Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 183

Joshua Slocum



Hello Everyone




As you know, l was once a sailor and so l am always interested in the great exploits and adventures of sailors who have achieved great feats of endurance and courage.


l expect that you have heard of Magellan and Christopher Columbus who bravely set out to explore the world by sea, but l wonder if you have ever heard of Joshua Slocum.


Joshua Slocum was the first man to ever sail around the world single-handed – that means alone.


Let me tell you more about his extraordinary life…


He was born in Nova Scotia in Canada but later became an American. His mum’s dad was a lighthouse keeper at Southwest Point. His dad was very strict, and he had lots of brothers and sisters which meant he grew up in a noisy house.


Even as a small boy he wished he could run away to sea. He tried to run away from home several times and at last succeeded when he became a cabin boy at the age of fourteen. He did go back home later but left for a life at sea again at sixteen.


ln the years that followed, he showed that he had a talent to become an excellent seaman, captain and ship owner, sailing on many voyages and having many hair-raising adventures.


Slocum had little education but he was a very experienced sailor and an excellent navigator. Then he decided to go on a very big adventure.


On 24th April 1895, at the age of 51, Joshua Slocum set out from Boston, USA, to sail around the world on his boat The Spray. Many people had sailed around the world before him, but nobody had attempted the voyage completely alone.


After a long visit to his boyhood home on the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada he left the shore at the Sambro lsland Lighthouse near Halifax on 3rd July.


He sailed eastwards to Spain and then changed direction and headed down to Brazil.


Can you find all these places in your atlas?


Then he sailed down the coast of South America towards the perilous (very dangerous) seas around Cape Horn. Cape Horn is the most southerly tip of South America.


Like most sailors he had a terrible time getting around Cape Horn, but for him it was particularly dangerous because he was alone. However, at last he succeeded in breaking through to the Pacific.


He stopped for long periods of time at islands in the Pacific Ocean that appealed to him.


Slocum was in no hurry. He spent nine months travelling in Australia before continuing his voyage.


ln South Africa he met President Paul Kruger who refused to accept that Slocum was sailing round the world. He believed that this was not possible because he thought that the world was flat.


Slocum then made his way across the Atlantic and arrived in Boston on 27th June 1898; just over three years after he had departed.


He wrote the story of his adventures as he travelled. His book Sailing Alone Around the World was published in 1899. This book is still available to buy. smile1 (2)


Joshua Slocum had many more long voyages. At the age of 65 he set out to sail down the Orinoco River in South America and was never seen again.


No-one knows what happened to him.


No wreckage from his ship was ever found. Probably he was run down at night by a much larger ship, or he could have even been tipped out of his boat by a whale. The strange thing was that he had never learnt how to swim; he didn’t think it was a necessary thing for a sailor to do!


He will always be remembered as an exceptional sailor who did something which had never been done before.



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam







Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill: Do you know which ship cannot sink?


Bob: No. Which ship cannot sink?


Bill: Friendship!




Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to



Picture Gallery



Joshua Slocum



Mount Hanley Schoolhouse Museum

This used to be the school where Joshua learnt to read and write from the age of eight



The first cover of the book recounting his most famous adventure



The Spray



Paul Kruger



The Sambro Island Lighthouse



The modern lighthouse at Cape Horn



Cape Horn viewed from the south – in a relatively calm sea



How many of these seas do you already know?









Joshua Slocum used the stars to navigate by.


This star can sit on top of a Christmas tree because it is open at the base.

You can use any embroidery stitch you like to decorate this star.

This star is pink and white but you could make it in red and green or any other colour to fit in with your decoration colour scheme. smile1 (2)







Cut 2 stars in one colour of felt and 2 stars in another colour.


*Keep ‘T’ at the top.





The star in the photograph has a larger pink star and a smaller white star.

The embroidery thread is two strands of pink embroidery thread on the white inner star and white embroidery thread on the outer pink star.



The front



The back



The base












Quick Quiz



Do you know the meaning of these phrases?


  1. out of this world
  2. to have the best of both worlds
  3. a man of the world
  4. The New World
  5. feeling on top of the world
  6. to think the world of someone











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lt’s the Weekend!







If you are going on a trip soon, you may like to make this bag to take with you.

Or you could use it to store things in your bedroom like dolls’ clothes or hair bands.




If you can’t purl yet, you can make it all in garter stitch but it won’t look as neat.


Using 4mm knitting needles and black dk yarn cast on 86 stitches

(You could make the bag in two halves if 86 stitches are too many for you, and make two side seams.)


Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row


Stocking stitch 10 rows

Change to teal dk yarn

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row


Change back to black dk yarn

Stocking stitch 10 rows

Change to pale green dk yarn

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row


Change back to black dk yarn

Stocking stitch 10 rows

Change to pale blue dk yarn

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row


Change back to black dk yarn

Stocking stitch 10 rows

Change to white dk yarn

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row


Change back to black dk yarn

Stocking stitch 10 rows



Garter stitch 6 rows in each of the first 3 colours


Garter stitch 2 rows in the fourth colour

Cast off



Cut 2  

14cm circles of some washable foam or other stiffener to make 2 bases.


Cut 2

19cm circles of fabric.


Sew a running stitch around the edge of one piece of fabric twice – one line just inside the other – starting the second from the opposite side.

Put one base in the centre of the fabric and pull the four ends of thread and secure.

Repeat with the other circle of foam and fabric.

Put the two circles together with rough edges inside.

Sew around the edges to secure them together.

Sew up the side seam on the knitted part of the bag right sides together.

Turn right side out and sew the base of the bag in place.




Make the cord using yarn (or buy a length of cord about 90cm in length).

Wind some yarn round a 30cm/12 inch ruler lengthways.

Use this point to start to crochet chains into a double thickness of yarn.

Crochet 150 chains.

Thread the cord through your knitting just under the base of the garter stitch panel (use a yarn needle threaded into one end).

Add a tassel or bobble or bell to each end of the cord if you would like to decorate it and neaten off the ends of yarn.













You could make the bag in just one colour.




Use a rainbow yarn and add in the ridges and it will still look interesting.







Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand




Quick Quiz Answers


  1. out of this world – unbelievably good
  2. to have the best of both worlds – to benefit from two situations at the same time
  3. a man of the world – an experienced man who is not easily surprised by anyone or anything
  4. The New World – the Americas
  5. feeling on top of the world – feeling very healthy and happy
  6. to think the world of someone – to be very fond of someone







For an Embroidery Stitches Chart

Check out Blog Post 3scroll

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