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In The Cruise of the Arctic Star, Scott O'Dell takes a voyage up the length of the California coast in his cedar-hulled offshore cruiser named Arctic Star. With his wife Elizabeth along as skilled navigator and cook, a friend Del as cohort and deckhand, and an unpredictable hired hand named Rodney Lambert, the crew journeys up the coast and experiences first hand the delights and drama of life at sea along this beautiful shoreline. Along the way, the author relates the colorful narratives of California's past through the stories of men and women like Cabrillo, Viscaino, Junipero Serra, Kate Sessions, Kit Carson, Jedediah Smith and many more. Drawing from journals of other notable visitors like Richard Henry Dana, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Francis Drake, readers are given a window into life in California hundreds of years ago.