Published by the Penguin Group, New York, 2013
In October 2012, Sandy, the largest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, was tracking north along the Eastern Seaboard with 100 mph winds and 30-foot waves. The Bounty, a wooden tall ship with a crew of 16, was sailing directly into its path off the coast of North Carolina. Prior to doing so, the well-respected Captain convinced his less experienced crew that a ship is “safer at sea than in port” during a storm. The fact that the Bounty, one of about 50 tall ships on the East Coast, was the only one at sea during this hurricane tragically disproved this theory: the ship, its’ Captain, and one crew member paid the ultimate sacrifice for this “recklessly cavalier” decision.
Based on interviews and the subsequent maritime investigation, Freeman describes in dramatic detail the last days of the ship, including the crewmembers’ desperate and ultimately futile attempts to keep her afloat; their individual struggles to survive in a raging sea; and the supremely heroic efforts of Coast Guard personnel in one of their most memorable rescues ever. The Gathering Wind provides the first complete account of the sinking of this famed tall ship and the aspirations of those adventurous seafarers who sailed her – an absorbing and heart wrenching story of a tragedy that never should have happened.