Storms and Sand: A Story of Shipwrecks and the Big Sable Point Coast Guard Station by Stephen Truman (2012-05-03) Hardcover – January 1, 2012
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
- Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
- Hardcover : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0985463694
- ISBN-13 : 978-0985463694
- Publisher : Pine Woods Press (January 1, 2012)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B01FIYHGCM
Best Sellers Rank:
#4,060,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #196,160 in United States History (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Living along the lake all year round means enduring wicked winters. We had 130+ inches of snow our last year in Pentwater; 93 inches our first year in Montague was considered a light winter. The blowing wind and surf is a continual background noise.
We tried going to the beach during a storm. The sand blew into our nostrils and mouth and down to the roots of our hair. Once was enough.
Reading Storms & Sand: The Story of Shipwrecks and the Big Sable Point Coast Guard Station by Stephen, Grace, and Joel Truman I remembered those few minutes we spent along a stormy coast and I pitied and admired the men who endured truly harsh storms.
Big Sable Point sits on a jut of land--actually sand dunes-- a two mile walk north of Ludington. Inland and behind is Hamlin Lake, a resort area. The lake was enlarged when lumber baron Charles Mears built a wood dam in 1856. His lumber mill stored the wood in the lake, which was then shunted downriver to Lake Michigan were it was loaded for shipping. When the dam broke, the life saving station men arrived to rebuild.
All along West Michigan the lumber barons cut down the old forest growth, the tall White Pines, and ships took the lumber south to build Chicago and north and through the lake to Buffalo. A hundred years ago the forests were pretty well lumbered out in the state.
But during the lumber boom the lake was teaming with ships. And with sand bars and bad weather, ice and snow, mechanical breakdowns, and captains trying for one more late season run, there was a desperate need for life saving stations along the Lake Michigan shore.
The Truman's book presents the history of the Big Sable life saving station and the men who served there with illustrative stories of their rescues. We follow the men's careers and get to know them.
Someone had to patrol the beaches day and night, in all weather. Someone had to look from the watch tower, peering into fog, rain or snow, looking for a light or flag signally distress. The men needed to bring boats to the water's edge when heavy ice and snow deeply buried the shore. In early days the men oared the boats out.
We read about distressed ships with men clinging to the mast rigging in brutal weather. For hours. In plain and subtle language, the stories reveal true heroes, men 'doing their duty' in dogged persistence, regardless of their own safety.
We learn how technology and improvements made the work quicker, but nothing could change the irresistible power of nature's fury.
The life saving stations were rolled into the Coast Guard. As ship technology changed there were fewer accidents and less need for the life saving stations and they were closed. Today the surviving stations and lighthouses have become tourist attractions, enjoyed for their scenic beauty. The Trumans have reminded us of the tragedies and triumphs of their forgotten history.
I received a free book from the author in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
Storms and Sand focuses on the history of one lighthouse and the hundreds of men who served there. The book is told chronologically, starting in 1867 when the government had it built in an attempt to make Big Sable Point safer for logging ships.
The book details the duties of the men: Daily beach patrols -- walking miles and miles of beach, no matter the weather, no matter the ship traffic. Rescues of crew aboard stranded ships in the middle of ice storms, suffering frostbite in the process. There were even occasions to find a dead body or two washed up on shore.
When the men weren’t attempting a rescue, they were cleaning, they were building and they were training. Always training. Boat drills, beach drills (rescue techniques when the conditions were too poor to use the boat), dragging heavy equipment to the surf and back, staying in shape so they could perform the physically exhausting duties of a rescue.
As the history moves along in time, we are told of the updates in equipment and rescue techniques, making the lives of the men just a little bit easier at the time. But still described as back-breaking and demanding.
Storms & Sand culminates with a surprise – the state purchased reversionary rights to the land from A.E. Cartier Sons & Company – only to find out the rights were worthless!
The narration is matter-of-fact. It could have used a bit more color for flow, but it is still fascinating to read what the men endured during their rescue missions on Big Sable Point. A thorough account of the living conditions, the training and the men who were in command there. The amount of research that went into this book is remarkable.
Who needs fiction when real life history is filled with dead bodies, sinking ships, frostbitten rescuers and a legal dispute with Cartier Sons and our very own government?