Taking the Sea: Perilous Waters, Sunken Ships, and the True Story of the Legendary Wrecker Captains

Taking the Sea: Perilous Waters, Sunken Ships, and the True Story of the Legendary Wrecker Captains

5.0 3
by Dennis M. Powers
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814413536

ISBN-13: 9780814413531

Pub. Date: 01/14/2009

Publisher: AMACOM Books

By the mid-19th century, an intrepid, reckless group of men ruled the ocean. Known as “wreckers,” they earned their living by rescuing and raising sunken ships, even in the face of monstrous waves and fierce weather. To some, they were heroes, helping to rescue both passengers and ships with courage and skill. To others they were ruthless pirates, who

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Overview

By the mid-19th century, an intrepid, reckless group of men ruled the ocean. Known as “wreckers,” they earned their living by rescuing and raising sunken ships, even in the face of monstrous waves and fierce weather. To some, they were heroes, helping to rescue both passengers and ships with courage and skill. To others they were ruthless pirates, who exploited these shipwrecks purely for their treasure.

In Taking the Sea, Dennis M. Powers uncovers a fascinating, yet largely unknown, period in our history. Here he traces the journey of these legendary men through the story of Captain Thomas P. H. Whitelaw, the most important ship salvager of his day. From their early beginnings when needy villagers followed stricken ships in the hopes of improving their lives a little to their heyday in the early twentieth century when steamships and schooners ruled the country’s transportation byways. Powers offers a compelling portrait of the wrecker captains and the dangerous lives they and their men led.

From the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and the Bering Sea, we travel along with these men as they faced the savage seas to save foundering ships and frightened passengers. Beautifully written and vividly told, this is a magnificent look at the untold history of the fearless and at times mercenary men who made their living from the sea.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814413531
Publisher:
AMACOM Books
Publication date:
01/14/2009
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Preface IX

Acknowledgments XIII

1

Early Years 1

2

The Wrecker Chronicles 15

3

San Francisco Bay Times 35

4

The Tragedy of Merritt’s Circassian 51

5

Dynamite Johnny and the Umatilla 75

6

Midwest and Coastal Operations 97

7

Success, Sealing, and the Arctic 121

8

Failures Follow Accomplishment 147

9

Wrecks—and a Ghost Ship 163

10

No Rewards Without Risk 181

11

Used Parts, Scrap, and a New Bow 201

12

The Decade of the Great War 221

13

The Roaring Twenties 247

14

The Change of Eras 269

Selected Bibliography 285

Index 297

About the Author 305

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Taking the Sea: Perilous Waters, Sunken Ships, and the True Story of the Legendary Wrecker Captains 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
HRD More than 1 year ago
Taking the Sea is an exciting array of stories and historic events with a common theme of maritime adventure during an era that demanded ingenuity, perseverance, and sometimes just pure grit to survive another day. Dennis Powers captures the flavor of the times and the character of the individuals that transformed ocean commerce for a developing nation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago