Born in Nome, Alaska, in 1906, J. Holger Christensen was the son of Danish immigrants who mined gold in the sands of that rugged frontier town. His dad, a sailor who served on the last of the full-rigged sailing ships in the late 1800′s, cashed in that gold to buy a Puget Sound workboat based out of Bainbridge Island, Washington. As a young man Holger learned the skills of deckhand, navigator, and the traditions of the sea from his father. At the age of just 17 – he began his maritime career – sailing deep sea cargo ships to distant lands – always returning to North Pacific waters.
In an era when the maritime industry assumed a vital support role in the Great Wars of the Twentieth Century, Holger attained the status of deck officer at the start of World War II and later captain of a Liberty-class cargo ship – experiencing life on the bridge in convoys of ships sailing from the east coast, to the west coast of the United States, and on to Hawaii. Post- war voyages took him back to Puget Sound and the small isolated ports of Southeast Alaska, western Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands.
Honest and captivating, Sea Travels, tells the story of a master mariner who endured rigorous conditions in unforgiving climates; the evolution of the maritime industry in response to world events; and genuine and sentimental tales of historic ships and life on the sea.
“The author’s glimpses of Puget Sound maritime life in the 1930s and ’40s are truly fascinating.”—Joe Upton, author of Bering Sea Blues