In his number-one bestseller, The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger describes Linda Greenlaw as "one of the best sea captains, period, on the East Coast." Now Greenlaw tells her own riveting story of a thirty-day swordfishing voyage aboard one of the best-outfitted boats on the East Coast, complete with danger, humor, and characters so colorful they seem to have been ripped from the pages of Moby Dick. The excitement starts immediately, even before Greenlaw and her five-man crew leave the dock - and it doesn't stop until the last page. Under way, she must cope with nasty weather, equipment failure, and treachery aboard ship, not to mention the routinely backbreaking work of operating a fishing boat.Displaying a true fisherman's gift for storytelling and a true writer's flair for both drama and reflection, Greenlaw offers an exciting real-life adventure tale filled with the beauty and power of the sea.
I liked a sentence in the foreword - Linda says she had thought for years that she would like to take time off. After writing a book for a year, she came to the conclusion that it was hard to write a book and she'd rather be fishing.
Karen and I went to Gloucester to hear Linda Greenlaw read from her book. It was in a very tiny bookstore and she stood in front of a large grandfather clock. One of her fishermen was also present. It was hard to believe she could keep a ship full of men like him under control!
Narrative Context: Middle Range Narrative Content
Subject: Long line/deep-sea fishing, commercial fishing, women boat captains, dangerous occupations, women in unusual careers, nature writing, personal responses to nature
Type: Memoir; autobiography
Pacing: Slower paced than most peril-at-sea stories
Tone: Exciting without terror, evocative of a dangerous way of life, with man against nature.
Similar Titles or Authors: The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger; The Cure for Anything is Salt Water by Mary South; Steady as She Goes: Women’s Adventures at Sea edited by Barbara Sjoholm; Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic’s Edge by Jill Fredston
Whole Collection Context: Waterwoman by Lenore Hart
Learning/Experiencing: High on this continuum, with all the detail provided.
Characterizations: The author reveals her personality and thought processes through her narrative, and shows effective insight into the characters and assets/liabilities of her crew.
Story Line: More action-oriented than psychological.
Language: Straightforward, without much embellishment or philosophy.
Setting: Ocean off Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and the trip to and from the fishing grounds.
"The Hungry Ocean" is a fascinating read. Greenlaw doesn't dwell on the fact that she is a female working in a job dominated by men. She provides detailed explanations of what needs to be done on board to prepare for the fishing, although she sometimes lost me in describing some of the details. I wish pictures had been included of some of the equipment she used. Greenlaw also describes how she deals with the inevitable problems that come up when a number of sleep deprived people are working together in a cramped space for a long period of time.
One of the best parts of the book are the small details Greenlaw includes: how they cook and prepare food on a moving boat, eating off Pyrex pie plates to keep the food from falling off; the practical jokes they play on new fishermen to break the boredom; and the various superstitions fishermen have. For the most part, Greenlaw comes across as likable, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for the fish as she describes their struggle once captured. Still, I don't begrudge the fishermen; it's a tough and dangerous way to make a living.
"The Hungry Ocean" is a very compelling read.
The Hungry Ocean is Greenlaw's first book, which I believe she was inspired to write after her boat (The Hannah Boden) was mentioned multiple times in "The Perfect Storm" by Sebastian Junger. The story was far more engaging than I would have expected from a book about commercial swordfishing. Things started out a bit slow, but once Greenlaw honed in on the love of her life (fishing) the story took off. If you are interested in a peek into the world of commercial swordfishing from the perspective of one of the most successful captain's out there, than look no further.
Very detailed descriptions of fishing trips from one of the best captains on the water.
Linda lives on Isle au Haut off the coast of Maine where there are cloe to 50 year round residents and many more during the summer months.
Love hearing of the fishing tales and
Starts out where Linda and Bob are at the local restaurant for their last breakfast on the mainland for 30 days. The ship is ready and she just knows she left something off the list of supplies. They would bring the swordfish catch into Gloucester. We had just visited that town in October and loved it.
Men are unloading the trucks after Linda's approval for the bait is loaded, then the groceries.
Love learning the information about the moon phases and how they are important to the fishing season.
Linda reflects on her life after 12 years old and her dream of being on the ocean, it's the only life she wants.
Various fishing trips, crew problems and how some don't turn out as they had planned and all the ramifications..
Love hearing of the island people, catching up with them, as they are mentioned in other books.
Fisher superstitions and dyeing the bait tips are priceless! Fishing the present and the past are talked about and what went wrong and what went right.
And busy is an understatement. Sebastian Junger made Linda famous in The Perfect Storm — a wonderful book — when he described her simply as the best swordfisherman, period. This book resulted after friends persuaded her to write of her own experiences — the Andrea Gail, lost in the huge storm described in Junger’s book, was the Hannah Boden’s sister ship. Greenlaw writes in fascinating detail of what a trip is like as captain of the Hannah Boden. It’s mind-numbing fatigue, once they reach the fishing grounds, with the crew lucky to catch a couple hours of sleep at night during the fishing. The lines are huge, miles and miles of hooks with chemical light sticks that are attached because they seem to attract fish, with thousands of hooks that have to be baited individually by hand.
The pay can be good — if the catch is great. But there’s no guarantee. Each member of the crew works on shares after expenses. No benefits, no union, but lots of hazard.
Whether you're interested in fishing or not, this really is a marvelous look into a world that, for most of us, is simply foreign and all but unimaginable. Greenlaw makes it wonderfully real in this quick-moving memoir. If you love the ocean or, very simply, love a good story, let alone the science of fishing, you might very well find this worth your time.
Have read other works by this author and have enjoyed them.
She, swordfish captain and the 5 man crew leave the dock heading to Grand Banks, Newfoundland area.
Love learning about the technical things and new things I've yet to know about: birds and why they are
Love how they get along with one another under all circumstances.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).