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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A precise account of what happens aboard a swordfishing boat on the Grand Banks when it is not being terrorized by a perfect storm, from a captain among the fleet.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat...

Publishers Weekly

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She's smart, hard-working and good at what she does, though sometimes she wishes she had a life. Greenlaw is captain of the Hannah Boden, sister ship to the Andrea Gail, the sword-fishing boat whose d

May 10 1999 | Read Full Review of The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat...

Publishers Weekly

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Greenlaw, captain of a commercial swordfishing boat, tells a new brand of salty tale. She is a woman who has succeeded in a codified and clannish man's vocation, and her take on life at sea is clear-e

May 03 1999 | Read Full Review of The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat...

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.

| Read Full Review of The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat...

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

| Read Full Review of The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat...

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May 15 1999 | Read Full Review of The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat...

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