Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

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A rooster and a hen will always be together. The hen will lay eggs, the chicks get raised and go off on their own, if they survive the hawks, cats and rats, and the rooster and hen will again be stalking around. The pair around where I live have been together for years. The females are always braver than the males who never come forward to pick up scraps except at a run, grab and retreat. It's not really like an Attenborough documentary at all.

View all 11 comments. Mar 23, Dem rated it really liked it. I love non fiction survival stories and Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World really floated my boat pardon the pun. It's climate is extreme and harsh with year round freezing rain and howling winds so when in Captian Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the Island they are faced with uncertain death if they d I love non fiction survival stories and Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World really floated my boat pardon the pun.

It's climate is extreme and harsh with year round freezing rain and howling winds so when in Captian Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the Island they are faced with uncertain death if they don't put theirs leadership skills and suvivor knowledge into practice their fates may be short lived. This is a really interesting and well written story. Using the survivors journals and historical records the author brings this amazing story to life and shows with leadership and order what can be accomplished.

The story follows two different shipwrecks at different ends of Auckland Island at the same time and while neighter knew about the other party their stories differ in many ways and make for terrific reading. This is a very detailed and descriptive story and the author clealy has done amazing research. I loved learning about the seals and seal life on the island but not so much about the killing of the seals even thought I know it was about survival it did make for quite difficult reading and some readers may find this very difficult to read and it crops up quite often throughout the story.

I listened to this one on audible and the narrator was excellent. I did spent quite a bit of time researching and look up maps and photos on line. I am not sure if the hard copy included maps or photos of the Island. A great detailed and informative adventure story that was entertaining and educational.


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View all 5 comments. Jul 10, G. Tysk rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. I checked this book out from the library today, started reading it after dinner, and could not put it down or go to bed until I finished it! I read a fair number of sailing non-fiction books and am no stranger to accounts of shipwrecks, but Druett's talented writing and immediate ability to turn the journals of the shipwrecked sailors into an ongoing account of real human beings enthralled me.

I felt like I was reading a novel, all the more exciting because everything that happened was true. I'v I checked this book out from the library today, started reading it after dinner, and could not put it down or go to bed until I finished it! I've read a few of Druett's other non-fiction books, but the writing in the others didn't speak to me like this one did. She really shines here in pulling the most important nuggets from each man's account and shaping their emotions and struggles into a edge-of-your-seat account.

I'm not usually this effusive in reviewing books, so I'm as surprised as anyone that I loved this one this much to gush about it here. Perhaps it's because I've just come off a cruise on the Charles W.

Morgan and am eager to get my hands on more sea stories. But if you're looking for a tale of survival, camaraderie, and man vs. May 29, Martin rated it it was amazing Shelves: history , recently-reviewed , travel. Apart from drowning being Shipwrecked is a sailor's worst fear. The man who has experienced shipwreck shudders even at a calm sea.

Precisely at midnight on January 3, , she struck on the rocks. The captain and crew gathered all materials that might help them survive on the Auckland Islands. With frantic haste the five men retrieved what provisions, tools, and personal possessions they could from the hold and cabin, handing them up to the highest part of the steeply pitched deck, and then covering them with the mainsail.

Then they huddled there themselves and waited for whatever dreadful scene the dawn might reveal, while the rain lashed down and the wind raged with undiminished fury. A smaller barrel held about fifty pounds of ordinary flour. There were two tin boxes, one holding two pounds of tea, and the other three pounds of coffee. A damp hempen bag held a dozen pounds of sugar.

In addition, they had a few pieces of salt meat, with mustard and pepper for seasoning. A box holding six pounds of tobacco belonged to Musgrave and Raynal, but they immediately shared it out with the men. Musgrave and the three sailors sprang dazedly to their feet. Arming themselves with a pickax and cudgels of firewood, they dashed out of the tent. Then, just as precipitously, they stopped short, because just yards away two sea lion bulls were ferociously battling. Both were formidable beasts, about eight feet long and more than six feet broad at the shoulders, their massive bodies covered with short dark hair.

Their jaws gaped to reveal huge tusks, and their great moustaches and shaggy iron-gray manes bristled with rage. Finally George and Harry, afraid that the beasts would blunder over the tent and demolish it, threw flaming torches at them, and the two bulls roared off, to recommence their battle a few hundred yards away. A recipe for roast seal. First, catch your seal Not only was it fine but the sailors held the first of the many hunting parties to come.

While Raynal was again left at the camp to make sure the fire did not burn out, Musgrave and the others took up six-foot cudgels and set off into the forest. Raynal watched them disappear; after about a half hour he heard shouts and exclamations, and realized that the chase had been successful. Later still, the men reappeared, each loaded down with a quarter of a sea lion carcass, the animal being far too big for one man to carry alone.

