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The Other Side of the Ice: One Family's Treacherous Journey Negotiating the Northwest Passage Kindle Edition

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Length: 225 pages
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Editorial Reviews


BOOK LIST:Theobald writes movingly of bringing together his adult children to join him as they sail from RI, to Seattle. The trip takes them  into history as they revisit the last known locations of the doomed Franklin Expedition of 1845...  revealing just how tenuous relationships can be in what is undeniably a thrilling voyage.THE ALPHA WIFE:Sprague is a talented writer and draws the reader in from the first page - and almost immediately, it's clear that this story is about more than the ocean.  Sprague paints a vivid and honest picture of his relationship with his kids. Sprague talks just enough about the boat to educate the reader and set the stage for the story. --Book List

From the Author

Attempting to transit The Northwest Passage, in my view, is one of the last true maritime adventures to be found.  Man has been trying to find this Nautical Grail since the 1600s and in that time hundreds of lives have been lost in the attempt.  Sir John Franklin's attempt in 1845 ended in tragedy of untold proportions in that both his 100' ships and 120 men basically vanished without a trace.  To this day neither he nor his ships have been found. As a documentarian and sailor with over 40,000 off-shore miles the challenge of such a transit had haunted me for most of my life.

In the summer/fall of 2009, aboard my 57' Nordhavn trawler Bagan, my family and I set out from Newport, RI to attempt this remarkable challenge; to try and do something that approximately only 24 other personal craft have ever accomplished. For five months and 8,500 miles we had to deal with all that Mother Nature threw at us, many times not knowing if we were going to add to that long list of dead who have tried to find this passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

As the book will tell, this was a trip that physically and emotionally changed us all.  Writing The Other Side of The Ice was a very difficult journey back into a mind set and experience that was, at times, very dark and terrifying for me.  So much was the power and desolation of the Arctic that I found it took almost two years to be able to approach my personal journals again.

The Other Side of The ice  as well as my first book, The Reach, reflect my deep, powerful love and respect for Mother Ocean and all of her visible and invisible denizens, benign and deadly.  Both books try to express the thinking that we are simply visitors in her realm and at that, can be snuffed out in the slightest of her breaths.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4306 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1616086238
  • Publisher: Antenna Books (July 27, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 27, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008QD8OTC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,563 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By tweety bird on August 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's the summer of 2009. Sprague Theobald, a filmmaker and expert sailor, decides it's time to do something interesting with his life. Hmmm...What to do? What to do? O, why not take an 8,500-mile danger-filled trek across the Northwest Passage in a 57-foot boat? This happens to be one of the most treacherous trips a sailor can take, one that few have had the audacity to take, much less survive. I think knowing this alone would make the decision for me. Stay home. Watch the Discovery Channel. Not so for Sprague.

Why would anyone want to go out on a limb financially to take a trip on frigid, hostile, faraway seas? Were there no warning bells? Does this man have no fear?

From the minute I opened The Other Side of the Ice, I couldn't put it down. Sometimes it reads like a captain's log, but this captain is awake to many levels of experience. He offers a rich chronicle of life on the edge, physical, emotional and spiritual. It's not enough that he runs out of money before casting off, but he and his crew of estranged family members are dogged by white-knuckle storms, hidden icebergs, broken satellite connections, fog, hungry polar bears, underwater rocks, freezing water, ice floes and faulty equipment. Against the backdrop of profound arctic beauty, interspersed with fond reminiscences of the past, forging through impassable frozen bays, the crew deals with physical ailments, being lost, exhausted, discouraged, sibling tension and self-doubt and exceeds the limits of each other's patience.

This is truly a unique, self-effacing, compelling memoir of transcendence through a life lived fully. I've ordered the movie!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robert Smith on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I went to high school with the author-but didn't know him well at that time. This book is an incredible story of braving a crossing of the Northwest Passage in a 57 foot boat-with all of the challenges of equipment failure, bad weather, and being stalked by polar bears. In addition, the author describes the challenge of reconnecting with his estranged children (who were his crew) during the journey, all while under harrowing conditions. I really enjoyed reading it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. on June 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Since I was a child in Canada, I have been fascinated by the stories of the arctic an Antarctic. This was a real adventure to me, and I actually got up at 3am after going to bed at 12:30 to finish it. It was exceptionally well written and I don't recall any typos or grammar errors as I have seen in other books of this length. It is both a story of family and mystery tale that keeps you wondering what the heck will happen next. Highly recommended for any one with kids or just a desire to explore the impossible!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Do Art on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
You won't be disappointed with this thriller and page turner ! It's a real life adventure filled with the challenge of negotiating not only the Northwest Passage but family and crew members as well. The exciting combination of the two makes you want to finish it without stopping. Kudo's to Sprague Theobald for this well written adventure! I felt as if I was on the journey without all the challenges, hardships and obstacles they faced. This story would make a terrific movie and I know someone will pick up on it! I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did !
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jsk on March 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Though I admire the author for his vast accomplishments, maritime knowledge and nautical skills - like saltwater, I couldn't swallow this book. The constant bickering, the soul searching, the what ifs, the doom and gloom, etc. True adventure memoirs are my genre, but in my opinion, this book fell flat. Yes, the author accomplished his mission against all odds, but not without miles of and miles of ceaseless whining, not to mention a general lack of common sense and foolhardiness throughout. I just found the whole experience annoying.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Trisha Victor on September 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Wonderfully written as I almost felt I was part of the crew at times. A true show of how strong and complicated the bonds of family can be. Thanks for taking the readers along on your journey.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Petra on August 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book, even though I normally don't read about exploration, or boating. The writer did a good job conveying the setting, its beauty and its terrors, and an interesting job, too, of portraying the personalities on board.

The writer did his job, but I'm afraid the editor did a poor one. That said, the book is well worth reading, and I hope a second printing (more professionally edited) is in the wings.

Once it is properly edited, the book will certainly deserve an extra star or two.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lake Voyager on October 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Hi Susie, I loved the detailed documentation on each section of the expedition! The author explained the weather conditions, gale storms, icebergs, massive waves, navigating around fields of ice, artic water freezing around his vessel and trapping his trawler and crew! He documents the towns at his anchorages, experiences and interactions with the small desolate towns and their people and speaks of their culture. If I recall even a mayor's welcome. The books offers a navigation map of his course and wonderful photos. He adds accounts of mechanical and electronic problems encountered beyond the reach of any help. The book adds inserts of maritime history of the Franklin Expedition and pioneers that followed in search of the missing crew as he crossed through those locations adding gravity to his quest as he makes history! He adds encounters of polar bears, whales and the surprise of walruses, underwater dives that sound horrifying as his crew enter the frigid artic ocean to inspect the hull and prop of his vessel searching for telltale signs of demise - chilling! The ending contained a personal summary from each crew member that completed the trip - a nice closing touch. I can understand the feeling of wanting more and more information. This book has lead me on to research the Franklin Expedition and some of the towns and follow his blog. There is so much detail that does keep me wanting more.
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