At the Mercy of the Sea: The True Story of Three Sailors in a Caribbean Hurricane

At the Mercy of the Sea: The True Story of Three Sailors in a Caribbean Hurricane


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“The tale of Carl Wake and the hurricane that was waiting for him goes straight to the heart of the greatest sea stories: they are not about man against the sea, but man against himself. John Kretschmer’s book is as perfectly shaped and flawlessly written as such a story can be. In addition to being the best depiction I have ever read of what it is like to be inside a hurricane at sea, At the Mercy of the Sea is as moving a story of a man’s failure and redemption as can be found anywhere in the literature of the sea. This book is surely destined to become a classic.”—Peter Nichols, author of Sea Change and A Voyage for Madmen

“John Kretschmer has transformed this story of three men on a collision course with a hurricane into a modern seafaring classic.”—Peter Nielsen, editor of SAIL magazine

“With expert analysis and taut writing, he draws readers into that mad storm. You can’t turn away. You keep reading until it breaks your heart.”—Fred Grimm, columnist for the Miami Herald

“Once begun, his vivid and powerful narrative is impossible to put down.”—Derek Lundy, author of Godforsaken Sea and The Way of a Ship

“I felt I knew Carl Wake, because John Kretschmer found in him an archetype—an aging sailor with an age-old dream.”—Jim Carrier, transatlantic sailor and author of The Ship and the Storm: Hurricane Mitch and the Loss of the Fantome

“A remarkable book, impossible to put down.”—Herb McCormick, sailing journalist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071475075
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date: 09/29/2006
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.22(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

John Kretschmer, a professional sailor and writer, has logged more than 200,000 offshore sailing miles, including fifteen transatlantic and two transpacific passages. He is a longtime contributing editor to Sailing magazine and a sailing/travel columnist for the Miami Herald. John lives aboard a 47-foot cutter in Florida. He and his student Carl Wake, the subject of this book, were close friends.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Abbeville

Trade Winds

Into the Eye

A Voice in the Wind

Finish Line and Starting Point

Nowhere to Hide


La Vie en Rose

An Aging Soldier

Never on Friday

English Braids


November 15


The Lair of the Cyclops

The Edge of Control

The Heart of the Storm


The Monster's Jaws

A Survivor

News from Home

Epilogue: Abbeville

Author’s Note


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At the Mercy of the Sea: The True Story of Three Sailors in a Caribbean Hurricane 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly a book for anyone who wishes to sail the great seas of the world to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for anyone with similar goals.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
capt-popeye More than 1 year ago
interesting, well written account of what can happen out there even when all seems well, worth the read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago