At the Mercy of the Sea: The True Story of Three Sailors in a Caribbean Hurricane

Front Cover
McGraw Hill Professional, Oct 2, 2006 - Sports & Recreation - 223 pages
A 'normal' Caribbean hurricane travels from east to west, but Lenny was anything but normal. Spawned south of Cuba in November 1999, this late-season storm defied all predictions by moving steadily east toward the Leeward Islands. Eventually building almost to Category 5 strength, Lenny squatted for two days between the Virgin Islands and St. Martin, whipping the ocean with 155 mile-per-hour winds and 60-foot seas. In its path in the Anegada Passage were three sailboats and their unfortunate crews - La Vie en Rose, a 41-foot sloop captained by ex-army lieutenant colonel Carl Wake; English Braids, a tiny 21-foot racer skippered by would-be elite competitive sailor Steve Rigby; and Frederic-Anne, a 65-foot schooner rigged for day-sail charters out of St. Martin and skippered by ambitious young Guillaume Llobregat. None of the men knew each other, yet they converged by fate in a tiny circle of the sea in the midst of a hellish storm no boat could withstand. And even as he battled for survival, Carl Wake lived the crowning hours of his life. John Kretschmer's 'At the mercy of the sea' retraces the journeys of these three sailors through life and across oceans. It is a taut, suspenseful re-creation that seeks to make sense of the improbable intersection of three lives at the height of a storm, and a gripping reconstruction of Carl Wake's search for meaning and, ultimately, for his soul.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I just finished book yesterday. It is a powerful event that will be in my memory for a long time. Another profound true sea adventure of the some I have read: The last voyage of Albatross, Dana, & Cape Horn(One man`s dream one woman`s nightmare). To name some. At 51 myself I don't know if I can one day "live the dream" but given chance I day!! Great read Thank you. D. Boerkamp 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This is one of the greatest stories I have ever read. John does a brilliant job of drawing in your emotions as you read this book and you are intrigued to continue until the story breaks your heart. The details John puts into the pages of this book are incredible, as only an experienced seaman could narrate. This is not only a good sailing story, but it is a personal account of mans search for his soul. Everyone who has felt lost and misguided in their life can relate to the story of Carl Wake. This book will surely go down as a classic, and will remain at the top of my recommended reading list.  


Into the Eye
A Voice in the Wind

15 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

John Kretschmer has logged more than 200,000 offshore sailing miles. He is a longtime contributing editor to Sailing magazine and the sailing/travel columnist for the Miami Herald.

Bibliographic information