I knwo this topic has been done a hundred times, but I like true adventure stories about ships, Has anyone ever read "Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea?"
I think it is more for men than women, not much romance, but what happens is an actual sea-going paddle-wheel steamer sinks in a small hurricane off the coast of South Carolina in 1851, and it is carrying enough California gold (picked up in Panama to be delivered to NYC) when it goes down the US economy has a 5-year recession.
The first part of the story is from back then, how they were taking water on so slowly they could almost bail fast enough to stay ahead of it, but not quite. Eventually, they knew they were going to sink so they started throwing everything heavy overboard, especially all those heavy gold bars, ingots, coins etc. They had (I recollect) about a TON in gold, and at the end people were dipping into the pockets and purses and just throwing all coins & jewelry overboard (gold is really heavy - duh).
The second half of the book is about the 1980s treasure seeker who tracked the story and plotted where he thought the ship sank. After years of looking he found it over 2 miles down, and had to get the government to change some laws so he could claim it, had to invent and build new robotic equipment to salvage it, and do all this is secret so no one else could jump on his claim.
Plus he had to get funding for all this without giving away details. What if your brother in law came to you and said "I know where there is almost 1 billion dollars under 2 miles a heavy current ocean water, and I need you to lend me 1 million to salvage it, and you can't tell anyone."
Anyway - he finally recovered it, and of course the banks & insurance companies who had paid out claims 15o years ago all sued him, but he prevailed, and Sotheby's auctioned most of it off. The take was so beautiful, 1850s gold coins in perfect condition (the seawater had not damaged the gold at all), plus hundreds of those standard gold bars (what do they weigh, 20 pounds?).
Turns out there are 120 reviews of this book on Amazon...
Here are the editorial reviews:
The facts speak for themselves. In 1857, the Central America, a sidewheel steamer ferrying passengers fresh from the gold rush of California to New York and laden with 21 tons of California gold, encountered a severe storm off the Carolina coast and sank, carrying more than 400 passengers and all her cargo down with her. She then sat for 132 years, 200 miles offshore and almost two miles below the ocean's surface--a depth at which she was assumed to be unrecoverable--until 1989, when a deep-water research vessel sailed into the harbor at Norfolk, Virginia, fat with salvaged gold coins and bullion estimated to be worth one billion dollars.
Author Gary Kinder wisely lets the story of the Columbus-America Discovery Group, led by maverick scientist and entrepreneur Tommy Thompson, unfold without hyperbole. Kinder interweaves the tale of the Central America and her passengers and crew with Thompson's own story of growing up landlocked in Ohio, an irrepressible tinkerer and explorer even in his childhood days, and his progress to adulthood as a young man who always had "7 to 14" projects on the table or spinning in his head at any given moment. One of those projects would become the preposterous recovery of the stricken steamer, and the resourcefulness and later urgency with which the project would proceed is contrasted poignantly with the Central America's doomed battle in 1857 to stay afloat.
Thompson, who spent nearly a decade planning and organizing his recovery effort, emerges as one of the great unsung adventurers of these times (the technical innovations alone required for such a task produced a windfall for the scientific community and defined a new state of the art for deep-sea explorers and treasure hunters), and the story of the steamer's sinking is compelling enough to make any reader wonder why the Central America sinking isn't synonymous with shipwreck in this Titanic-happy age.
From Publishers Weekly
Enormous publicity surrounded the 1989 recovery of an estimated billion dollars worth of gold?one of the greatest sunken treasures ever found?from the 1857 wreck of the SS Central America. Most of the publicity, however, came from media that, according to the author, "didn't have a clue what it was all about" and centered on the sensational aspects of the find off the Carolina coast. The story of the wreck itself, and the staggering effort it took to locate and recover the treasure, is the subject of Kinder's involving, fully realized history of the ship that amounts to a treasure in itself. He begins with a vivid account of the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in California, then seamlessly moves into discussions of everything from the ship's departure from San Francisco to nuclear submarine technology to the modern legal mechanics of securing offshore salvage projects. Along the way, Kinder (Victim) introduces the reader to a genuine American archetype?the eccentric Tommy Thompson. The inventor/scientist/adventurer, who led the decade-long "treasure hunt" (a term he despised) from start to finish, is constantly at the center of activity that involves not just finding a wreck 200 miles offshore but the juggling of investors, competitors, lawyers, scientists, a sea captain and an endless cast of cantankerous characters. The reader is thrilled by the thoroughness and intelligence of Thompson's planning and execution, as well as by Kinder's research and writing. This account of discovery, greed, technology and the elements makes for a splendid sea adventure.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I'm have been reading; An Embarrassment of Mangoes by AnnVanderhoof
It is a true account of their adventures on a 42 foot sailboat in the Caribbean. They visited 16 countries, lots of characters ,
and a collection 34 regional recipes.
Traditional West Indian Rum Punch:
1 part sour, 2 parts sweet, 3 parts strong, 4 parts weak, 5 drops of bitters & nutmeg.. served chilled with lots of ice..
Luperon Papaya Salsa:
large papaya, or mango diced, 2 Cups
1/2 cucumber peeled seeded & diced
1/2 small red onion slice ito rings
3 TBS chopped cilantro
red or green hot peppers, to taste
juice of 1 lime
3 TBS olive oil
Yummm I love the island foods.
Haven't read too many ship related books, but these two are really good.
"In the Heart of the Sea"- The tragedy of the whaleship Essex- by Nathaniel Philbrick.
and, "Blind Man's Bluff" -the untold story of American submarine espionage, by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew. Glad I didn't know what I learned in this book while my hubby Jake was on the Narwhal nuclear submarine during that time.
Paul, I related on a much earlier thread about seeing the Fantome just days before she broke up and sank. We were on Sun Princess; dh was taking a nap and I was strolling the decks about 5 p.m. I looked down and saw this fabulous 3 masted schooner and the passengers were on deck dancing to a mariachi band, with sombreros and they were having a fantastic time. I was so shocked and saddened to hear the story of how she broke up and they found very little, but they knew it was Fantome. This ship had quite a history and a captain with a lot of experience. Excellent read.
Yes - there is a story in the book about a kitten they had on board they fell overboard - they turned around and foundthe kitten swimming in the ocean hours later (true story) - the eye-witness in the book was none other than Anne Campbell's sister in law.
The book is an excellent tale of how they dropped off their passengers and decided open water was the best place to be, so they changed course and re-positioned three times, but so did Hurricane Mitch, taking an almost unprecedent southern turn into South America at the last minute where it caught the ship sitting leeward between and island and the mainland.
Chuck, "Skipping Christmas" was one of the funniest books I've ever read!
SeaTrekker, "An Embarassment of Mangoes" was also very enjoyable. I loved the Caribbean adventures, but it's also great for someone who loves to cook!
Along the same lines, I read a book once, I think it was called "Northern Spirit" by an Ottawa woman and her family who sailed all over world.
The adventures, the trials, the learning experiences, the growth of her 3 boys, it was an amazing true story. Look it up!