Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea

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Before The Perfect Storm, before In the Heart of the Sea, Steven Callahan's Adrift chronicled one of the most astounding voyages of the century and one of the great sea adventures of all time. In some ways the model for the new wave of adventure books, Adrift is now an undeniable seafaring classic, a riveting firsthand account by the only man known to have survived for more than a month alone at sea, fighting for his life in an inflatable raft ...

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Overview

Before The Perfect Storm, before In the Heart of the Sea, Steven Callahan's Adrift chronicled one of the most astounding voyages of the century and one of the great sea adventures of all time. In some ways the model for the new wave of adventure books, Adrift is now an undeniable seafaring classic, a riveting firsthand account by the only man known to have survived for more than a month alone at sea, fighting for his life in an inflatable raft after his small sloop capsized only six days from port.

Racked by hunger, buffeted by storms, scorched by the tropical sun, Callahan drifted for 1,800 miles, fighting off sharks with a makeshift spear and watching as nine ships passed him by. "A real human drama that delves deeply into man's survival instincts" (Library Journal), Adrift is a story of anguish and horror, of undying heroism, hope, and survival, and a must-read for any adventure lover.

"An utterly absorbing saga." - Newsweek

"Fascinating...a clearly written ocean yarn in which the stakes are high and a brave man wins through." - Wall Street Journal

He is the only man in history to have survived more than a month alone at sea in an inflatable raft. How he made it back alive is the subject of Steven Callahan's Adrift, one of the most riveting true-life adventures ever written. 15 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Callahan, a marine architect, lost his boat in a storm off the Canary Islands while engaged in a singlehanded race across the Atlantic in 1981. Luckily, he carried far more than the basic emergency equipment required, e.g., a six-person raft. Before sinking he was able to recover his emergency equipment bag and his life raft. Callahan admits to having read the survival accounts of Maurice and Maralyn Bailey ( Staying Alive , 1974) and Dougal Robertson ( Survive the Savage Sea , 1973) and even had the latter's manual Sea Survival (1975) with him in the raft. What makes his story different was his lack of a companion. Through his own ingenuity he learned how to spear fish, fix his solar still, and even repair his holed raft. This is a real human drama that delves deeply into a man's survival instincts. It should be read by anyone venturing offshore in a small boat. John Kenny, San Francisco P.L.
School Library Journal
YA Sailing Napoleon Solo in a single-handed Mini-Transat race from Spain to Antigua, Callahan was west of the Canary Islands when he realized that his sailboat was sinking. He managed to grab the life raft, a knife, his emergency duffel bag, a piece of mains'l, and a sleeping bag. These items became his home and sole possessions for 76 days. Loneliness, hunger, thirst, pain, and weakness dogged Callahan, yet his ingenuity and knowledge of the sea enabled him to survive. The illustrations and diagrams of life aboard Rubber Ducky III enable readers to visualize the hardshipsthe cramped living space of the raft, the hundreds of salt water sores that covered his body, the foreboding appearance of an approaching storm, or the primitive method used to collect fresh water. Harassed by sharks and dorados; at the mercy of storms; sore, cold, and miserable, Callahan shows fortitude and perseverance. An excellent book for all YAs, whether sailors or landlubbers. Pam Spencer, Mount Vernon High School Library, Fairfax, Va.
New York Time TimesBook Review
A tale of courage and determination in the face of almost insurmountable hardship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345340832
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/12/1987
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Lexile: 990L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

A naval architect, Steven Callahan has logged over 80,000 miles offshore over the last 40+ years and participated in most aspects of the marine industry. Author of Capsized, Adrift, and scores of articles, Callahan also continues to offer marine research, design, writing, and consultation services.

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