The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey

The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK Known To Millions Of Readers Of The Perfect Storm As The Captain Of The Hannah Boden, Sister Ship To The Andrea Gail, Linda Greenlaw Is Also Known As One Of The Best Sea Captains On The East Coast Here She Offers An Adventure Soaked Tale Of Her Own, Complete With Danger, Humor, And Characters So Colorful They Seem To Have Been Ripped From The Pages Of Moby Dick A Beautiful Book A Story Of Triumph, Of A Woman Not Only Making It But Succeeding At The Highest Level In One Of The Most Male Dominated And Most Dangerous Professions Douglas Whynott, The New York Times Book Review An Authentic, Insightful Account Of The Intensity Of Captaining A Crew Of Strong Men In An Ocean Which Does What It Wants Daniel Hays, Co Author Of My Old Man And The Sea A Crystal Clear Account Of Fishing The Grand Banks In A Modern Swordfish Boat Greenlaw Is An Excellent Captainand An Excellent Writer John Casey, Author Of Spartina

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  • Paperback
  • 265 pages
  • The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey
  • Linda Greenlaw
  • English
  • 20 February 2019
  • 9780786885411

10 thoughts on “The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey

  1. says:

    In The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger offered Greenlaw a shout out, describing her as one of the best sea captains, period, on the East Coast The Hungry Ocean is Greenlaw s story She offers a reasonable share of personal history, tells of the social up and down sides to spending so much of her life on the water, communicates effectively her love of the sea, but most of all, this book give us detailed descriptions of what it is to work as a fisherman There is a sometimes painful level of detail in her telling, with work specific jargon enough to fill a small dictionary I enjoyed her descriptions of her crew members past and present She succeeds in communicating much of the danger involved in this life threatening career, from the elements, inadequate crewmen, competing captains and an unforgiving market Next to the term hard work in any dictionary there should be an illustration of a fisherman The work sounds exhausting Linda Greenlaw from the Boston Globe I was surprised that she seemed to have little appreciation for the effects of overfishing on the sea s ability to continue offering up an adequate supply of fish This is not a great read Junger is in no danger of literary competition here But Greenlaw succeeds in her mission of letting the rest of us know what it takes to put on the table the fish we eat In that regard, the hold is full and she is steaming home to port EXTRA STUFFGreenlaw s personal, FB and Twitter pages

  2. says:

    I know a bit about long lining and swordfishing, and I sailed the Atlantic with some friends in a small yacht some time ago, so this book has always interested me And now I ve read it It s very technical, but I liked that Review to come.

  3. says:

    Thanks to GR friend Ladiibbug for sending me this book The Hungry Ocean is another glimpse into the world of swordfishing, and was just as entertaining as the last Greenlaw book I read, All Fishermen Are Liars, although I have to admit that there was sometimes a little too much technical information for me The detailed passages about compass headings and specialized equipment were relevant, but I do tend to fall prey to schools of brain farts when I try to read such things The main thread of this book is one trip Greenlaw made with her boat the Hannah Boden Mixed in with the daily activities of this trip are memories of previous journeys, childhood escapades, and explanations of why Greenlaw became a fisherman I enjoyed the story, and just have one little nit to pick When the crew are ready to begin hauling in the lines to discover exactly what they have caught, Greenlaw explains that there are no work gloves sized for women, so she uses garden gloves to handle the lines, and is constantly wearing out the right hand glove But what does she do with the right hand glove when she fetches herself another pair Put it in a bin to take back to shore for the trash or for recycling, perhaps No, she just dumps it into the ocean Somehow that rankled, especially after her boasting a chapter or so earlier about how fishermen are great conservationists How can you claim to be a conservationist if you are throwing garbage into the ocean, messing up the environment of the very fish you claim to care so much for This puzzles me.

  4. says:

    Best feminist book previously said novel in error ever Linda doesn t talk about doing a man s job, she has always just gone out and done it Her monologue on why she is a fisherman and not a fisherwoman sums exactly why I think most feminists are not worth listening to and shook my head at his use of the word fisherwoman I hate the term, and can never understand why people think I would be offended by being called a fisherman I have often been confused by terms such as male nurse, wondering if that would be someone who only cares for male patients Fisherwoman isn t even a word It is not in the dictionary A fisherman is described as one whose employment is to catch fish That describes me to a tee Generally, when the conversation reaches the point at which the person with whom I am speaking asks what I do for aliving, I assume he or she has already determined that I am female, leaving fisherman appropriately descriptive of my occupation Fisherwoman would at best be redundant.

