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Berserk in the Antarctic: Sailing to the World's Most Uninhabitable Continent [Secure eReader]
eBook by David Mercy

eBook Category: Travel/General Nonfiction
eBook Description: Three men in a boat--as never seen before ... "This is suicide!" Manuel screamed frantically. So begins David Mercy's amazing true story of his journey to Antarctica in a 27-foot sailing boat. After a year travelling through South America to Tierra del Fuego, the only continent he had never visited beckoned to him across treacherous waters. Ships booked for scientific expeditions wouldn't take him, and tourist cruises didn't appeal. Then he saw a little boat in the harbour, its name inscribed on the hull with short lengths of black electrical tape: Berserk. Joined by the boat's young Norwegian owner and an Argentinian newlywed, he set sail with little idea of the tumultuous storms, mishaps and emergencies that loomed on a Shackleton-style voyage to the world's coldest, most dangerous and inaccessible continent. He brilliantly recounts their experience of the endless pounding of wind and waves, the bleak darkness, and the delicate balance of personalities where a mutiny was always in the air.

eBook Publisher: Summersdale Non Fiction/Summersdale Travel
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2006

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?This is suicide!? Manuel screamed frantically. ?We?ve got to go back before it?s too late!? He grabs me by the collar with both hands balled into fists like a madman and shakes wildly. Though he is shouting right in my face, the wind blows so fiercely, so loudly, I can barely hear him. We are in the middle of a hurricane, riding it out on the swamped decks of a tiny sailing boat, a speck in a sea of madness. A week earlier, none of us had ever met before ? and now we are reliant upon each other, and upon this fragile, dilapidated boat, for our lives. Maybe he is right. Maybe we are going to die. We are being smacked flush in the face by a major hurricane-strength storm just south of Cape Horn, like we have walked into the ring against the heavyweight champion of the world and are getting punched right in the nose before having a chance to lift a glove. We are on our way to Antarctica in a 27-foot fibreglass sailing boat our 21-year-old Norwegian captain named Berserk. It?s our first day out at sea, the first time Manuel and I have really sailed, and the seas are enormous. The waves tower high over the mast and break down upon us constantly, tossing the boat over on its side. We're always one wave away from capsizing. We?ve reached a point beyond fear. No longer do I fight Death ? I have accepted it. I just don't want to die with Manuel screaming in my ear, that?s all. I met him ten minutes before we got on board ? ten minutes before we met Jarle. We're three strangers out here at sea doing battle with the worst possible conditions in the world, but for some odd reason, I?m still happy. The question is: why? Manuel gets right up in my face and shouts again. ?We?re going to fucking die!? His eyes look like overweight Marine recruit Private Pyle?s in the Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket right before he blows his drill sergeant to oblivion. He loosens his grip but his eyes remain the same. ?Jarle, we?ve got to go back!? he shouts up to the captain. He frantically bounces around the inside of the cabin like a cockroach, grabbing onto anything he can hold in the storm. He tries to reason with me. ?David, he?s just a boy. He?s only a boy,? he explains quietly and calmly. ?He?s only twentyone. Remember all the mistakes you made at that age?? He speaks with reason and assuredness that are not called for during such a harrowing scene, in such a difficult moment. It is almost eerie, a moment of quiet in the middle of raging, deafening violence ? as unnatural and disconcerting as the panicked shouting. Manuel doesn't let up. ?He didn't listen to the report,? he shrieks. ?He knew we were heading out into a storm.? Manuel thinks he?s crazy. Is that true? No way. As Jarle likes to say: ?Crazy, but not stupid.? He would never intentionally head out into this. No right-thinking human would.

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