"The wind was blowing at hurricane strength-sixty-five knots and over-and increasing in the gusts to eighty knots. His boat was surfing on waves as high as a sixty-foot, six-storey building. . .Each wave that struck choked and froze him, the icy water working its way down inside his survival suit." --from Close to the Wind by Pete Goss
In Near Death on the High Seas, Cecil Kuhne collects some of the most terrifying and astounding experiences of sailors confronting the awesome, raw power of the sea. These tales-filled with everyday heroes and survivors-comprise a riveting and often breathtaking collection of extraordinary stories that show the terrible ferocity of the untamable ocean.
- Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki- the historic and celebrated journey of the Kon-Tiki as it journeys across the Pacific.
- Steve Callahan's Adrift- a solo sailor loses his boat in the Atlantic must survive in a five-foot life raft for 76 days, fighting off sharks with a makeshift spear.
- Francis Chischester's 'Gipsy Moth' Circles The World-the stirring story of a one man's solo sail around the globe at age 65.
- John Rousmaniere's Fastnet, Force 10-in one of the worst sailing tragedies in history, a massive rescue operation takes place amidst sixty-knot winds and forty-foot breaker waves.
Kuhne (On the Edge: Adventurous Escapades from Around the World) edits this first entry in Vintage's four-volume adventure series of anthologies. All 12 of these stories have previously been published in their own right, e.g., Thor Heyerdahl's "Kon-Tiki," Rob Mundle's "Fatal Storm," and Pete Goss's "Close to the Wind." One particularly captivating entry, Steven Callahan's "Adrift," ends abruptly with the author floating in a life raft amid an Atlantic storm, watching his ship capsize and disappear (amazingly, Callahan survived another 76 days at sea, though you won't read about them here). The anthology is rife with stories recounting ferocious and devastating storms, devastating especially for those boats sailing into the Southern Ocean. For readers unfamiliar with sailing vocabulary, the unceasing jargon might be off-putting and diminish the stories' dramatic nature. William F. Buckley Jr. writes in the foreword that "boys will be boys," and this collection seems to embody that sentiment, with no stories written by or about women. Optional for adventure and sailing collections.-Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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March 10, 2008
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