jersey, to the Mediterranean on the Rose City,” a supertanker. As the ship sailed the orders changed, and forty-five days became four months across the equator, around Africa, across the Indian Ocean, and up to Japan—a far more perilous voyage than John or his mother had imagined. The physical labor was grueling, and outdated machinery aboard the ship, including broken radar, jeopardized the lives of the crew. They passed through the Straits of Malacca three times, with hazardous sailing conditions and threats of pirates. But it was also the trip of a lifetime: John reveled in the natural world around him, listened avidly to the tales of the old timers, and even came to value the drunken camaraderie among men whose only real family was one another. A talented artist, John drew what he saw and kept a journal on the ship that he turned into his senior thesis when he returned to Wesleyan the following year.

A few years after John died in his early forties, the result of a reaction to acetaminophen, his mother printed a limited edition of his journal illustrated with drawings from his notebooks. Encouraged by the interest in his account of the voyage, she agreed to publish the book more widely. An honestly written story of a boy’s coming into manhood at sea, The Voyage of the Rose City is a taut, thrilling tale of the adventure of a lifetime.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About John Moynihan

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John Moynihan was born in Syracuse, New York, and lived with his family in India for two years during middle school. That experience, and the travels that went with it, set him on a lifelong quest to see the wider world. He worked as a writer and animator and loved teaching as he traveled, always returning to New York City, his home base.
 
Published October 4, 2011 by Spiegel & Grau. 258 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Action & Adventure, Professional & Technical, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Voyage of the Rose City

Kirkus Reviews

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Though the descriptions of booze, women and drunken antics may seem unnecessary and distasteful to some readers, Moynihan uses them to effectively demonstrate how, through these experiences, the disparate men bonded and became a unified crew.

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The New York Times

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Enlarge This Image Courtesy of the Moynihan family The lines owe a debt to Roger Miller’s great song “King of the Road.” And they could have also been the motto of John Moynihan, who during the summer of his junior year at Wesleyan University decided to join the merchant marine and sp...

Sep 29 2011 | Read Full Review of The Voyage of the Rose City: ...

Publishers Weekly

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Home on spring break from Wesleyan College in 1980, Moynihan declared to his parents—the late senator Patrick Moynihan and his wife, Elizabeth, who lovingly shepherded her son’s book into print—that he was planning to join the Merchant Marines for the summer;

Sep 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Voyage of the Rose City: ...

Bookmarks Magazine

A talented artist, John drew what he saw and kept a journal on the ship that he turned into his senior thesis when he returned to Wesleyan the following year.

A few years after John died in his early forties, the result of a reaction to acetaminophen, his mother printed a limited edition o...

Oct 17 2011 | Read Full Review of The Voyage of the Rose City: ...

The New Yorker

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Oct 31 2011 | Read Full Review of The Voyage of the Rose City: ...

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