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Overboard!: A True Blue-water Odyssey of Disaster and Survival Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 16, 2010
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Tougias, who with Ten Hours until Dawn (2005) rivaled Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm, 1997) in the telling of harrowing experiences at sea, returns with the tale of the yachts Almeisan and At Ease. Caught in a vast storm off the East Coast in spring 2005, the two experienced sailors aboard Almeisan were washed overboard. The captain died, but his first mate survived, thanks to a Filipino merchant ship, and the Almeisan’s three working passengers fast-learned enough seamanship to last until the Coast Guard arrived. The crew of At Ease all survived, but their ordeal was only slightly less harrowing, and the descriptions of it are quite as vivid. Tougias has a knack for getting those who go down to the sea in ships (or, sometimes, nearly under it in yachts) to talk to him and for weaving thoroughly absorbing sea stories out of what they disclose to him. Maritime history and adventure fans need this one. QY: add hyphen to Blue-water in bib data title? Per S&S Web site --Roland Green
"A heart-pounding account of the storm that tore apart a 45-foot sailboat." -The Boston Globe
"Michael Tougias has done it again, this time delivering an edge-of-your-seat chronicle of what happens when a sailboat goes up against a fierce storm in the heart of the Gulf Stream." -The Providence Journal
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I am a pretty sophisticated reader of non-fiction and I had only medium hopes for this book but it has far surpassed them. I will say that if you know nothing about the ocean or sailing and have zero understanding of the technical terms, you *might* be less enthralled than other readers, but even then, a graphic description of someone bobbling alone in the ocean being smashed by 40 foot seas is probably going to be get your attention. :)
I at first questioned the author's technique of describing the action in the present tense and I wondered if it would annoy me, but then I realized he has to jump back and forth in time so frequently he wants to you be able to distinguish between what is happening * right now* and what happened before. It actually works pretty well and keeps the action occurring at different times and places from getting confusing.
My 16 year old son's life goal is become a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Naturally this book terrifies me, but he is going to love it. :)
This is the first book by Michael J. Tougias that I have read. He style of writing is very lean. He does not get in the way of his story; he just tells the story in the least number of words with which it can be completely told. I appreciate a writer doesn't try to wow you with his writing.
I must give kudos and give the Coast Guard, merchant ships and others their due for being heroes, also.
This book is well-written and a page-turning story that never lets up. The reader becomes mesmerized with what happened. ( no spoilers) I felt while reading it, that I was actually watching these events transpire before my eyes.
I could "see" the waves, feel the fear, see the storm for myself. Very descriptive writing. I was frightened for these people. I wanted to keep reading to find out what they did next, or what the storm did to them as the minutes and hours ticked by.
A great read !