A drawing of a ship sailing on high waves showcases adventures stories.

There once was a ship that put to sea…

Fiction and nonfiction stories of adventure on the high seas.

Sea wife /
Amity Gaige
From the acclaimed author of Schroder comes a novel about a young family who escape suburbia for a year-long sailing trip that upends all of their lives. (Also available as a ebook and downloadable audio from Libby/OverDrive.)

Gale force /
Owen Laukkanen
A freak maritime accident has made McKenna Rhodes the captain of the salvage boat Gale Force, but it’s also made her cautious, sticking closer to the Alaska coastline. She and her crew are just scraping by, when the freighter Pacific Lion, out of Yokohama, founders two hundred miles out in a storm. Another salvage ship, far bigger and more powerful than Gale Force, is racing to the rendezvous as well. If McKenna can’t find a way to prevail, everything she loves – the ship, her way of life, maybe even her life itself – will be lost.

Rough passage to London : a sea captain’s tale, a novel /
Robin Lloyd
Set in the early 19th century, this book follows Ely, a young farm boy who escapes his troublesome home in Connecticut and becomes a cabin boy on a square-rigged ship headed for London, a route he hopes will lead to his disappeared older brother. As Ely learns the trade of a sailor and follows a cryptic clue to his brother’s whereabouts, he experiences romance, faces a mutiny, meets Queen Victoria, and befriends historical legends.

Moby-Dick : or, the whale / Herman Melville
A nineteenth-century tale of life aboard a New England whaling ship whose captain is obsessed with the pursuit of a large white whale. (Also available in Large Print, and ebook from Libby/Overdrive.)

Master and commander /
Patrick O’Brian
This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship’s surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of a life aboard a man-of-war are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle. (Also available as an ebook and downloadable audio from Libby/OverDrive.)

The dragonfly sea : a novel /
by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
A young woman growing up in an isolated island off the coast of Kenya discovers friends, enemies, and her true self on a dramatic journey to the Far East.

Moonlight and the pearler’s daughter / Lizzie Pook
To solve the mystery of her missing father, a pearl-diving boat captain, Eliza, in 1896 Australia, must decide the price she is willing to pay to find the truth as she is submerged in a seedy underbelly of a town rife with corruption, prejudice and blackmail.

The whiteness of the whale / David Poyer
Joining six other activists to sail a racing yacht into Antarctic waters to expose a Japanese whaling fleet, disgraced primate behaviorist Sara Pollard finds her courage tested by brutal storms, hostile adversaries and romantic conflicts before encountering a sperm whale with a murderous agenda of its own

Danger on the Atlantic
/ Erica Ruth Neubauer
Tasked with identifying a German spy on a sea voyage across the Atlantic in 1926, Jane Wunderly goes undercover as the fashionable wife of her partner, Mr. Redvers, and faces another mystery when a wealthy newlywed announces the disappearance of her husband at sea. (Also available as an ebook and downloadable audio from Libby/OverDrive.)

The forever sea /
Joshua Phillip Johnson
Kindred Greyreach, a hearthfire keeper, navigates ongoing conflict, unknown beasts and a mythic pirate city after her grandmother, The Marchess, disappears into the Forever Sea, a miles-high expanse of prairie grasses sailed by magical ships harvesting resources for human civilization.

The bright and breaking sea
/ Chloe Neill
Rescued as a foundling and raised in a home for girls with magical abilities, a rare woman captain in the Isles’ Crown Command fleet reluctantly partners with a mysterious war veteran for a dangerous rescue mission in pirate territory. (Also available as a downloadable audio from hoopla.)

363.123 WAL
Coming back alive : the true story of the most harrowing search and rescue mission ever attempted on Alaska’s high seas /
Spike Walker
A gripping account details the heroic and daring rescue of the crew of the La Conte, who were forced to abandon ship into the fierce and freezing sea during a brutal storm, by the U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue teams who braved nature’s anger to save the lives of these five men.

910.9163 PIT
Icebound : shipwrecked at the edge of the world
/ Andrea Pitzer
Documents the remarkable survival tale of 16th-century Dutch explorer and talented navigator Williams Barents, whose obsessive quest to chart the remote regions of the Arctic prompted three harrowing expeditions.

974.45 JUN
The perfect storm : a true story of men against the sea
/ Sebastian Junger
Presents a vivid account of a history-making storm that hit the New England coast in October 1991 and the lives it changed, weaving together the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and personal accounts.

BH: June 2022