Treason's Harbour by Patrick O'Brian
The book Treason's Harbour by Patrick O'Brian is initially set in the Grand Harbour of Valetta in Malta in the Mediterranean.
The Grand Harbour of Valetta had two great fortified headlands on either side, St Angelo and Isola. Ashore there were
many captains without ships because there was a lot of competition for a ship to command because distinction and appointments and with it
prize money and promotion were dependant upon having a sea command of a fighting ship.
Some captains in Treason's Harbour had lost their ships in battle, or because they had been promoted, or they had been court martialled.
Most captains were what was called grass-widowers, captains whose ships had been battered by years of blockading Toulon and had been sent in to the dockyards for repair. But the dockyards were too busy, slow and corrupt.
Captain Jack Aubrey was one of these captains. He had two ships in dock - the Worcester, a worn out seventy four gun ship of the line , and the sweet Surprise, a frigate that had taken on two Turkish Ships in Patrick O'Brians last book, The Ionian Mission. The Surprise needed a few midship knees, the starboard knighthead and bumkin, and twenty square meters of copper sheathing for her hull. The trend for many years in the British Navy had been to bigger heavier ships and the average frigate in the Royal Navy was an 18-pounder 38 gun ship with a gauge of over a 1000 tons.
The main fleet were blockading Toulon in France. The French had 21 ships-of-the-line or battleships and 7 frigates who were chafing at the bit to bust out of harbour. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin set off for the Red Sea in the Dromedary. To get there they sail to the coast of Egypt and walk across the desert to Suez. They have to set out on the Red Sea sailing( on a sloop the Niobe )through the difficult eastern channel round Perim which was only two miles wide and less than sixteen fathoms deep on the average. There were coral reefs in the Red Sea that ran out twenty miles on the east coast, with volcanic islands, and dangerous shoals in the latitude of Hodeida. They reach Mubara and anchor on the edge of a white-fringed coral reef that ran five or six miles north west from the island of Hatiba, the entrance to Mubara Bay.
On the way back to Suez, they had to beat up against the non-stop northerly wind. Back at Malta Jack Aubrey is sent to the Adriatic Sea for a little job to Marga and Kutali where they had been in the Ionian Mission. Next they are off to Zambra the port of Mascara, through which the trade of the country passed. Cape Raba is at one entrance and the other side is Cape Akroma which has a fort. Another fort is inside the Bay of Zambra. The book Treason's Harbour by Patrick O'Brian ends up in Gibraltar.
Fortune Of War
Far Side of World
Reverse of Medal
Letter of Marque
13 Gun Salute
Nutmeg of Consolation