“The wind was blowing at hurricane strength-sixty-five knots and over-and increasing in the gusts to eighty knots. His boat was surfing on waves as high as a sixty-foot, six-storey building. . . Each wave that struck choked and froze him, the icy water working its way down inside his survival suit.” —from Close to the Wind by Pete Goss

In NEAR DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS, Cecil Kuhne collects some of the most terrifying and astounding experiences of sailors confronting the awesome, raw power of the sea. These tales-filled with everyday heroes and survivors-comprise a riveting and often breathtaking collection of extraordinary stories that show the terrible ferocity of the untamable ocean.

This book features Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki, the historic and celebrated journey of the Kon-Tiki as it journeys across the Pacific; Steve Callahan’s Adrift, the story of a lost sailor who must survive in a five-foot life raft for 76 days fighting off sharks with a makeshift spear; Francis Chischester’s ‘Gipsy Moth’ Circles The World, in which a 65-year-old man embarks on a solo sail around the globe; and John Rousmaniere’s Fastnet, Force 10, an account of  a massive rescue operation amidst sixty-knot winds and forty-foot breaker waves–one of the worst sailing tragedies in history.


Cecil Kuhne is the editor of two previous anthologies on adventure travel, ON THE EDGE and THE ARMCHAIR PADDLER. In this series is NEAR DEATH IN THE DESERT, NEAR DEATH IN THE ARCTIC, and NEAR DEATH IN THE MOUNTAINS. A former whitewater rafting guide, he has also written nine books about rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. He lives in Dallas.