Currently Reading: Adrift

I'm not reading anything new right now, so you guys get a guest post from DT!  Enjoy!

At the outset, Adrift: Seventy–six Days Lost at Sea, by Steven Callahan, is a seemingly straightforward, classic tale of survival at sea. The title alone is enough to convey what to expect in the ensuing pages.

For those of you who happen to be children of the coasts or have spent any time on the open ocean, you know how beautifully serene and relaxing it can be – and how awesomely powerful and unforgiving it can become. The same appreciation is woven into Adrift, along with the necessary back-stories to provide the reader with a sense of how Callahan ended up marooned on the tiny island that was his survival raft, alone in the middle of the Atlantic.

As a naval architect and advanced sailor (with a degree in philosophy), Callahan’s true tale of survival contains many expected details: the daily challenges of staying hydrated, hunting for food, calculating theoretical positions and speed, etc. But his account also approaches broader questions and themes that a person begins to ponder only when they’re at the end of their rope, and provides a window into the mind of a man completely alone and laid bare by the raw power of Mother Nature. Also included: the constant threat of sharks, giant Dorado fish, rogue waves, several near-misses of being rescued, and the daily hallucination of food.

At a brisk 250 pages, Adrift is a captivating read and left me wondering whether I’m resourceful enough to survive if placed in a similar situation. My guess is that it’s impossible for any reader’s mind not to “float” the hypothetical scenario while also taking in a truly amazing story of survival. 


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