"I wanted freedom, open air, adventure. I found it on the sea." ~ Alain Gerbaul
January 24 at 7pm – John Kretschmer, author of At the Mercy of the Sea
February 6 at 7pm – Bob Drury, author of Halsey’s Typhoon
March 15 at 7pm – David Vann, author of A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea
Broward County Main Library
100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
Reservations Requested for all events: (954) 357-7401
Admission is free
Books will be available for sale and signing
“Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea.” ~ Joseph Conrad, from Heart of Darkness
January 24th at 7pm
At the Mercy of the Sea: The True story of Three Sailors in Hurricane Lenny
A “normal” Caribbean hurricane travels from east to west, but Lenny was anything but normal. Spawned south of Cuba in November 1999, this late-season storm defied all predictions by moving steadily east toward the Leeward Islands . Eventually building almost to Category 5 strength, Lenny squatted for two days between the Virgin Islands and St. Martin , whipping the ocean with 155 mile-per-hour winds and 60-foot seas.
In its path were three sailboats and their unfortunate crews. At the Mercy of the Sea retraces the journeys of three sailors through life and across oceans. It attempts to make sense of the improbable intersection of three lives at the height of a storm, and a gripping reconstruction of one man’s search for meaning and, ultimately, for his soul.
John Kretschmer is a professional sailor and writer who 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, a sailing/travel columnist for the Miami Herald, and writes regularly for Southern Boating and Cruising World. He has weathered several storms at sea and teaches aspiring blue-water voyagers in seminars, lectures, and training voyages. John is the author of Cape Horn to Starboard and Flirting with Mermaids. He lives in Ft. Lauderdale when he isn’t sailing his 47-foot cutter Quetzal.
for more on John Kretschmer and his books.
“The sea-the truth must be told-has no generosity.” ~ Joseph Conrad, from The Mirror of the Sea
February 6 at 7pm
Halsey’s Typhoon: the True story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic storm, and an Untold Rescue
In the tradition of The Perfect Storm and Flags of Our Fathers, Halsey’s Typhoon chronicles the epic tale of men clashing against the ruthless forces of war and nature. In December 1944, America ’s most popular and colorful naval hero, Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, unwittingly sailed his undefeated Pacific Fleet into the teeth of the most powerful storm on earth. Three destroyers were capsized sending hundreds of sailors and officers into the raging, shark infested waters.
Over the next sixty hours, small bands of survivors fought seventy-foot waves, exhaustion, and dehydration to await rescue at the hands of the courageous Lt. Com. Henry Lee Plage, who, defying orders, sailed his tiny destroyer escort USS Tabberer through 150 mph winds to reach the lost men. Thanks to documents that have been declassified after sixty years and dozens of first-hand accounts from survivors—including former President Gerald Ford—one of the greatest World War II stories, and a riveting tale of survival at sea, can finally be told.
Bob Drury is an award-winning adventure and travel writer and foreign correspondent whose work has appeared in Men’s Journal, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Sports Illustrated. He is the author of The Rescue Season: The Heroic Story of Parajumpers on the Edge of the World.
for more on Halsey’s Typhoon
“The ocean… exemplifies the background against which, both at the start and at the finish, we see our lives as cast.” ~ Charlton Ogburn, Jr.
March 15 at 7pm
A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea
David Vann traveled to Turkey to fulfill his dream of building a boat and sailing the world. But things start to go terribly wrong and soon he found himself $500,000 in debt, and worse yet, deep at sea in a boat which is falling apart.
A Mile Down tells the story of his struggles to stay alive, save his boat, fight the sea, the elements, his debtors and one calamity after another, as he attempts to follow in his father’s footsteps.
David Vann’s work has been published in The Atlantic Monthly and other magazines and has won numerous awards. He has taught at Stanford and Cornell and currently teaches Travel and Adventure Writing for a consortium of Oxford , Stanford, and Yale. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 200-ton Master’s License and has sailed more than 40,000 miles offshore.
Visit www.davidvann.com for more on David Vann and his books.
Florida Center for the Book is an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. We bring readers and writers together, promote books, reading, and libraries, and celebrate the literary heritage of Florida .