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Tall Ships Down : The Last Voyages of the Pamir, Albatross, Marques, Pride of Baltimore, and Maria Asumpta Hardcover – October 18, 2002
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There is something endlessly fascinating about shipwrecks, as this book so admirably demonstrates. Parrott writes with ease and authority, carefully blending both historical and technical data. - Baltimore Sun; Gripping reading. Not much detective fiction holds a reader's attention so well. A must-read for anyone with any interest in large sailing ships in general, and square-riggers in particular. - WoodenBoat; If you might like to read a closely reasoned seaman's appraisal of not one, but several maritime disasters, you will be richly rewarded by Tall Ships Down. - SAIL --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
Five stories of tragic loss for anyone who loves--or fears--the sea
"If you are at all interested in the literature of the sea, you will find here an extraordinary investigation of some of sailing's most tragic accidents, with many sobering lessons. If you are a professional sailor, or aspire to be, Tall Ships Down is required reading. Period." --Captain G. Andy Chase, Maine Maritime Academy, author of Auxiliary Sail Vessel Operations
"An impassioned sailor and scholar unafraid of the hard questions, Dan Parrott focuses his seaman's eye on the challenges and risks of voyaging under sail aboard traditional vessels and brings meaning, understanding, and even hope from these tragic losses. Every sailor, professional or amateur, will learn much from these stories." --Jon Wilson, editor in chief, WoodenBoat
"Captain Parrot examines five of the most infamous tragedies in modern tall-ship history. Weather, stability, crew actions, blame -- the debates and questions may now cease. Parrott's case histories are the ultimate reference work." --Jim Carrier, author of The Ship and the Storm
Technologically outmoded and once nearly swept from the seas, tall ships have experienced a fifty-year renaissance as sail training and passenger vessels, and we are the richer for it. After all, what sight has more power to stir the soul than a tall ship under sail with its acres of canvas and miles of rigging? But that resurgence has had a tragic side, and professional mariner and maritime scholar Dan Parrott explores it in Tall Ships Down, a groundbreaking reconstruction of the losses of the 316-foot barque Pamir in 1957; the 117-foot brigantine Albatross in 1961; the 117-foot barque Marques in 1984; the 137-foot Pride of Baltimore in 1986; and the 125-foot brig Maria Asumpta in 1995. Together, these disasters claimed 112 lives.
The heartbreaking stories of these majestic ships have been subject to mystery and distortion. In some instances even the survivors could not explain what went wrong, and in others the official inquiries failed to articulate the most critical lessons hidden in the sudden, terrible catastrophes--until now.
Parrott traces the history of each ship from its building and early career through subsequent owners' modifications. His vivid re-creations of each final voyage dissect the circumstances of loss from forensic evidence, expert testimony, survivors' memories, and his own considerable experience. Carefully examined, the evidence shows that, contrary to some official findings, ignorance of and disregard for age-old practices of seamanship were at least as responsible for the tragedies as "acts of God." In some instances the seeds of a ship's ultimate undoing were planted years before, as ill-considered structural changes, rig modifications, and "mission creep" eroded its stability and seaworthiness. Cargo loose in holds, hatches unsecured at sea, freeing ports timbered shut, failure to preserve proper sea room--these and other factors emerge from Parrott's analysis as contributing factors.
Rich with history, lore, and survivors' incredible firsthand accounts, Tall Ships Down is more than a great read. It's an unforgettable seminar grounded in the sea's most fundamental truth--that small and seemingly insignificant lapses can have fatal consequences.
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Top customer reviews
It's well worth the read and is very well detailed.