Once is Enough [EPUB]
05 February 2014, 11:38
2014 | EPUB | 4.02MB
When Tzu Hang, a 46-foot ketch, set sail from Melbourne in December 1956 bound for England, Miles and Beryl Smeeton, their Siamese cat, Pwe, and their friend, John Guzzwell, had little concept of the challenges or the terrors that awaited them. At that time very few small sailboats had successfully rounded Cape Horn, and none had sailed as far south as Tzu Hang--just north of the Antarctic iceberg limit.
Six weeks later, on the night of February 12, in the icy, angry seas several hundred miles west of Cape Horn, Tzu Hang was caught from astern by a huge wave that somersaulted her. Beryl Smeeton, who had been alone at the tiller, was thrown thirty yards into the sea. Her lifeline broken, and suffering a scalp wound and a broken collarbone, she managed to swim to the wreckage of the mast and rigging in the water and pull herself close to the boat where Miles and John could heave her on board. Tzu Hang was a shambles: the tiller, rudder, doghouse, anchor, compass, and dinghies had all been ripped away; the masts had broken off level with the deck, and a tangled mass of wire shrouds, the masts, and the booms spread over the deck and into the water; and Tzu Hang was half-filled with water and close to sinking. The pumps were clogged with debris, so the laborious process of removing water from Tzu Hang--twelve hours of near-constant bailing--had to be done bucket by bucket. Working beyond exhaustion, the crew salvaged what they could, built a new doghouse and masts, fashioned a jury rig, and five weeks later sailed into Arauco Bay on the Chilean coast.
After ten months of making repairs to Tzu Hang in a Chilean navy yard, Miles and Beryl Smeeton (with Pwe but without John Guzzwell) sailed again toward Cape Horn and once again were capsized, dismasted, and nearly sunk by a rogue wave. Again, they survived the disaster and sailed 2,000 miles to Valparaiso, Chile.
One of the most gripping sea stories of all time, Once Is Enough recounts the adventures of Tzu Hang's crew. When it was first published in 1959, this tale of struggle and determination electrified the sailing world. What keeps it fresh and captivating is not just Smeeton's vivid re-creation of the sea's fury; his eloquent descriptions of life at sea and his colorful observations of the many people and places encountered during their journey make Once Is Enough timeless reading for sailors and armchair adventurers alike.
Dead Mountain [EPUB]
03 February 2014, 16:49
2013 | EPUB | 5.94MB
In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.
This gripping work of literary nonfiction delves into the mystery through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter. A fascinating portrait of the young hikers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers narrative, the investigators' efforts, and the author's investigations, here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.
High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest [EPUB]
03 February 2014, 06:14
2000 | EPUB | 2.93MB
For generations of resolute adventurers, from George Mallory to Sir Edmund Hillary to Jon Krakauer, Mount Everest and the world's other greatest peaks have provided the ultimate testing ground. But the question remains: Why climb? In High Exposure, elite mountaineer and acclaimed Everest filmmaker David Breashears answers with an intimate and captivating look at his life.
For Breashears, climbing has never been a question of risk taking: Rather, it is the pursuit of excellence and a quest for self-knowledge. Danger comes, he argues, when ambition blinds reason. The stories this world-class climber and great adventurer tells will surprise you -- from discussions of competitiveness on the heights to a frank description of the 1996 Everest tragedy.