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The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's…

The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey

by Linda Greenlaw

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9332514,095 (3.7)33
Recently added bywicomico, Theresa97380, whitefieldpl, mglaser, private library, WilliamReinhart
  1. 00
    Trawler: A Journey Through the North Atlantic by Redmond O'Hanlon (ten_floors_up)
    ten_floors_up: Suggested as a contrast, rather than as a companion piece. "Trawler" describes a commercial fishing voyage seen from a writer's perspective below deck. The trip in question takes place on the other side of the Atlantic, and describes quite different fishing methods and quarry.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Really enjoyed reading this book! For anyone interested in what transpires aboard a fishing boat between Captain and crew, and the challenges, rewards and hardships of fishing offshore, this is sure to keep you engrossed and wanting more. Won't be able to think of Swordfish fishing without thinking of Linda Greenlaw. ( )
  linsleo | Oct 10, 2018 |
The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw
Have read other works by this author and have enjoyed them.
She, swordfish captain and the 5 man crew leave the dock heading to Grand Banks, Newfoundland area.
Love learning about the technical things and new things I've yet to know about: birds and why they are used.
Love how they get along with one another under all circumstances.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Dec 20, 2017 |
A nice perspective on commercial fishing from a different voice. ( )
  kenno82 | Nov 15, 2017 |
I wish I liked the Linda Greenlaw portrayed here more than ended up liking her. The book is fair, but I don't fault her for that. At the time she wrote this, she was simply not a writer. And for someone who hasn't written much, this book is clear, practical, straightforward, unromantic (except for certain awkward moments, where such romanticism seemed forced). I admire her attitude and her toughness as a person, but I simply did not like this book, despite being a fiend for all literature nautical in nature. First, I simply could not get over the fact that her response to a seething, ugly racist on her crew was silence. Not just once, but several times. He verbally attacked a black man who was also on the crew--and who, it appears by the end of the book, is the most able crewman aboard. He calls him a nigger and a "porch monkey" and Linda has very little to say about this. She takes great care to let us know this young racist is a good kid and a good crewman. He'll settle down once we're fishing, she tells the reader. Huh? Just as I reluctantly buy into this, he makes a noose right in front of her and muses about lynching his fellow crewman. Again, there is no response. I was aghast. She's the captain. She has no problem later in the book ripping another crewman a new one because he mentioned over radio the fact that the boat had had a fantastic day of fishing (she didn't want other captain's to overhear the transmission and then try to encroach on her berth). In fact, she rips him, acidly, for a full day. However, she has nothing to say to Carl, who calls a fellow crewman a porch monkey, a nigger, and who mentions in her presence that he'd like to "lynch" him? Because she spends so much time talking about crew morale, about how important their states of collective mind are, I don't see any compelling reason why she handled this the way she did. And I found it very hard to get back on track after reading those scenes. No, a commercial boat is not going to be the f-ing Rainbow Coalition. Linda's silence in the fact of this crap was bad enough, but when she tried then to tell the reader that this young man was one of the best crewmen she'd ever worked with, I was done here.

Of course, I finished the book (I always do) and found some interesting parts to distract me from this. But then we get to the part where a swordfish is stabbed, tied to the stern, and lit on fire, just to "change our luck." (Disturbingly, the very few negative reviews of this book I've read on Goodreads have only mentioned reviewers' disgust with the swordfish scene, not a peep about the creepy way Greenlaw ignored the vile attacks on her best crewman).

Again, I fully realize that the sea is not romantic, not to a commercial fisherman. It's the most difficult, dangerous job for a reason, and there is no luxury aboard of being able to examine your philosophies when you're in the midst of it. However, there was plenty of time for reflection by the time Greenlaw wrote this. To her credit, she included the ugliness of Carl's treatment of Peter, but she did not address it. It seemed to be included only to add color.

Gah. I hate that I don't like this book, because two authors I admire immensely--Sebastian Junger and Douglas Whynott--both praised this account. Sigh. This has been the summer of Hating Books Everyone Else Loves. ( )
  bookofmoons | Sep 1, 2016 |
Review: The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw.

