Daring The Sea: The True Story of the First Men to Row Across the Atlantic Ocean

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9781559724609: Daring The Sea: The True Story of the First Men to Row Across the Atlantic Ocean

Book by Shaw

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From Publishers Weekly:

Norwegian immigrants George Harbo and Frank Samuelson found that life in America toward the end of the 19th century did not lead to riches; rather they learned that it was a struggle to survive as fishermen and clam diggers off the New Jersey coast. Thus in 1896 they determined to utilize their experience and skills as seamen to row across the Atlantic. They secured the lukewarm backing of Richard Fox, editor of the Police Gazette, who was always on the lookout for unusual stories, and set out from New York Harbor on June 6, bound for Le Havre, France. This account of their voyage, based in part on Harbo's journal, is a stirring adventure story, as the pair in their 18-foot-long craft narrowly escaped being hit by other ships, threaded their way through a school of whales, missed an iceberg and encountered severe storms with mountainous waves, one of which capsized them and dumped part of their meager food supply. Finally, after 55 days they arrived at Britain's Scilly Islands. Although they received considerable publicity, the public saw their achievement as a stunt. Returning to America they picked up their lives, married, had children and enjoyed some prosperity working on the sea. Harbo died in 1908, Samuelson in 1911. Readers who enjoy tales of humans pitted against the elements will find this work by freelancer Shaw thrilling. Photos not seen by PW.

Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Shaw, a writer for Cruising World, Sail, and Offshore Magazine, has reconstructed the voyage of two Norwegian immigrants who rowed across the Atlantic in 1896. George Harbo, a surfboat fisherman, and Frank Samuelsen, a merchant seaman in the age of sail, met while fishing off the Jersey coast and became clamming partners. Each day they would row out several miles to rake clams to sell at market. One day they decided that if they could row all the way to France, they would set a new world record and become famous, and people would pay to hear them lecture. They had a local builder construct an 18' double-ended boat patterned after a Jersey surfboat with two watertight compartments and special rails on the bottom of the hull so that they could right the boat if it were capsized. Working from the log book as well as a journal dictated by Harbo, Shaw reconstructs the 55-day voyage and the many storms the pair endured. This amazing story is a good purchase for public and maritime libraries.AJohn Kenny, San Francisco, P.L.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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