On December 11, I received an email from noted author Michael Tougias, inviting me to co-author a book with him about the loss of the tall ship HMS Bounty.
Mike is the author of five survival-at-sea books, the latest, A Storm Too Soon, published just last week. He has tremendous contacts in the publishing world. I'd be a fool not to jump at this offer. So, without hesitation, I jumped.
Today, we got a contract agreement with Simon & Schuster. The manuscript is due on the editor's desk by the end of the year.
Mike and I have been working on the book since the day he called. The Bounty went down on October 29 off of Cape Hatteras during Hurricane Sandy. Fourteen of the crew of 16 were rescued by the Coast Guard. One female crew member died and the captain was lost at sea.
So far, the survivors have been reluctant to talk with us. But I've been able to conduct a half dozen interviews with nautical experts and with former Bounty crew members.
Besides telling the story of the ship's final few days, our job will be to come as close as possible to answering the questions that began circulating as soon as the maritime community learned that the Bounty had set sail from New London, CT, on a path headed straight for a hurricane. Some have suggested that the captain was suicidal, some that he was homicidal for putting his crew in such danger. Many have claimed he was crazy.
I'm hoping that, through interviews not only with his crew members but with family members and others who knew him, we will be able to find a clear path to the actual truth.
The first step in that process is the official Coast Guard hearing scheduled in Portsmouth, VA, from February 12 to 21. I'll be attending every hour of that hearing, documenting the testimony and, I hope, meeting every person who appears before the hearing officer.
As the research progresses, I'll attempt to update my understanding at this site.