This is not “The Perfect Storm” which was amazing but more on the technical aspect of the fishing journey where Linda Greenlaw’s book is more of a narrative style of an
exceptional swordfish catch and a wonderfully diverse crew as they struggle through the daily highs and lows of making a living at sea. As the reader I empathize with the fishermen of the story as they dealt with excruciatingly many hours a day at sea adjusting to personality conflicts and the difficulties of living in a small confined space in a dangerous and lonely career and being overpowered by emotions desperately wanting to go home after many days at sea. Greenlaw captures the depth of the crew’s mindset creating a detail story of what it’s like doing a tough job and keeping the flow and energy going because some on them know their families are at home and counting on them to bring home the money.

This was their last of a four week swordfish expedition in this area before winter would settle in. Greenlaw describes at length the supplies needed and the work that had to be done to prepare for the ocean unpredictable weather. She needed over 12.000 pounds of bait and $4,000 worth of groceries loaded on board along with thousands of hook-and leaders sets to be crafted by the crew while at sea, which when done they needed to be attached to a 40-odd miles of line played out every single night once they commend to fishing for the swordfish none stop until the hold of the boat was full.

Once out in the vast ocean Linda Greenlaw would worry about the readings of the gauges as they steamed northwest and keeping track of the logistics on temperatures of different levels of water, currents, and watching other competing boats crowding in the space she has chosen to set her fishing lines over a prospected forty miles average area. Setting in the back of her mind she also needed to keep track of her crew dynamics, such as their health, their lacking in performance, and settling any arguments or racist attitudes that may occur in such an intrusive confined space. In other words she needed to keep her crew happy…!

Linda Greenlaw is one of the most successful swordfish captains and after reading her book the reader can certainly know that Linda loves her work. The boat she is captain of is the Hannah Boden the sister ship to “The Andrea Gail”. This is a wonderful story with descriptive beauty and dialogue along with many aspects of survival, marine data, weather information, emotional feelings-good and bad, the way the crew interacted, and acknowledging the happiness of the crew as they were headed home….
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
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When I have seen the hungry ocean gain Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, And the firm soil win of the watery main, Increasing store with loss, and loss with store. SHAKESPEARE, SONNET 64
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Dieses Buch widme ich den drei Männern, die ein sinkendes Schiff bis zuletzt nicht verlassen haben:
Robert H. Brown
W. Alden Leeman
James S. Greenlaw
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It was very early in the morning, very late in the month of August.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Greenlaw, Linda, 1960-
Swordfish fishing>
Grand Banks of Newfoundland and Labrador>
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0786885416, Paperback)

The term fisherwoman does not exactly roll trippingly off the tongue, and Linda Greenlaw, the world's only female swordfish boat captain, isn't flattered when people insist on calling her one. "I am a woman. I am a fisherman... I am not a fisherwoman, fisherlady, or fishergirl. If anything else, I am a thirty-seven-year-old tomboy. It's a word I have never outgrown." Greenlaw also happens to be one of the most successful fishermen in the Grand Banks commercial fleet, though until the publication of Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm, "nobody cared." Greenlaw's boat, the Hannah Boden, was the sister ship to the doomed Andrea Gail, which disappeared in the mother of all storms in 1991 and became the focus of Junger's book. The Hungry Ocean, Greenlaw's account of a monthlong swordfishing trip over 1,000 nautical miles out to sea, tells the story of what happens when things go right--proving, in the process, that every successful voyage is a study in narrowly averted disaster.

There is the weather, the constant danger of mechanical failure, the perils of controlling five sleep-, women-, and booze-deprived young fishermen in close quarters, not to mention the threat of a bad fishing run: "If we don't catch fish, we don't get paid, period. In short, there is no labor union." Greenlaw's straightforward, uncluttered prose underscores the qualities that make her a good captain, regardless of gender: fairness, physical and mental endurance, obsessive attention to detail. But, ultimately, Greenlaw proves that the love of fishing--in all of its grueling, isolating, suspenseful glory--is a matter of the heart and blood, not the mind. "I knew that the ocean had stories to tell me, all I needed to do was listen." --Svenja Soldovieri

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:08 -0400)

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The female captain of a swordfishing vessel chronicles the experience of a month long fishing voyage.

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