In September 1857, the SS Central America, a side-wheel steamer carrying nearly six hundred passengers returning from the California Gold Rush, foundered in a hurricane and sank two hundred miles off the Carolina coast. Over four hundred lives and twenty-one tons of California gold were lost. It was the worst peacetime disaster at sea in American history, a tragedy that remained lost in legend for over a century.
In the 1980s, a young engineer from Ohio set out to do what no one, not even the United States Navy, had been able to do: establish a working presence on the deep-ocean floor and open it to science, archaeology, mining, medicine, and recovery. The SS Central America became the target of his project. After years of intensive efforts, Tommy Thompson and the Columbus-America Discovery Group found the Central America in eight thousand feet of water, and in September 1989 they sailed into Norfolk with her recovered treasure: gold coins, bars, nuggets, and dust, plus steamer trunks filled with period clothes, newspapers, books, journals, and even an intact cigar sealed under water for 130 years. Life magazine called it "the greatest treasure ever found."
Now Gary Kinder tells for the first time this extraordinary tale of history, human drama, heroic rescue, scientific ingenuity, and individual courage. Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea begins with a copiously researched historical record of the disaster, rendered in chilling detail with testimony from survivors and eyewitnesses. In a gripping narrative, the author re-creates the five days at sea in a rising hurricane and recounts the heroism of men like Captain William Herndon, the heartbreak of loss and separation for newlyweds like Addie and Ansel Easton, the daring rescue of women and children by a passing brig, and the eventual sinking of the Central America.
The book then becomes a fascinating account of the efforts of Tommy Thompson, the young visionary engineer who explodes boundaries of various disciplines---oceanography, computer science, information theory, and advanced robotics---to accomplish what everyone said was impossible: penetrate the deep ocean. Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea is a testament to the human will to triumph over adversity. It is also a great American adventure story of the opening of Earth's last frontier
Kinder's Book is an incredible minute-by-minute account of the ill-fated steamship, [the] Central America. . . .Ship of Gold is a fresh adventure story and exciting history.
What a yarn! . . . [Ship of Gold] only takes a few evenings to read, but if you sign on for the cruise, go in knowing that you're going to miss meals and a lot of sleep. . . . Kinder spins a tale as informative as it is knuckle-biting. Who knew you could have this much fun watching other people get rich.
Ship of in the Deep Blue Sea is nonfiction treasure... The book takes hold of you from page one and never lets go. . . . History and heroics, science and suspense - Ship of Gold has that blockbuster feel.
Engaging, worthy of the best fiction and enough action to shame James Bond.
Los Angeles Times Book Review Ship of Gold is a marvelous tale, with generous portions of history, adventure, intrigue, heroism and high technology interwoven. . . . Gary Kinder can join Jules Verne, Bob Ballard and Tom Clancy in making underwater technology thrilling.
Kinder's involving fully realized history of the ship amounts to a treasure in itself.
The truly fascinating tale of the first successful deep-water ocean salvage operation is a tribute to good, old-fashioned American ingenuity and grit--with a big dose of Titanic-like adventure to boot. . . . Kinder's well-told tale of the Central America recovery (which represents nothing less than the opening of a new frontier in the deep ocean) is one of the great scientific adventure stories of our times.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Jim Awesome read This is a fascinating story both of the sinking of the ship and the finding of the ship. An incredible tale of human endurance and perseverance. Cannot wait to see who they cast in the movie.
Rated of 5
Rated of 5
by Farhi Israel
I read the book in hebrew, it was translated by: Li Evron. I couldn't leave the book antil i riched the end.
Rated of 5
At first, I thought that it would be dry technical stuff, but as I read the 507 pages in two sittings, I found myself wanting more information. I consider this an unparalled work of biography, history and technology wrapped around a compelling... Read More
Rated of 5
by Jeann Foerstner
My husband read this book first and just raved about this incrediable journey. He gave it to our sons and they loved it too. I decided to review this story for my book club and out of 13 women only one told me she did'nt like it! I... Read More
Rated of 5
by William Knott
Great Book about beating the odds and simple tragic life moments to California Miners aboard a doomed ship. Once you start you cannot put the book down!!!!
Cussler and NUMA (The National Underwater & Marine Agency) demonstrate again that truth can be stranger than fiction. True adventures told in this volume include the 2000 raising of the Confederate submarine Hunley, The Mary Celeste, the Carpathia, and the L'Oiseau Blanc, the airplane that almost beat The Spirit of...
In the tradition of Jon Krakauers Into Thin Air comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery and make history themselves.
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