The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

Sebastian Junger

Language: English

Pages: 248

ISBN: 0393337014

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

There is nothing imaginary about Junger's book; it is all terrifyingly, awesomely real.--Los Angeles Times

It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high—a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it "the perfect storm." In a book that has become a classic, Sebastian Junger explores the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched. ?The Perfect Storm? is a real-life thriller that makes us feel like we've been caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control. 8 pages of illustrations

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a closely-packed school of cod. Without warning the sky turned black and the snow began to drive down almost horizontally. One fisherman described what ensued: My shipmates showed no sign of fear; they were now all on deck and the skipper was keeping a sharp lookout. Somewhere about nine o’clock, the skipper sang out, ‘There’s a vessel adrift right ahead of us! Stand by with your hatchet, but don’t cut until you hear the word!’ All eyes were bent now on the drifting craft. On she came, directly

follow their prey back up to the surface. Their young hatch with scales and teeth, but no sword, and have been described as “wistful-looking.” Although all manner of fish feed on larval swordfish, only mako, sperm whale, and killer whale attack them when they’re fully grown. Mature swordfish are considered to be one of the most dangerous game fish in the world and have been known to fight non-stop for three or four hours. They have sunk small boats in their struggles. Sport fishermen need live

packed in cardboard boxes and stacked on wooden shelves: Starter motor, cooling pump, alternator, hydraulic hoses and fittings, v-belts, jumper wires, fuses, hose clamps, gasket material, nuts and bolts, sheet metal, silicone rubber, plywood, screw gun, duct tape, lube oil, hydraulic oil, transmission oil, and fuel filters. Boats try at all costs to avoid going into Newfoundland for repairs. Not only does it waste valuable time, but it costs obscene amounts of money—one infamous repair bill

that Coast Guard inspectors hear a lot. One of the videos on file with the Portland Coast Guard —shown as often as possible to local fishermen—was shot from the wheelhouse of a commercial boat during a really bad blow. It shows the bow rising and falling, rising and falling over mammoth, white-streaked seas. At one point the captain says, a little smugly, “Yep, this is where you wanna be, right in your wheelhouse, your own little domain—.” At that moment a wall of water the size of a house fills

input from a thousand or so other ground sites around the country, is fed into huge Cray computers at the National Meteorological Center in Camp Springs, Maryland. The computers run numerical models of the atmosphere and then spit forecasts back out to regional offices, where they are amended by local meteorologists. Humans still “add value” to a forecast, as meteorologists say. There is an intuitive element to forecasting that even the most powerful computers cannot duplicate. Since early the

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