Author(s): Joan Druett
A harrowing true story of shipwreck, death and survival on a Godforsaken island at the edge of the world.
In January of 1864, five sailors from the wrecked schooner Graftonare stranded on remote and icy Auckland Island, some three hundred miles from New Zealand. An isolated speck in the Southern ocean, it is a godforsaken place, with winds howling at sixty miles an hour, rain three hundred days a year, and an almost impenetrable coastal forest. Under the leadership of Captain Thomas Musgrave, these men defy their slim chance of survival. They build a cabin and, incredibly, a forge, where they manufacture every single nail as well as most of their tools. Miraculously, all the Graftonmen survive for nearly two years before finally building a getaway vessel and setting off on one of the most courageous sea voyages ever. Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the same island - twenty miles of impassable cliffs and chasms away - another ship wrecks during a horrible gale. Nineteen men struggle ashore. They eventually succumb to utter anarchy, and only three survive.
Using the survivors' journals, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett tells a gripping cautionary tale about leadership, endurance, and the fine line between order and chaos.
1 A Sturdy Vessel, 2 Open Sea, 3 The Islands, 4 Wrecked, 5 Shelter, 6 Prey, 7 The Cabin, 8 Democracy, 9 Routine, 10 Dire Necessity, 11 The Jaws of Hell, 12 Privation, 13 The Hunt, 14 Equinox, 15 Summer, 16 Raynal's Forge, 17 Boats, 18 Escape, 19 Deliverance, 20 A Sentiment of Humanity, 21 Rescue, 22 Reunion, 23 Answers. Aftermath. Author's Note