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

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Synopsis

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
 

About Linda Greenlaw

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LINDA GREENLAW is America's only female swordfish boat captain and was featured in the book and film The Perfect Storm and in the Discovery Channel series Swords: Life on the Line. She has written three New York Times bestsellers, including The Lobster Chronicles, two mysteries and has coauthored a cookbook. She currently lives on Isle au Haut, Maine.
 
Published August 1, 2001 by Hyperion. 291 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Business & Economics, Science & Math, Nature & Wildlife. Non-fiction

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Greenlaw comes across as a savvy captain with a knack for knowing the mood of both her crew and the weather (and no shrinking violet: “The meek may inherit the Earth, but they’ll never get my piece of the ocean”).

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Publishers Weekly

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Greenlaw tells a comparatively quotidian tale, ""the true story of a real, and typical, sword-fishing trip, from leaving the dock to returning."" Not trying to compete with Junger's operatic tale of death on the high seas, Greenlaw deals with stormy personalities rather than with bad weather.

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Publishers Weekly

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Greenlaw, captain of a commercial swordfishing boat, tells a new brand of salty tale.

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