The author recalls his seventy-six day ordeal adrift in the Atlantic Ocean in a five foot inflatable raft, after the sinking of his sailboat, recounting his problems surviving the weather, shark attacks, raft leaks, and food and water shortages.
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Alone & adrift, I came to terms with nature and my humanity.
For 2.5 months, I drifted about 2,000 miles across the Atlantic, learning to become an aquatic caveman. For many, Adrift is strictly an "adventure" survival story in which I starve and dehydrate, battle sharks and slowly adapt to the ocean wilderness in which anything that floats slowly develops an island-like ecology. While writing Adrift, I struggled to keep the pace without losing readers in sailor's jargon. However, deeper themes swim throughout the story, particularly with a school of fish that follow the raft. Although I experience a sort of living death, I am awakened to new sensitivities about my place in the universe and society, which infuses the experience with a sense of awe and wonder as much as pain and desperation. The fish, representatives of the sea's majesty and mystery, become my friends, test me and almost kill me, yet bring about my salvation. Alone, I learn to face my substantial failures, accept myself as a part of humanity, and find a balance between the rational, physical a
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