In the tradition of the bestselling true adventure stories The Perfect Storm
and Into Thin Air
...the remarkable saga of two men who defied the odds and set a world record that is unsurpassed today—
In 1896, two Norwegian immigrants from the New Jersey coast set out to attain their piece of the American Dream by risking their lives to achieve the seemingly impossible. Convinced that they had no bright future as clam diggers supplying the Fulton Fish Market in New York City, they conceived a plan to set a world record by becoming the first men to row across the Atlantic Ocean.
To family, friends, and those intimate with the sea, the plan appeared suicidal; but to the two men, George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen, the crossing represented a way out of lives offering little promise. Their hope was to attract world wide attention and lucrative lecture and exhibition fees if they succeeded.
Daring the Sea chronicles their incredible and nearly fatal—row across the Atlantic in a tiny, eighteen-foot boat with no sail, no steam engine, not even a rudder to aid them as they struggled with storms, a capsize, hunger, relentless fatigue, great mental hardship, and near collisions with ships, whales, and an iceberg. Despite these obstacles, Harbo and Samuelsen rowed the 3,000 miles from New York to England in an amazing fifty-five days. Although there have been numerous attempts to better their time, no team has succeeded, and at least two men have died trying.
Sadly, their dream of fame and fortune eluded them, and for more than one hundred years—until the publication of this book—they remained unsung and unknown heroes. Daring the Sea tells their unforgettable story for the first time.
It is a tale of deep friendship and great courage—of two men new to America who dared to believe in each other as they tested themselves against the majesty of nature.
This book also brings to life the ocean itself, a vast presence that is at once menacing and soothing, monotonous and exhilarating—as unpredictable as life. The author's firsthand experience as a sailor who is familiar with the influence of tides and weather on the ocean contributes greatly to the reader's appreciation of this stirring tale.
Here is a page-turning adventure story that describes daring feats in the face of seemingly insurmountable natural forces, and shows the timeless struggle of humanity to strive for the impossible and sometimes achieve it.
David W. Shaw is a feature writer and columnist for Offshore magazine and has contributed articles to Cruising World, Sail, and Lakeland Boating. An avid and expert sailor, he undertook a four-year odyssey in the ocean, lakes, and rivers of the Northeast aboard his twenty-four-foot sloop Elizabeth, which resulted in his book Inland Passage: On Boats and Boating in the Northeast. His sailing and journalistic experiences make him ideally suited to tell the story of Daring the Sea.