The surgeon aboard the whaling vessel Hope was often covered in the blood of seals and other animals, his clothes frozen enough that he'd have to stand next to the ship's stove to thaw before undressing. A first-time sailor, he wasn't supposed to take part in the clubbing of seals, but he did, and repeatedly fell into the frigid waters, nearly freezing to death.
A journal by the young man, written at age 20 in 1880, was published yesterday. The author? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.