Thursday, February 17, 2011
Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea
Can you possibly pass up a book with a name like that?! I love it! The English language is a beauty to behold, even at its simplest.
This is a non-fiction work that is immensely interesting, intense and fascinating. It tells two stories. The first one is of the Central America, a ship that is sunk by a storm on its way to New York during the California Gold Rush, with 21 tons of gold on board. It goes down 200 miles off shore and 2 miles below the surface.
The second story is about Tommy Thompson, a visionary man who many think is crazy. He is an adventurer, an inventor, and he is on a quest to find the ship and the gold, despite everyone telling him it is impossible. When others say that a deep sea recovery of this nature is virtually unattainable, he spends a decade inventing ways to get there, and in the process changes the very nature of deep sea diving and what the world believes is possible in the depths of the ocean. Towards the end, Thompson's adventure takes on quite an urgency as others begin to get close to what he has been working on for years. I was on the edge of my seat and biting my nails, wondering if he would indeed win the race.
Yet amidst this all, the story of the people aboard the Central America and their ordeal on the ocean is time and again brought back to the forefront, so that the reader never forgets the harrowing journey that these people made and the great losses they suffered. Both Thompson and Kinder do a wonderful job of honoring the ship, its crew, and its passengers for what they went through, helping the reader understand at what cost this gold was bought.
As Captain Jack Sparrow says, "Not all treasure is silver and gold, Mate." This is one book that is a treasure in and of itself, so go on the greatest hunt ever and read it today.