This is it. We have read the Aubreyad twice, we have read Insidian's wonderful take on the books twice, so now it is time to bid a fond farewell to the Read and to all of you who have supported us over the years.
Thank you. I shall certainly continue to look in as I am sure there are still comments I have not been able to reply to.
Also: one should never say never
Also: YaY Jack!
The plot summary of Blue at the Mizzen
curtesy of wikipedia
sails out of Gibraltar but collides in the dark with a Nordic timber ship and returns for repairs. Back ashore, Aubrey hears a reliable description of the last day of the battle at Waterloo; he thanks Lord Keith for moving the prize court along briskly to share out the huge prize, more than 382 pounds a share. Aubrey has clandestine visits with his cousin Isobel, Lord Barmouth's wife. Admiral Lord Barmouth hastens the repair work, realizing he helps himself that way. Many Surprises desert. The frigate sails to Madeira for more serious repairs but arrives just in time to see Coelho's famous shipyard at Funchal in flames. Maturin receives a coded report from Dr Amos Jacob regarding the Chilean situation and takes the Ringle
to England, where Sir Joseph Blaine updates him. The Chileans have split into two factions: northern still interested in British help, and southern retaining the services of Sir David Lindsay to command the Chilean navy. Whilst Maturin stays with Sophie Aubrey at Woolcombe, Aubrey returns the Surprise
to Seppings' yard in England for a thorough re-fit and recruits a strong, competent crew out of Shelmerston for the long voyage ahead. In London, the Duke of Clarence asks Aubrey to accept Horatio Hanson as a midshipman. Initially reluctant, Aubrey finds that the boy has the mathematical skills essential for a navigator and he becomes a competent sailor. Fully fitted, the Surprise
stops at Funchal, picking up Jacob, and then heads for Freetown, where Maturin proposes marriage to a young attractive widow. Christine Wood shares his tastes for natural philosophy. Her view of marriage suffered from her first marriage, as her husband was impotent. She turns him down. She agrees on her upcoming trip to England to visit the Aubreys at their home in Dorset and to meet Maturin's daughter Brigid there. Surprise
then sails to the coast of Brazil, where Dr Amos Jacob parts to cross the mountains overland.
After a difficult rounding of Cape Horn, the expedition reaches San Patricio in Chile. Ringle
goes for repairs following a grounding in the Pillón passage. After a meeting between Aubrey, Maturin and Sir David Lindsay, in which the two sides agree to mutually support each other, Maturin writes to Blaine describing the different juntas and the training of three republican sloops by the crew of the Surprise
, who assist in capturing a moderate privateer. After meeting Dr Jacob with the intelligence he gathered, Aubrey heads to Valparaiso, while Maturin and Jacob ride there by mule. Here they meet General Bernardo O'Higgins, the Supreme Director, and Colonel Eduardo Valdes. Learning that the viceroy of Peru, under the Spanish king, plans to invade Chile, the group determine to confront the Royalist forces at Valdivia, where the viceroy will need to seek stores. The Surprise
make sail and Aubrey elaborates a plan to drop Chilean troops at Concepción while the ships destroy the gun-emplacements at Cala Alta and then bombard the fort at Valdivia.
The plan succeeds and the revolutionaries capture four chests of silver and one of gold, conveyed by the Surprise
to Valparaiso and then overland to Santiago. Sir David Lindsay fights a duel with one of his officers and dies. Popular local sentiment gradually turns against the British, and Aubrey receives news that the junta plans to impound his frigate. He decides to pre-empt action against Surprise
by cutting out the Peruvian fifty-gun frigate Esmeralda
at Callao in Peru to strengthen the Chilean navy. Surprise
conducts a hard-fought broadside action and eventually the British-Chilean force takes the ship. Aubrey suffers wounds in the thigh and shoulder. Maturin and Jacob compose a coded message of the successful cutting-out to Sir Joseph Blaine which the schooner takes to the Isaac Newton
, as Dobson's friends agree to carry the message across Panama to meet a returning merchantman. Ringle
carries the news to Valparaiso.
The President of the Valparaiso junta, Don Miguel Carrera, gives Aubrey and his officers a lavish dinner, after which Aubrey insists on his sailors receiving their share of the prize-money and Esmeralda
's value by the end of the month. The next day Don Miguel authorizes five thousand pieces of eight and use of any naval stores the Surprise
requires. With a fully repaired ship, Aubrey sets about training the young Chilean naval officers as the Surprise
continues her survey of the Chilean coast, for several weeks. Jacob arrives from Valparaiso on a private brig, with coded messages from Sir Joseph Blaine. The Duke of Clarence requests Horatio Hanson's return to sit his lieutenant's examination. Second, the Admiralty requires Aubrey to take command of the South African squadron, hoisting his broad pennant as Rear Admiral of the Blue at the River Plate, blue at the mizzen, aboard HMS Implacable
. Carrera arrives with a message saying it will take three more months to complete the payments, releasing Aubrey from his responsibility to the Chileans. He accepts his promotion, sets course for the Strait of Magellan.