  5. says:

    I enjoyed this memoir from a swordboat captain who describes herself as a fisherman The conditions and workload vary from delightful to overwhelming near the end of the trip her crew is almost ready to mutiny to get back to harbour but not quite, because they are all there to catch fish While Greenlaw is rare in being a female captain she says it drives her to work harder, and she appears to get the respect she has earned Greenlaw tells us there are plenty of swordfish and her industry and fleet are highly regulated She blames other nations for unregulated catches That may be so, but when you read of boats staying out for a month at a time, setting out forty miles of baited hooks each night and using lights and cod liver oil as added baits, radar to find shoals and swapping information around the fleet as to water temperature, it does seem as though the giant swordfish are at risk After all, people thought the whales, basking shark, cod and herring were so plentiful right up until the populations collapsed Not alone that but a vast amount of expensive fishing gear is described as being cut loose and discarded as well as smaller items like gloves We don t even hear about other items like food wrappers It s all plastic and it all causes harm to the ocean creatures Twenty percent of plastic found at sea is fishing gear Read this for a good and gritty look at the life, with occasional strong language and graphic detail.

  6. says:

    This is one grand lady who redefines the definition of that term Fiercely loyal, courageous, yet feminine, she is not confined to societal expectations of what feminity is If anyone has spent time in the open ocean on a boat, her achievements are even impressive She wrote a fun book basically because of the attention she received from the novel and film, The Perfect Storm Everyone wondered who is this woman Is she for real She is indeed.

  7. says:

    Well written, fascinating and disturbing Would you like to hear some of it As the boat came to a stop, I nodded to Carl, who leaned over the rail and grabbed the leader just below the snap Standing up straight, Carl leaned into the rail with the tops of his legs nd hauled the leader, hand over hand, twisting his upper body to pull with his back and shoulders Kenny and Ringo appeared at either side of Carl, each with a 16 foot long gaff The gaff poles were 2 inch diameter oak dowels, and each had a large shiny hook secured to one end The gaffers were poised and staring into the water, looking for the fish that we all anticipated Carl gave a long steady pull with his right hand, and the fish came into view a few feet below the surface It was a sword it was big And it was alive My pulse quickened Swordfish are the most magnificent of all ocean creatures A streamlined and muscular missile with a bayonet, the swordfish is strong, swift, and agile The fish circled, swimming under the boat as they often do Carl held the leader, no longer pulling he waited When the fish swam out from under us, Carl pulled in another fathom of leader A dorsal fin cut the surface then hell broke loose as the fish slashed wildly with its 3 foot long sword The fish s bill and back were lit up in blue and purple, and its sides flashed in silver and pink With two short jerks, Kenny and Ringo sunk their gaff hooks into the head of the fish and pulled it toward the door in the rail The fish thrashed, and the water flew Grabbing a 24 inch steel meat hook, I reached through the door and placed the hook into one of the fish s eye sockets Peter came from the stern with a second meat hook, and placed it in the eye socket with mine Ringo grabbed the bill to prevent it from slashing as we all pulled together to drag the fish onto the deck we landed another sword, a small marker of about 110 pounds that was quite frisky but was quickly overcome by Carl s tenacity and Kenny s sharp gaff to the back of its head Once on deck, the fish flopped on its side, raising head and tail into the air and slapping both down over and over, flogging the deck soundly The flops got fewer and less vigorous, the up and down motion working like a pump, pushing the life from the fish, from torrent to trickle in a matter of minutes The colors left the fish in the same way that a Polaroid picture develops, but in reverse Sharp flashing silver lines and vivid colors yielded to fuzzy borders of blended shades of blues and purples that gave way to mottled patches of grays, blacks, and whites as the last of life dribbled from the defeated fish I must have been born without the hunting gene as I don t find this exciting or pleasurable I can understand fishing and hunting for food, even for money But the number of fish taken, by each boat and there are many out there, seems terrible excessive to me The operating ethic, which certainly makes sense from an economic standpoint, is you don t come in until your fish hold is full and that means many, many thousands of pounds of fish Captain Linda Greenlaw says, regarding the idea of overfishing and ocean depletion, that in seventeen years of swordfishing, I have seen no evidence of depletion Really I thought there was evidence of overfishing, could I be wrong She says, If a problem with overfishing does develop, it is not the American fisherman who should be punished, but perhaps the fishermen from countries that currently have no regulations in place and continually exceed their allowable catch quota Well politics are certainly going to play a part in which countries and fishermen and which fish are going to be allowed and in what quotas But OK, even if I can accept the numbers in which these fish are being caught, can I accept the killing and the pleasure taken in that killing Afraid not You can call me a liberal, tree hugging, animal loving hippie if you want Maybe you are right in some small way In my heart I was rooting for the fish and totally LOVED THE FISH THAT GOT AWAY from 3 strong, experienced and determined fishermen, and then did a victory lap around the boat giving them all the evil eye Captain Greenlaw is still bitter about that fish, told it F you at the time and every time she thinks about it gives the fish that got away another F you I do admire how hard the fishermen work, it sounds like brutally hard work Anyway, no matter where you stand on commercial fishing, swordfish, or any related topics, this is a very informative and interesting read.

