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Hardcover Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them Book

ISBN: 1400066557

ISBN13: 9781400066551

Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Businessman John and his wife, Jean, both experienced sailors, decided the time was right to give their four children a taste of life on the high seas. This book tells how their dream trip began on... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Terrific, captures all your human emotions!

As a San Diego native I knew the story and the fantastic ending and still could not stop reading. I too am the mother of four children and cannot imagine attempting such a trip. Jean's account of their extraordinary family and adventure was perfect. Not only do you become part of the Emerald Jean family through her great writing but you relate to their strengths, emotions and troubles as a family to your own life. I found myself living the story with my husband and children and wondering if we all could have been so strong and loving. John's storytelling is not only educational it's laced with some fun humor and emotion. Truly a must read not only for adults but for young adults who could learn a lot from these amazing children. Would love to hug Camille and have cookies and milk with her! The movie will be great!!!!!

Into the Great Unknown...

I see John Silverwood, forever rooted to a magical moment in time; forever sailing beneath the canopy of a billion stars, forever the ancient mariner under the glorious banner of Heaven. This story takes the reader on a thrilling trip away from the 21st century, and eventually to the very outer limits of courage and nerve. The Silverwoods craft an emotional tale of real life adventure and transformation, almost beyond the limit of physical endurance. At once, equal parts historical drama, a real world study of the modern American family, and breath-taking, high seas adventure. This seemless narrative, easily transports the reader out into a warm Polynesian wind under the endless blanket of the Milky Way; a classic story alternating between the peaceful tranquility of island life, and heart-in-the-throat suspense.

The Sea is a Harsh Mistress.....

Jean Silverwood narrates a heartbreaking account of the family catamaran running aground and being torn to pieces on an invisible coral reef in the South Pacific, shattering not only their beloved boat, but many of the dreams that went with it. She also details the battles her husband had with alcohol and her own doubts about the trip itself. But, in the end, their courage and humanity shine through: they survive to return home, her husband undergoes more surgery on his leg and they survive the Great Firestorm of 2007 in San Diego. I can't think of a more moving account of how an average American family coped with catastrophe and disaster at sea. The ocean can be harsh and unforgiving of mistakes, but she also helps you find yourself and reservoirs of courage you never knew you had, in moments of peril.

I couldn't put it down.

If you've ever extended yourself, spent time outdoors or been exposed to the many elements of nature, you know this story could easily be about you. It grips you right at the start as you sense the tearing of the hulls and rushing and pounding of the ocean destroying everything and probably everyone they care about in a matter of minutes. The interweaving of the travels and exploration with the horror of the destruction of boat and flesh keeps you hanging on and waiting for the next piece of news. This is a great story of human bonds, nature and endurance.

The Pefect Summer Read

If you're looking for the perfect summer read, you won't do much better than this tale of a successful San Diego real estate developer who lives out a lifelong dream by taking his perfect SoCal family of six on a sailing trip around the world, which turns into a nightmare when they run aground on a Pacific reef 350 miles due west of Tahiti, costing him his leg in the process. This first-person diary account reveals the Silverwood family dynamic on board their beloved Emerald Jane, warts and all, from John's own battles with alcoholism to Jean's control issues to the various adjustments of the kids--16-year-old Ben's longing for his friends back home and eventual emergence as a hero, 13-year-old Amelia's blossoming into a self-confident artist, 9-year-old Jack's fascination with ocean life and 5-year-old Camille's angelic innocence. There is something here that anyone with a family can relate to about escaping the rat race of modern life and taking to the high seas, anchoring in exotic ports from Bora Bora and Raiatea to Grenada and the Galapagos, crossing the Equator, sailing through the Panama Canal, being chased by pirates and surviving hurricanes with waves several stories high. The first 150 pages, narrated by Jean, describe the family's day-to-day duties, home-schooling the kids and how each one adapted to the journey, as she keeps coming back to the narrative's singular event--the wreck of the Emerald Jane on a reef in the middle of the night and the boat's giant mast pinning John's leg underneath. It's an amazing tale, with the last quarter including John's ruminations, which have him questioning his judgment and dealing with his own guilt by channeling an accident that took place 150 years ago on the very same reef that ripped apart his own sailboat. The Julia Ann, a vessel on its way from Australia to San Francisco in 1855, carrying coals from Newcastle in New South Wales, along with a group of Mormon missionaries bound for Utah, suffered a similar fate as the Emerald Jane. The story is a tribute to the family's gung-ho spirit of living to the fullest, and dealing with the consequences...as a family. "If real life catches you by the heel sometimes, it is worth it," John concludes. "Life is short anyway, so it may as well be beautiful." Not just a travelogue or a primer on sailing around the world, Black Wave is the story of a family that circled the ocean, only to find what they were looking for was right in front of them all along.
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