For long sections of the Narrative , one could be fooled into forgetting that this is a slave narrative. Equiano became enamored of the sea as soon as he was no longer frightened by it, and most of his life's success is due to it. In a way, the sea provided an equalizer; once he established himself as a competent sailor, he could distinguish himself in spite of his skin color. Of course, he still faced myriad problems and oppressions on ships, but the looseness of sea life (as opposed to the strictness of land life) allowed him to flourish and ultimately make money to buy his freedom. Finally, the book is often as much adventure story and sailing narrative as anything else, which reveals how fully ingrained into Equiano's consciousness the life of a sailor was.