Sailing adventure books (stretch the truth?) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-08-2007 Thread Starter
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Sailing adventure books (stretch the truth?)

I really enjoy reading sailing adventure stories. Of course Maiden voyage is one of the first I read. (I think Tania is doing the trip again with her 2 sons)

Anyway.. I'm not saying it's any one author in particular, but as I've read more and more stories I can't help but think the embellishment is sometimes a bit much. (there was one about a killer whale that went through the hull of a big wooden boat) Now of course I realize that telling a story needs to have a "hook" to keep the reader turning pages, so for now I thought I'd just mention this observation I've made.


Do other arm chair adventurers see through some authors efforts to keep us hooked on their stories? Or do you just take it as a great read? Do you only seek "boringly truthful" stories? I think we could include movies here too but we all know movies are almost all fabricated with only the basic storyline kept intact.

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post #2 of 17 Old 10-08-2007
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That's why they say "Based on a True Story", not "The True Story". What part of the story is based in truth and what part is not?

Dictated, but not read.
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-08-2007
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Desperate Voyage, by John Caldwell is claimed to be a true story and was a real page turner. But to my impression, the novel has to fit more into the "based upon" category.

For those who haven't yet read it, Caldwell was stranded in Panama just after WWII and wanted to set out for Sydney to rejoin his wife, whom he had not seen since their 3-day honeymoon a year before.

He was unable to find any immediate transportation, so he bought a 20 ft sailboat, named Pagan and set out on a 9,000 mile journey - which proved to be very foolhardy. It's an incredible adventure that sent him through every nightmare imaginable, including a hurricane.

Unbelievable terrors each day of his passage make for a fantastic and enjoyable story. "No way this much bad luck could ever be true" was my initial reaction, but it is listed as a true story.

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post #4 of 17 Old 10-08-2007
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-08-2007
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Isn't embellishment the first rule of a good sea story?

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post #6 of 17 Old 10-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astraeus View Post
Isn't embellishment the first rule of a good sea story?
Wellll...actually a Fairy Tale starts out "Once Upon A Time"
A sea story starts out, " Now This Is No Sh*t!!!"
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-08-2007
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Tristan Jones apparently made up more than a few of his stories, but they still make damned fine reading in the winter.

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post #8 of 17 Old 10-08-2007
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I have found a few downloadable ebooks online and enjoyed them.

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I had a dream, I was sailing, I was happy, I was even smiling. Then I looked down and saw that I was on a multi-hull and woke up suddenly in a cold sweat.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Anyway.. I'm not saying it's any one author in particular, but as I've read more and more stories I can't help but think the embellishment is sometimes a bit much. (there was one about a killer whale that went through the hull of a big wooden boat)
It was a sperm whale that sank the ship. The name of the ship was Essex and the book was “Most Extra-Ordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whaleship Essex” by Owen Chase published in 1821. In 1973 I read an original copy from the Brownell collection in Providence RI.
All the best,
Robert Gainer

PS The book about my sailing up to 1976, "Presumed Lost" under told everything. The best stories were embarrassing at the time so I didn’t tell John, the author of the book everything.

Last edited by Tartan34C; 10-08-2007 at 07:22 PM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-08-2007
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Hopefully, in the next few years, you'll be reading about my adventures and mis-adventures.
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