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Gales of November: The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald Paperback – March 24, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
The Great lakes are famous for their storms and gales, but in early November, 1975, a storm of immense strength bore down on Lake Superior and unleased its vengance on the ships that dared sail on the lake. The storm was born in the southwestern United States, and as it moved slowly northward, it gathered tremendous amounts of moisture. Its warm winds, when coupled with the north's cooler air, made a cauldron of swirling winds, sleet, and snow. The winds whipped as much as one hundred miles per hour and made waves as high as thirty feet.
While this storm was intensifying, the "Fitz" set out on its trip across Superior. Another ship, the Arthur Anderson, was travelling in the same direction as the Fitzgerald and they kept in contact by radio. Soon, the rolling seas were slamming into the Fitz, and she began to take on water. Some water managed to leak in around the hatch covers, but, without radar to assist them, the Fitz was forced to rely upon charts from the U.S. and Canada to map a course across Superior. Unfortunately, the charts weren't completely accurate, and the Fitz's course sent her directly over a submurged shoal, which punched holes in the hull, allowing more water to enter the ship.Read more ›
The covering of the history of the Fitz, and that of her crew is well done, and the descriptions of the character bring them to life.
There are also interviews with surviving family members and those who came across the Fitz both before and during the final trip.
Hemming goes with what appears to be the main theory regarding the boat's sinking, that she took on more and more water and dove into a huge wave, unable to recover.
One of the problems I do have is the creative license Hemming takes in trying to recreate what happened on the Fitz, especially as the vessel sank. He did this as well in "Ships Gone Missing," but here I'm not sure if it was such a good idea.
To have people doing and saying certain things is impossible to know that they did anything like that. I can see where Hemming tried to place the men where he thought they'd be, but it's hard to say.
Some of it was a bit melodramatic, but for the most part this is a good book with many facts on the boat and what may have happened.
Frederick Stonehouse as also written a very good book on the Fitz, including testimony and reports from the Coast Guard and the Lake Carriers Association.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Filled with too much purple prose such as this to describe the storm: "like a gigantic but invisible beast with its jugular cut. Read morePublished 7 months ago by jude
I received this book in record time and am extremely satisfied with it. Thank you.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent read even for those who have read other books on this topic. Gives more personal accounts of the people.Published 12 months ago by Dwight Berryman
This book was very informative and told a good story.You get to know the personal stories and biographies of the doomed crew. Read morePublished on September 1, 2013 by jay dawg
This book was a gift to someone who has never just picked up a book to read (unless its a mechanical mannual)
When he received this one and two others----He could not put it... Read more
I enjoyed this one. It seemed to be well researched. Mr. Hemming did a fine job of blending fact and fiction.Published on May 28, 2013 by theunmobilestudio@yahoo
Another great read as it relates to the treacherous waters on the Great Lakes of Michigan during the month of November. Read morePublished on January 3, 2013 by terry smith
I liked this book, although there was a bit of conjecture about it. For instance, his details of the last few hours of the crew was a fabrication. Read morePublished on June 2, 2012 by Kevin M Quigg