In 1968, nine sailors set off on the most daring race ever held: to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe nonstop. It was a feat that had never been accomplished and one that would forever change the face of sailing. Ten months later, only one of the nine men would cross the finish line and earn fame, wealth, and glory. For the others, the reward was madness, failure, and death. In this extraordinary book, Peter Nichols chronicles a contest of the individual against the sea, waged at a time before cell phones, satellite dishes, and electronic positioning systems. A Voyage for Madmen is a tale of sailors driven by their own dreams and demons, of horrific storms in the Southern Ocean, and of those riveting moments when a split-second decision means the difference between life and death.
It lay like a gauntlet thrown down; to sail around the world alone and non-stop. No one had ever done it, no one knew if it could be done. In 1968, nine men - six Englishmen, two Frenchmen and an Italian - set out to try, a race born of coincidence of their timing. One didn't even know how to sail. They had more in common with Captain Cook or Ferdinand Magellan than with the high-tech, extreme sailors of today, a mere forty years later. It was not the sea or the weather that determined the nature of their voyages but the men they were, and they were as different from one another as Scott from Amundsen. Only one of the nine crossed the finishing line after ten months at sea. The rest encountered despair, sublimity, madness and even death.
Why do some people risk their lives regularly by placing themselves in extreme and challenging situations? For some, such as astronauts, the extreme environments are part of the job. For others, they involve the thrill and competition of extreme sports, or the achievement of goals such as being the first to reach the South Pole or climb Everest. Whether for sport or employment, all these people have made the personal choice to put themselves in environments in which there is significant risk. What drives such people? And what skills and personality traits enable the best to succeed? What abilities are shared by the successful mountaineer, astronaut, caver, or long-distance solo sailer? And are there lessons the rest of us can learn from them? The psychology of those who have to cope with extreme conditions has been a matter of much research. It is important, for example to those planning manned space programmes or the makeup of teams who will spend months in an isolated or hostile environment such as Antarctica, to understand the psychological pressures involved, and to recognize those best equipped to handle them. In Extreme, Emma Barrett and Paul Martin explore the challenges that people in extreme environments face, including pain, physical hardship, loneliness, and friction between individuals, and the approaches taken to overcome them. Using many fascinating examples and personal accounts, they argue that we can all benefit from the insights gained.
The story of a remarkable girl who followed her dream and conquered the world. On 15 May 2010, after 210 days at sea and 24,285 nautical miles, 16-year-old Jessica Watson sailed her yacht, Ella's Pink Lady, triumphantly back into Sydney Harbour. She had become the youngest person to sail solo, unassisted and non-stop around the world. Told in Jessica's own words, this fully updated edition of True Spirit shares with the reader her childhood, her inspiration, her years of planning and what has happened since she conquered the Everest of sailing. It is an inspiring story, one that ultimately proves that we all have the power to live our dreams – no matter how small or big they are.
Author: Peter Nichols
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Release Date: 2009
In 1871, an entire fleet of whaling ships was caught in an Arctic ice storm and destroyed. Though few lives were lost, the damage would forever shape one of America's most distinctive commodities: oil.
Author: John Kretschmer
Publisher: McGraw Hill Professional
Release Date: 2009-12-18
Genre: Sports & Recreation
“The tale of Carl Wake and the hurricane that was waiting for him goes straight to the heart of the greatest sea stories: they are not about man against the sea, but man against himself. John Kretschmer’s book is as perfectly shaped and flawlessly written as such a story can be. In addition to being the best depiction I have ever read of what it is like to be inside a hurricane at sea, At the Mercy of the Sea is as moving a story of a man’s failure and redemption as can be found anywhere in the literature of the sea. This book is surely destined to become a classic.”—Peter Nichols, author of Sea Change and A Voyage for Madmen “John Kretschmer has transformed this story of three men on a collision course with a hurricane into a modern seafaring classic.”—Peter Nielsen, editor of SAIL magazine “With expert analysis and taut writing, he draws readers into that mad storm. You can’t turn away. You keep reading until it breaks your heart.”—Fred Grimm, columnist for the Miami Herald “Once begun, his vivid and powerful narrative is impossible to put down.”—Derek Lundy, author of Godforsaken Sea and The Way of a Ship “I felt I knew Carl Wake, because John Kretschmer found in him an archetype—an aging sailor with an age-old dream.”—Jim Carrier, transatlantic sailor and author of The Ship and the Storm: Hurricane Mitch and the Loss of the Fantome “A remarkable book, impossible to put down.”—Herb McCormick, sailing journalist
Author: Joseph Pitton de Tournefort
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2014-05-22
Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708) was originally destined for the church, but his interest in botany led him to become professor of botany at the Jardin des plantes in Paris, and to travel all over Europe and beyond in search of interesting specimens. He was chiefly interested in the classification of plants, but is now best remembered for the accounts he wrote of voyages undertaken for the purpose of scientific discovery. This illustrated two-volume work, published posthumously in French in 1717 and translated into English the following year, recounts a journey begun in 1700, around the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, visiting Crete and other Greek islands, Istanbul, Armenia and Georgia. Tournefort notes not only plants, but geographical features, antiquities, the people he encounters, and their way of life, agriculture and industry. Volume 1 begins with a biography of Tournefort, and ends with an account of Constantinople.
Author: Jacques Arago
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2013-06-27
Founded in 1666, the French Académie des Sciences was a prominent and prestigious organisation behind numerous scientific advances in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1817, commissioned by the Académie, Louis de Freycinet (1779-1841) embarked on a three-year expedition with the main purpose of investigating terrestrial magnetism and taking a series of pendulum measurements. In the course of this voyage around the world, the scientists aboard the Uranie also collected an abundance of samples and made significant observations in the fields of geography, ethnology, astronomy, hydrography and meteorology. The progress of this journey was detailed by Jacques Arago (1790-1855), draughtsman on the expedition, in the form of letters to a friend. This illustrated narrative is prefaced by a report to the Académie which summarises the mission's findings. Translated into English and published in 1823, this work is an informative and often witty account, reflecting contemporary ambitions in science and exploration.
Author: Paul Clancy
Publisher: Koehler Books
Release Date: 2011-10
Clancy weaves three great sea adventures into a single mesmerizing tale of life and death. Naval heroism, the cold heart of battle, a killing storm, deep-water salvage, flesh-and-blood historyN"Ironclad" has it all.