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Lone Voyager

Lone Voyager

The Extraordinary Adventures Of Howard Blackburn Hero Fisherman Of Gloucester

Like countless Gloucester fishermen before and since, Howard Blackburn and Tom Welch were trawling for halibut on the Newfoundland banks in an open dory in 1883 when a sudden blizzard separated them from their mother ship. Alone on the empty North Atlantic, they battled towering waves and frozen spray to stay afloat. Welch soon succumbed to exposure, and Blackburn did the only thing he could: He rowed for shore. He rowed five days without food or water, with his hands frozen to the oars, to reach the coast of Newfoundland. Yet his tests had only begun.
So begins Joe Garland's extraordinary account of the hero fisherman of Gloucester. Incredibly, though Blackburn lost his fingers to his icy misadventure, he went on to set a record for swiftest solo sailing voyage across the Atlantic that stood for decades. Lone Voyager is a Homeric saga of survival at sea and a thrilling portrait of the world's most fabled fishing port in the age of sail.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684872636 | 
  • July 2000
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Dorymates

She sliced through the North Atlantic, nodding her head with the swell. The wind thundered off the taut curve of her sails, and she heeled away. Spray boomed from her plunging bow in cascades of exploding water. The sea poured over the rail and frothed along her lee deck and fell off past her quarters. The white wake boiled up under her counter as she surged on, and it simmered and faded astern, and the ocean was whole again.

The Gloucester schooner Grace L. Fears, queen of the fresh halibut fleet, was beating past the south shore of Nova Scotia. She was snug-rigged against the winter weather, her stately... see more

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