The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Man Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger
The "perfect storm" was a once-in-a-hundred-years combination: a high-pressure system from the Great Lakes running into storm winds over an Atlantic island - Sable Island - and colliding with a weather system from the Caribbean - "Hurricane Grace". This is the story of that storm, told through the accounts of fishermen at sea caught up in the maelstrom, of their families waiting anxiously for news, and of the rescue services. It is the story of the old battle between fishermen and the ocean, between man and nature; but here nature is an awesome and capricious power that transforms the surface of the Atlantic into an impossible tumult of water walls and gaping voids, and with the capacity to break an oil tanker in two, let alone the 72-foot sword-fishing boat "Andrea Gail", with her crew of eight. A typical hurricane encompasses 1,000,000 cubic miles of atmosphere and can contain enough energy (in theory, for a hurricane will not be controlled) to meet the electric-power needs of the UK for a decade. This book describes what happened when the "Andrea Gail" looked into the wrathful face of such a phenomenon.