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The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's…

The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey (edition 2000)

by Linda Greenlaw

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8331910,829 (3.71)31
Title:The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey
Authors:Linda Greenlaw
Info:Hyperion (2000), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:2013 Challenge, Read but unowned
Tags:Non Fiction, Fishing

Work details

The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain's Journey by Linda Greenlaw

  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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Covering the trajectory of one full fishing trip, and intermixed with memorable (often disastrous) moments from other trips, Greenlaw's work is both honest and fascinating. From concerns about crewing a swordfish boat to the day-to-day actions and reactions of a captain of the same, the work maneuvers around a world that most readers will find entirely unfamiliar, and it does so with both humor and humanity in mind. By balancing between this fishing world and the social world of a nearly month-long trip built for swordfish and six very different individuals on a relatively small boat, Greenlaw moves the narrative at a fast pace.

Whether you're interested in fishing or not, this really is a marvelous look into a world that, for most of us, is simply foreign and all but unimaginable. Greenlaw makes it wonderfully real in this quick-moving memoir. If you love the ocean or, very simply, love a good story, let alone the science of fishing, you might very well find this worth your time.

Recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Aug 30, 2014 |
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. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
This is the real life story of Linda Greenlaw who captains a commercial fishing boat fishing for swordfish. It’s an interesting, sometimes funny, story describing the demands on stamina, being prepared, ups and downs with crews, technical knowledge of ships, oceans, weather, and dealing with the whims of mother nature. ( )
  gaylebutz | Sep 10, 2013 |
Riding on the wave of The Perfect Storm, Linda Greenlaw chronicles her story of 30 days on a sword fishing boat that she captains. I lacked the stamina to finish as too much of the story was ordinary - I'll wait for the movie!
( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
The Hungry Ocean is an intimate memoir about the swordfishing industry from the perspective a female boat captain, Linda Greenlaw. This book details one specific trip from dock, to the sea and back again. We learn of the planning, the crew squabbles, the anticipation of pulling in the next set and the passion that those chosen few have who have elected to spend a majority of their lives at sea.

The Hungry Ocean is Greenlaw's first book, which I believe she was inspired to write after her boat (The Hannah Boden) was mentioned multiple times in "The Perfect Storm" by Sebastian Junger. The story was far more engaging than I would have expected from a book about commercial swordfishing. Things started out a bit slow, but once Greenlaw honed in on the love of her life (fishing) the story took off. If you are interested in a peek into the world of commercial swordfishing from the perspective of one of the most successful captain's out there, than look no further. ( )
  JechtShot | Jan 10, 2013 |
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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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