Near Death on the High Seas (Paperback)

True Stories of Disaster and Survival (Vintage Departures)

By Cecil Kuhne (Editor)

Vintage, 9780307279347, 448pp.

Publication Date: March 11, 2008

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


“The wind was blowing at hurricane strength-sixty-five knots and over-and increasing in the gusts to eighty knots. His boat was surfing on waves as high as a sixty-foot, six-storey building. . .Each wave that struck choked and froze him, the icy water working its way down inside his survival suit.” —from Close to the Wind by Pete Goss

In Near Death on the High Seas, Cecil Kuhne collects some of the most terrifying and astounding experiences of sailors confronting the awesome, raw power of the sea. These tales-filled with everyday heroes and survivors-comprise a riveting and often breathtaking collection of extraordinary stories that show the terrible ferocity of the untamable ocean.

Also featuring:

• Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki- the historic and celebrated journey of the Kon-Tiki as it journeys across the Pacific.
• Steve Callahan's Adrift- a solo sailor loses his boat in the Atlantic must survive in a five-foot life raft for 76 days, fighting off sharks with a makeshift spear.
• Francis Chischester's 'Gipsy Moth' Circles The World-the stirring story of a one man's solo sail around the globe at age 65.
• John Rousmaniere's Fastnet, Force 10-in one of the worst sailing tragedies in history, a massive rescue operation takes place amidst sixty-knot winds and forty-foot breaker waves.

About the Author

Cecil Kuhne is the editor of two previous anthologies on adventure travel, On the Edge and The Armchair Paddler. A former whitewater rafting
guide, he has also written nine books about rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. He lives in Dallas.

Praise For Near Death on the High Seas: True Stories of Disaster and Survival (Vintage Departures)

“Gripping. . . . Not merely a collection of tales of derring-do; at its strongest it delivers a full-blooded sense of lives lived far beyond the comfort zone most of us have so meticulously constructed.”–The New York Sun

“Invaluable for introducing the curious to the subject and some classic books about it. On to mountains, deserts, jungles, the sky, the ocean deeps, the bowels of the earth, and beyond!”–Library Journal

“A simply marvelous collection. Whether in the urgent prose of those who sail more than they write, or the gifted language of great natural narrators, this book throbs. Sometimes the waves are so close that you recoil; at other moments you ache with the pain of the sacrifices to the sea. Read all the dozen pieces and relish each one–this is blood-hot writing.”–Frank Delaney, author of Simple Courage and Tipperary