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"The giant Nova Scotian rowed sixty miles into Newfoundland with the frozen body of his dorymate, five days without food or water, after they were separated in a gale from the Gloucester schooner "Grace L. Fears" in the winter of 1883. Blackburn survived but lost all his fingers by frostbite; he returned to Gloucester to keep a saloon....In 1899 he sailed the sloop "Great Western" singlehanded, in spite of his disability, from Gloucester to England...and the next [year], in 1901, he repeated his astounding feat in the twenty-five-foot sloop "Great Republic," this time to Portugal
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