A Swordboat Captain's Journey
by Linda Greenlaw
This fascinating, adventuresome book details one trip aboard the swordfishing boat Hannah Boden captained by Greenlaw with a crew of four. The book starts out at the beginning of the trip, and follows every step through to the end. From the moment they load the boat with some $40,000 of supplies, the crew is racing against the clock to catch enough swordfish to make the trip profitable. If they don't get a good catch, there's no paychecks. First they have to find the fish. Then there's battling awful weather, swarms of sharks that eat up the bait, illness, breaking equipment, fights among the crew, and competition from other swordboats. The work can be painstaking, backbreaking and dirty, and the reader is spared no details. The appendix even includes an itemized list of expenses and profits made on this particular trip, and a map of the boat's course. Besides just telling the story of what it's like to work in the fishing industry, The Hungry Ocean also includes some superstitions, legendary tales and funny stories about fishing and her own thoughts and philosophical musings on life. She is a successful woman captain in an occupation dominated by men, and you can see why. She always wanted to captain a boat, and poured her whole heart into it. She is stubborn, humorous, and smart. And a good writer.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 288 pages, 1999