2011, October 9
Summary of “The Perfect Storm”
Chapter 1- Georges Bank 1896
A mackerel schooner, fishing in one of the most dangerous fishing areas on the planet, found a bottle floating at sea. One of the sailors took it out of the water and handed it to the captain, who took the note out and read it to the crew. The note was from a boat named the Falcon that had been sailing for a year and one of the crew members wrote that there was no hope because their cable and rudder was gone and water was leaking onto their boat. It ended with, “The one that picks this up let it be known. God have mercy on us.” The narrator wondered what a man does in his last moments once he’s lost all hope, and this one, decided to write. Chapter 2- Gloucester Mass., 1991
This chapter begins to lay the foundation for the rest of the book by introducing the characters, describing what the city of Gloucester is like, and talking a little about the process of fishing as a whole. Two of the main characters are Bobby Shatford, and his girlfriend Christina Cotter. Bobby was separated from a past marriage with two kids, and Christina was divorced with three of her own. Ethel, Bobby’s mother, raised he and five siblings, working as a daytime bartender at a popular town bar called the Crow’s Nest. Bobby’s sister, Mary Anne, didn’t put up with any funny business and, “Kept him on his toes”. Bobby is a sword fisher along with a couple of close friends and shipmates, Bugsy and Murph, aboard a boat named the Andrea Gail. Bobby is loved by everyone in town and has a crazy reputation, and Murph looks like a big mountain man with, “Mongolian eyes”. An old family friend, Billy Tyne, was given the captains job from the previous captain, Charlie Reed, and an experienced and skilled fisher named sully was convinced to replace one of the crew members who backed out on short notice. Visibly frustrated, Sully looks over to bobby and Bugsy as they fight and tells Chris, “ Can you believe this shit? Thirty- days and its starting already”. Another man named Doug Kosco also backed out, and was replaced by Adam Randall. They both were said to have bad feelings about the trip, which led them to not joining the crew. A man named Bob Brown owned the Andrea Gail along with a few other boats, and took most of the fishing profit. Gloucester, Massachusetts is a small town about 45 minutes from Boston made up of mostly fishers and bars. Fishers went out for months at a time to a popular fishing spot called Georges Bank, where they fish for cod and swordfish. Once they return they collect their earnings after selling their catch, and spend most of it in bars before they go back out to sea. There are countless tales of fishers fighting rough seas, never to return back to Gloucester, but it’s the chance they take in order to make a living. Chapter 3- Gods Country
Chapter 3 begins to explain what it takes to prepare your vessel before, during, and after a trip, then goes a little bit into the history of Gloucester, and finishes with the dangers of fishing the Grand Banks. Alfred Pierre, one of the last members to join the crew, is a big, shy Jamaican man who everyone seems to like even though they don’t know him. The crew is at the Crow’s Nest spending their last night before they leave, and there’s a sad tone to the celebrating as everyone knows the grand banks in October is, “no joke”. Europeans have been fishing the new world since it had been found. In 1605 an explorer from France named Samuel De Champlain was heading south of Maine, making his way through some rough weather. As he found some shelter in a, “Natural Harbor”. He met a group of Abenaki Indians that, “Made a great show of hospitality”. Because of the great shelter, he called this place Beauport, meaning the good harbor. During those times, New England was a rundown place where some bad crowds survived, and Gloucester was where they wound up. After being deserted for a long time,...
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