They were scratched, insect-bitten, weary, and bloodstained, but no one had been hurt, and they had enough meat to get them through the next few days. Considering that none of them had been sealing before, and they had only followed the instructions that some old sealer had given them in Sydney—that the efficient way to kill a seal was to club it over the root of the nose, between the eyes, where the bones of the skull were thinnest—they had done very well.

It was a triumph. The menu for today, and tomorrow and tomorrow. Dinner—ditto ditto. Supper—ditto ditto. This repeated twenty-one times per week. Mussels or fish have become quite a rarity, and we have been unable to get any for some time. After more than a year on Auckland Island two men sailed in their home made boat over two hundred miles to New Zealand after promising to return for the others. This true story was carefully detailed from all the records of the surviving sailors.

View 2 comments. Oct 31, Cherie rated it it was amazing Shelves: published-since A well researched and well written account of what men who "Because of conscientious leadership, resourceful technology, unstinting hard work, and an outstanding spirit of camaraderie, had survived unimaginable privations.

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The author's notes and the follow up accounts of the people that had parts in the story was very A well researched and well written account of what men who "Because of conscientious leadership, resourceful technology, unstinting hard work, and an outstanding spirit of camaraderie, had survived unimaginable privations. The author's notes and the follow up accounts of the people that had parts in the story was very enlightening. I really enjoyed the way the account was written. I spent hours, while reading, looking at maps, looking up locations, and researching the animals and plants mentioned in the story.

Jan 27, Tim rated it it was amazing. If you like history or survival stories, this book will float your boat. Island of the Lost is a true account of two ill fainted voyages into the Antarctic ocean. With a particular focus on one, it follows 5 men as they seek their fortune in the Aukland Islands, south of New Zealand. I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say things don't go as planned.

Soon their boat is smashed to pieces and they are left marooned with slim of chance of rescue. The ingenious methods these guys use to survive, If you like history or survival stories, this book will float your boat. The ingenious methods these guys use to survive, along with their often harrowing circumstances make for utterly gripping reading. I often found myself wondering "how did they know to do that?

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Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Joan Druett

Definite recommend. Sep 12, Franz rated it really liked it Shelves: history , nonfiction , The ocean is almost uninterrupted by land, which allows storms form quickly, circle the globe, and grow with little land to slow them down. This climate, along with an unreliable food supply and harsh geography, makes survival difficult, and survival from shipwreck hopeless. Islands of the Lost desc "Below the 40th latitude there is no law; below the 50th no God; below the 60th no common sense and below the 70th no intelligence whatsoever. Islands of the Lost describes the shipwreck, survival, and return of the crew of the Grafton, a 19th century collier re-purposed for exploring an island for potential mining opportunities.

It shows how a crew who acts as a team and has strong leadership can survive even in the harshest of places. Contrasting the Grafton is the Invercauld, a ship that wrecks at the same time less than twenty miles from the Grafton. Only three of their original 19 survivors made it off the island, in many ways because of a lack of leadership and camaraderie. The rest were only rescued when a passing ship made a chance stop near their camp.


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  • The Grafton's survivors, on the other hand, reinforced their boat and rescued themselves by sailing several hundred miles to an inhabited island south of New Zealand. After nearly two years on the Auckland Islands they made it home. Island of the Lost is an excellent book. It does a great job of describing not only the survivors ordeal, but also the wildlife, vegetation, and history of the remote Auckland Islands. I was also truly amazed at the ingenuity of the Grafton's crew at using pieces of their wooden boat to create tools, housing, and eventually the reinforcing members of their life boat.

    I also found the tale of survival to not overly dramatize any of the events, there was no glamourizing of the two years these men spent on the brink of death. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in real-life adventure stories and stories that show the power of the human spirit to survive against all odds. The gripping story of a company of men shipwrecked on a cold and isolated place in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Sep 10, Chad Sayban rated it it was amazing. It is a tale that would seem implausible, if not for the fact that it is all absolutely true.

    In , near the end of the age of sail, two separate ships did indeed wreck along the coast of Auckland Island — a tiny sliver of land sticking out of the forbidding Southern Ocean — a place that remains uninhabited to this day. The schooner Grafton and its crew of five wrecks at the southern end of the island. Through inspired leadership and the camaraderie of the whole crew, they are able to eke out an existence in spite of the vast hardships. At almost the same time, the Invercauld wrecks at the north end of the island. In contrast to the Grafton, most of the 19 surviving crew of the Invercauld quickly succumb to the elements, infighting and a leadership vacuum.

    Druett does an excellent job of weaving the two stories together, contrasting a crew working together with a crew in shambles. Her credentials as a historian insure an exhaustive level of research, while her award-winning skills as a novelist ensure that the text is entirely readable.

    While the book spends perhaps a little too much time describing the multitude of ways to kill a seal and not quite enough time discussing the lives of the castaways after their ordeal, as a whole it is a wonderful effort at delivering a look into a place and time not widely understood. There is also a thorough collection of notes at the end that provide many more factual details. However, its greatest attribute is the way it shines a spotlight on a teachable moment of history — how survival is often determinant on who you are with and how well you work together.

