Near Death on the High Seas: True Stories of Disaster and Survival (Vintage Departures)

“The wind was once blowing at typhoon strength-sixty-five knots and over-and expanding within the gusts to 80 knots. His boat used to be browsing on waves as excessive as a sixty-foot, six-storey development. . .Each wave that struck choked and iced over him, the icy water operating its manner down inside of his survival suit.” —from Close to the Wind through Pete Goss

In Near loss of life at the excessive Seas, Cecil Kuhne collects one of the most terrifying and astonishing reports of sailors confronting the amazing, uncooked strength of the ocean. those tales-filled with daily heroes and survivors-comprise a riveting and sometimes breathtaking choice of awesome tales that exhibit the bad ferocity of the untamable ocean.

Also featuring:

• Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki- the historical and celebrated trip of the Kon-Tiki because it trips around the Pacific.
• Steve Callahan's Adrift- a solo sailor loses his boat within the Atlantic needs to continue to exist in a five-foot lifestyles raft for seventy six days, struggling with off sharks with a makeshift spear.
• Francis Chischester's 'Gipsy Moth' Circles The World-the stirring tale of a one man's solo sail world wide at age 65.
• John Rousmaniere's Fastnet, strength 10-in one of many worst crusing tragedies in background, a big rescue operation occurs amidst sixty-knot winds and forty-foot breaker waves.

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One in all my newfound pals on Tenerife has repaired my self-steering apparatus, and the pilot chart offers that there's just a 2 percentage probability of encountering gales. The alternate winds could be regular. It’ll be a milk run. I make my method to the in moderation populated island of Hierro. Steep cliffs upward thrust from the Atlantic to the east, crowned by way of lush hills and eco-friendly valleys. The island slopes away to the west and ends with a moonscape of small volcanoes, rocky rubble, and scorching pink sand. I end stocking in a tiny man-made port at the western finish. at the ultimate day my throat is dry and gravelly. I slap my final pesetas down at the bar. In fumbling Spanish I inform the favourite bartender that the cash will do me no stable at sea. “Cerveza, por prefer! ” The beer is chilly. The bartender sits down beside me. “Where to? ” “Caribbean. paintings. not more pesetas. ” He nods, considering the size of the voyage. “Such a small boat. No problema? ” “Pequeño barco, pequeño problema. No immense challenge but, besides! ” We snigger and speak whereas I end my beer, bum a final cigarette, sling my provisions over my shoulder, and head for the jetty. one of many previous fishermen stops me. “You come from the US? ” he asks as he slits open a part of his trap, cleans it, and flops it onto a scale. a lady wearing black pokes the fish, chattering away to herself. “Yes, the USA. ” i'm wondering if her guy was once a fisherman misplaced at sea, like such a lot of others. “Ooh ho! ” he says. “In the sort of small boat? Tonto! ” idiot. “It’s now not so small, it’s my entire condo. ” The outdated guy gestures towards his decrease stomach with cupped fingers as though preserving massive organs. We snigger at his shaggy dog story as I shake my head no, open my eyes broad, and shiver as though apprehensive. the girl grabs him by way of the arm, evidently telling him the fish is overpriced, and starts off bargaining, an ageless customized as ritualized because the dominoes performed via the boys seated at a folding card desk at the stony seashore. The evening of January 29 is obvious, the sky peppered with vivid stars. Blocks squeak as I pull up the sails and waft out of the harbor. I thread my means throughout the offshore fishing fleet and element Solo towards the Caribbean. It feels sturdy to be at sea back. Nerves uncovered i'm experiencing a unprecedented time for a sailor, per week of peace. With uncharacteristic gentleness, the ocean and wind wrap my boat in a motherly caress that sends her skipping towards Antigua. i'm comforted by means of the ocean but am regularly awed by means of her. Like an previous pal she is usually frequent, but she is usually altering and whole of surprises. I recline at the afterdeck and consider the typical records of waves method, raise my send 3 or 4 ft as they roll lower than her, then ease her down lightly as they rush on, slipping into the horizon forward. The breeze rustles the pages of my novel whereas the sunlight browns my dermis and bleaches my hair. An age in the past oceanic greyhounds—great clipper ships, whalers, and quickly cutters jam-packed with slaves—plied this direction from the Canaries to the Caribbean. exchange winds crammed the cloudlike sails that hung from their towering spars: stuns’ls, tops’ls, royals, prepared.

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