  8. says:

    A woman to be admired

    Linda Greenlaw captained an American sword boat By itself, this is an accomplishment worthy of respect More than that, she became one of the most successful captains in the fleet And as The Hungry Ocean attests, she is also an accomplished writer with a fine eye for detail I don t say things like this often, but this is a woman who walks the walk , AND talks the talk A woman to be admired.

    Forced by international law to fish a thousand miles from their home ports, Americans who go after swordfish need to be tough, self reliant and resourceful In their business, things like surface water temperature, thermoclines, currents, and the corners formed by the Gulf Stream currents as they meander, can mean the difference between a morning boatful of worthless sharks and two tons of prime swordfish Each night, thirty miles of carefully positioned line carrying thousands of baited hooks set to just the right depth are set adrift in the warm waters of the stream only to be hauled back aboard the next morning, foot by foot, hopefully including a good number of fish.

    How did Linda Greenlaw come to captain one of these vessels As she details life aboard a sword boat, she also describes scenes from her childhood and young adult years little things that eventually let the reader feel as if we know this woman and wish we were friends.

    It s the story of one trip aboard her sword boat that carries the read, however, and in her description of these events she is at her best as a writer In rich detail, life on the fishing grounds is shown crew problems, mechanical troubles, the potential pitfalls and snarls There is no time off The crew works round the clock for as long as three weeks with hardly a moment to rest.

    That s the business of working a sword boat, and it is a fascinating picture indeed I d recommend this one to everyone who loves the water.

    Reviewer Meg Westley on Art Tirrell s novel The Secret Ever Keeps Quite simply the best underwater scenes I ve ever read

  9. says:

    I live in New England now, and we were up in Falmouth, Massachusetts, up on Cape Cod, when my daughter needed to visit a restroom We made our way into the Falmouth library, and while waiting for her, I noticed a Books for Sale cubby nearby I picked up Greenlaw s book The Lobster Chronicles Life on a Very Small Island, and my husband became excited as he knew her from one of his favorite movies, The Perfect Storm I thoroughly enjoyed it, which led me to this book.It s rather obvious that this was written before The Lobster Chronicles Her writing is a bit less polished and elementary in this book, but she still tells a vivid and engaging story She covers an entire voyage out past the Grand Banks to seek out swordfish, and it becomes one of her best trips as captain It s quite refreshing to read about her experienced crew, who know exactly what to do and when with very little direction or nagging from her Most other memoirs of fishing have not had such a cohesive and able crew There are a few times when I found myself skimming, but that s mainly due to the fact that I have a hard time envisioning the set up she describes for long line fishing But the stories she tells, from the reminiscing within the chapters to the mug ups between them, are interesting and varied, and tend not to detract from the main plot.I have to agree with Greenlaw when she says she doesn t want to be called a fisherwoman, that she s a fisherman, which is defined as someone who makes their living by catching fish I m with her on that I don t mind the use of the word chairman or fisherman, as long as we all agree that they re gender neutral Fisherwoman and chairwoman is just too unwieldy, in my opinion At any rate, while this book isn t nearly as polished as her later one, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in a day I d highly recommend this to anyone interested in New England, fishing, or a strong woman who loves her job.

  10. says:

    Greenlaw is a fisherman not fisherwoman, as she carefully explains I hate the term, and can never understand why people think I would be offended to be called a fisherman Fisherwoman isn t even a word A fisherman is defined as one whose employment is to catch fish People, women in particular, are generally disappointed when they learn that I have not suffered unduly from being the only woman in what they perceive to be a man s world I might be thick skinned or just too damn busy to worry about what others might think of me And busy is an understatement Sebastian Junger made Linda famous in The Perfect Storm a wonderful book when he described her simply as the best swordfisherman, period This book resulted after friends persuaded her to write of her own experiences the Andrea Gail, lost in the huge storm described in Junger s book, was the Hannah Boden s sister ship Greenlaw writes in fascinating detail of what a trip is like as captain of the Hannah Boden It s mind numbing fatigue, once they reach the fishing grounds, with the crew lucky to catch a couple hours of sleep at night during the fishing The lines are huge, miles and miles of hooks with chemical light sticks that are attached because they seem to attract fish, with thousands of hooks that have to be baited individually by hand The pay can be good if the catch is great But there s no guarantee Each member of the crew works on shares after expenses No benefits, no union, but lots of hazard.

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