He didn't have a very exciting life when he was younger but he did grow up sailing on short trips on the English coast. Since a young age he knew he wanted to be on the water. When he was older he sailed on countless voyages.
He then came out destitute to vision meaning he cannot see the abyss he has created. The person who can see this is the Prophet, Teiresias, who happens to be blind, which makes this ironic.
In the start of the book, he was battling at Bunker Hill. During the battle, he was wounded and after recovering, he rejoined and boarded an American ship. Later at sea, the ship was captured by the British and he was captured and
and he became courageous and found that even though things may look dangerous, they always aren't as they appear. And finally he listened to the advice of the creatures around him and he came to trust in others as he would expect others to trust him. He found what he was looking for in life, happiness.