Derek Lundy

Godforsaken Sea

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“The best book ever written about the terrifying business of single-handed sailing . . . as tight and gripping as The Perfect Storm or Into Thin Air.” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Godforsaken Sea is the hair-raising account of the world’s most demanding, dangerous, and deadly sailing race—following the field of the 1996–1997 Vendée Globe through a grueling four-month circumnavigation of the earth, most of it through the terror of the Southern Ocean.
Among the sixteen sailors are the gallant Brit who spends days beating back against the worst seas to save a fellow sailor; the Frenchman who bothers to salvage only a bottle of champagne from his broken and sinking boat; the sailor who comes to love the albatross that trails her for months, naming it Bernard; the sailor who calmly smokes a cigarette as his boat capsizes; and the Canadian who, hours before he disappears forever, dispatches this message: If you drag things out too long here, you’re sure to come to grief.
Bringing to life hurricane-force winds, six-story waves, icebergs, and deafening noise—and blending maritime history, ocean science, and literary allusions—this true story lays bare the spirit of the men and women who push themselves to the outer limits of human endeavor—even if it means never returning home.
“Explores how and why humans feel drawn to the extreme risks and almost inevitable disasters that single-handedly sailing the Southern Ocean entails. . . . Mr. Lundy not only makes stirring narrative drama but also draws the lineaments of an archetypal hero, a human driven by fear, addicted to adrenaline, in need of the edge.” —The New York Times
Godforsaken Sea is one of the best books ever written about sailing. . . . Lundy’s knowledge of sea lore and history is rich, his pace perfect, his intelligence full of energy. He differentiates each sailor with a novelist’s touch.” —Time
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370 printed pages
Original publication
2012

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