Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them

Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them

by John Silverwood, Jean Silverwood
3.9 19


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Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them by John Silverwood, Jean Silverwood

“I told God that if he would let us survive this night, I would make it mean something worthwhile. And then, somehow, I felt calmer than I have ever felt. Unreasonably so. Irrationally so. I looked over the scene of our wrecked life and I smiled–a crazy smile for sure–and I looked through the dark at the mad beauty of it.”
–Jean Silverwood

An exhilarating true-life adventure of one family’s extraordinary sea voyage of self-discovery and survival, tragedy and triumph

Successful businessman John Silverwood and his wife, Jean, both experienced sailors, decided the time was right to give their four children a taste of thrilling life on the high seas. And indeed their journey aboard the fifty-five-foot catamaran Emerald Jane would have many extraordinary and profound moments, whether it was the peaceful late-night watches John enjoyed under the stunning celestial sky or the elation shared by the whole family at the sight of blissful pods of dolphin and migrating tortoises. John and Jean had hoped to use the trip as a teaching opportunity, with the Emerald Jane as a floating classroom in which to instruct their children in important lessons–not only about the natural world but about the beauty of human life when stripped down to its essence, far from the trappings of civilization.

Yet rather than flourishing amid the new freedoms and responsibilities thrust upon them, the children were sometimes confused, frightened, resentful. The two oldest, fourteen-year-old Ben and twelve-year-old Amelia, missed their friends and the comfortable life left behind in San Diego, while the two youngest, Jack, seven, and Camille, three, picked up on the stressful currents running above and below the surface–for throughout the journey, the Silverwood family found its bonds tested as never before.

John and Jean, whose marriage had weathered its share of storms, would wonder again if they had taken on too much as the physical, emotional, and financial strains of caring for the expensive catamaran and their children brought old resentments to the surface.

John’s dream trip that began on Long Island Sound ended almost two years later as a nightmare in treacherous waters off a remote atoll in French Polynesia, where, in an explosion of awesome violence, the terrifying brunt of the ocean’s anger fell upon the Emerald Jane.

Gradually, in the crucible of the sea, a stronger, more closely knit unit was forged. The Silverwoods became a crew. Then they became a family again. But just as it seemed to them that they had mastered every challenge, their world was shattered in a split-second of unimaginable horror. Now their real challenge began, forcing them to fight for their very lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400066551
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/01/2008
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John and Jean Silverwood live with their family in California.

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Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
CDR_Stryker More than 1 year ago
As a career Navy officer and experienced sailor, I had heard anecdotally about this incident at sea but was thrilled to read the Silverwoods' story of peril, survival and redemption. I believe that everything we learn and experience in life ultimately prepares us for an incident like this and when it comes, we find out what we (and our family) are really made of. This is truly a Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature and Man vs. Himself account brought to life aboard a luxury catamaran on the high seas. Plan to spend an entire afternoon reading this book because once you start, you can't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For me, this book was very difficult to read. I got about 110 pages into the book before I stopped reading. Even with all the drama of their disaster at sea, the story was pretty boring. It took Jean, who wrote the first part, more than 40 pages to get to their actual time at sea. The family history that came before that was not really that interesting. Also, when Jean spoke about her kids, she never seemed able to describe them well enough to make them feel real. Jean's writing wasn't very good, but that's to be expected. One thing that she did that was most annoying was her extreme detail when describing her family or their history. The only situation in the book that caught my attention or felt real was when John started drinking again. It also made their children more 3D since Jean wasn't trying to describe them herself, she was just explaining how they reacted to the situation. Overall, if you love hearing about a mother's (and father's) view of their children, especially as they overcome obstacles, then you might like this book.
mrsboone4 More than 1 year ago
The parents John and Jean Silverwood who wrote the book, want to have their children experience life on a boat and all that nature has to offer. Their two older children are teenagers and caught up in the usual friends and material things that kids like. Their two younger children will experience the voyage and learn new things. The parents want to recapture the closeness with their two older children. Its quite an interesting story. Makes you wonder how your family would feel and deal with things that came up while they were sailing. They meet lots of new people, have inner struggles and ultimately become a stronger family. All four of the children want to take the same trip with their children, all on the water, except the oldest boy who wants to take a trip on land.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the reason that i like it is because its adventurous and i find this book uniqe
bigdogDC More than 1 year ago
awsome book
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avidreaderDD More than 1 year ago
This book is "unputdownable". I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has to be one of my favorites. Great read and recommended
Guest More than 1 year ago
I TRULY enjoyed BLACK WAVE. The authors captured the advertureous heart of a sailor versus the worry and concern of a wife and mother yet, it was the family bond that helped them to survive. A really enjoyable read!! J.K. Boston, MA
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a survival story. I read it cover to cover and could not put it down. Even though tragic, it was a great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Picks mostly catmint an eats it because it is so good. "Ohhh. Now I have a bellyaches