    If you have any interest in sailing history or stories of survival in the remote reaches of the world, this is a great book to have. Jul 25, Nathan rated it it was amazing Shelves: xjuly It's not just one amazing story, it's two. Two shipwrecks at the same time in the middle of 19th century-freaking-nowhere. A lot of stuff about the positive and negative power of personal character and a whole bunch of luck thrown in to muddy the ocean. I read mostly fiction. This did not feel like a novel to me. There was too much historical, nautical and scientific information for it to feel like a novel.

    All that research was great though. It never felt like it dragged on the pace or got in t It's not just one amazing story, it's two. It never felt like it dragged on the pace or got in the way of the "characters". I liked the narrative style of this book very much. I think it would appeal to a wide variety of readers. It's an easy book to recommend. You should pick it up today.

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    Feb 23, Dan rated it liked it. I struggled to complete Island of the Lost. The story of two simultaneously shipwrecked crews, unknown to each othed, on the same remote island south of New Zealand in , makes for interesting fodder as one group endures and the other group resorts to cannibalism. But alas the prose is not particularly well written. The book extensively relies on the journals kept by Captain Musgrave and quite frankly he was not much of a writer either. I think the story has enough compelling material for a fi I struggled to complete Island of the Lost.

    I think the story has enough compelling material for a five star read. Quite simply I would have liked to see someone like Erik Larson write it instead. The author, Joan Druett, is a maritime historian in New Zealand who has published many books. Mar 17, Michele Harrod rated it it was amazing. This book was recommended to me, and I can honestly say, it was utterly gripping. Based on the true story of 5 sailors who were shipwrecked on the Auckland Islands in Approximately miles south of New Zealand - a place truly desolate, cold and cruel. I am not sure what amazed me the most - their own incredible ability to break down traditional 'class' structures and retain total care and loyalty to each other, alongside their incredible ingenuity that allowed them to survive for well ov This book was recommended to me, and I can honestly say, it was utterly gripping.

    I am not sure what amazed me the most - their own incredible ability to break down traditional 'class' structures and retain total care and loyalty to each other, alongside their incredible ingenuity that allowed them to survive for well over a year - AND make their own way out Bear Grylls, you just have NOTHING on these guys, I tell you!!

    Island of the lost : shipwrecked at the edge of the world

    I don't think I have read another story where true heroism is so perfectly shown to exist in the form of kindness, self-sacrifice and loyalty. I cannot imagine a harder fate than these men endured. And perhaps reading it at a time we have a plane missing with passengers on it - and there remains a skerrick of hope that they too are alive somewhere, it makes me wonder - what are the chances of those individuals having the absolute collective good CHARACTER that triumphed over physical and emotional strengths, time and time again , to survive as well as these men did?

    Sep 11, Bettie rated it liked it Shelves: location-location-location , whats-it-all-about-alfie , published , tbr-busting , autumn , nonfiction , history , adventure , survival , a-questing-we-shall-go. Description: Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, miles south of New Zealand.

    Using the survivors' journals and historical records, award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett brings the extraordinary untold story of two shipwrecks on the same island at the same time to life, a story about leadership Description: Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, miles south of New Zealand.

    View all 3 comments. Nov 14, Jessi rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Everyone who loves survival stories. I loved this book. One of the most well written true shipwreck stories I've ever read. Facinating and inspiring. It gets a bit bogged down into much detail at parts, but it is a very interesting story, in particular why one group survives and the other doesn't. Jul 17, Eliza rated it it was amazing. Right up there with Endurance. This book is unique in that there are two drastically different shipwreck stories being told.

    It's amazing how leadership played a major role in the devastation of one and the success of the other. Great life and leadership lessons throughout. Sep 19, Janice rated it it was amazing. This is the true account of two ships, in , shipwrecked on Auckland Island, near Antarctica. The survivors made it to shore four months and only 20 miles apart and never knew the others were there. The five men who had been aboard the Grafton, survived their miserable twenty month ordeal by living democratically, instead of maintaining shipboard rank.

    They were resourceful and made the best of their situation. Days were spent building a shelter and primarily hunting sea lions for food. At ni This is the true account of two ships, in , shipwrecked on Auckland Island, near Antarctica. At night, they had Bible study and "school," teaching each other.

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    One man was an engineer. Two of them could not read and write. Two spoke languages they taught the others. Two kept journals. Soon, only three remained, the ineffectual captain and another officer being kept alive by a resourceful seaman. Druett tells the two stories in strict chronological order, allowing readers to become familiar with the Grafton party before weaving the Invercauld survivors into the narrative.

    She zeroes in on the salient details of their ordeals, identifying the plants that kept the castaways from contracting scurvy or sketching out an improvised recipe for soap with equal aplomb. This is a fine addition to the genre of survival tales like Endurance or In the Heart of the Sea. View Full Version of PW.

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