On the northern track, the Big Fitz fights her way up the north shore and past Isle Royale.

The Fitzgerald hurries to her doom as she finds an unchartered reef.


At anchor, Persistence rocks gently as author Marlin Bree emerges from a boat cover he built himself. The opening is velcroed shut when needed but opens up for fresh air below.


At the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Marlin Bree takes a rest beside some of the big boats featured at the world's biggest boat show. He was at this international boating event to pick up a Boating Writer's International Grand Prize -- for writing about small boat adventures.

Persistence is towed behind the 1992 Suzuki Sidekick. Here Loris and I are on are way to Grand Portage, MN, along Superior's north shore.I'll be sailing Superior's northernmost arc, where I encountered the near fatal "storm of the century." This adventure became Wake of the Green Storm.

Boating, survival on water, storms at sea, maritime tales and survivals
Why did the Edmund Fitzgerald sink? Find yourself in the big freighter's wheelhouse as the Superior storm is at its worst. Or, dive into murky waters to discover a mysterious old schooner sitting on the bottom still intact. A storm hits! Now come aboard a 10-foot home-built plywood sailboat trying to make it across the stormy South Pacific. Join the author aboard his sailboat trying to survive the storm of the century, with 134 mph. downbursts. Here are seven true tales of maritime adventure and survival from the waters of the world to stir the blood and fire the imagination--all told with a mariner's insight! And more. With illustrations, charts. Now the winner of seven writing awards!
Fiction: A boater gets caught up in a daring around-the-world sailboat race ---and finds murder! "Full of remarkable characters and daring feats."--Cruising World.
A new and updated version of the Boat Log & Record is now available for amateur boaters to keep track of voyages and to maintain a permanent record of their vessel. It's the largest and most complete boat log and record for amateur boaters ever published. Includes special Emergency section dealing with transmittng a Mayday Message and how to deal with Man overboard.
Here are masterful tales of seafaring on the world's largest freshwater lake, including the last hours of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Join Marlin Bree in his solo voyages -- including a storm that gives Superior the reputation as being one of the world's most dangerous bodies of water.
A catamaran sails at midnight and is hit by a surprise storm along the Shipwreck coast. At the helm, the author fights for control and he and the crew search for the entryway off the lake. Exciting adventure. In a special chapter, as he sails near the sunken vessel, he takes a new look at the last hours of the Edmund Fitzgerald. If you like rugged adventures and are intrigued by Lake Superior's legends, history and folklore, here's a special book that will fascinate and sometimes surprise you.
Nonfiction: Excerpts & pix!
Roaring out of nowhere, a huge storm tore onto Lake Superior and catches a lone sailor and his small wooden boat in a wall of wind. Join Marlin Bree in the cockpit of his small sailboat as he fights to save his boat. The author goes on to complete a special voyage along the picturesque north shore of Lake Superior. A classic boating tale. "Equals any oceanic adventure." -- San Diego Log
Nonfiction
Fiction: Lots of cartoons & laughs!
Okay, gang: let's face it: our boating world is funny sometimes. It's filled with good hearted people and a lot of other folks ranging from full-of-it skippers and too-party-hardy crew members. Here's a handy book you can keep on the old chart table to let you have a laugh at everything from the marine head to nautical terminology. Not for everyone, but you know who you are. Ho. Ho.
adventure
On June 1, 1979, Gerry pointed the bow of his tiny boat east and set sail out of Chesapeake Bay to cross the treacherous North Atlantic. He had hoped he had designed and built the smallest practical-sized sailboat capable of surviving on the open seas -- 10 feet long. Fifty four days later, after battling raging storms, physical pain, loneliness and islolation, sleeplessness and the never-ending racking of the ocean, Gerry pulled into the English port of Falmouth--the smallest craft to make that astonishing ocean crossing.

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BREE'S BLOG: In The Wake of the Fitzgerald


In an ice storm, a tugboat to the rescue!

October 5, 2017

Tags: Edna G., steam powered tugboat, Lake Superior, Storms and Ice, rescues in northeaster, Two Harbors, Minnesota, Persistence the sloop

The high winds and waves continued outside the harbor. As I hunkered down in my own 20-foot sloop, Persistence, waiting out the storm. I was haunted by memories of the steam-powered Edna G. out there. A fisherman had gone out one January morning and had not returned by evening. Darkness had fallen. His family was worried: Lake Superior was in the grips of a northeaster blow and 15 foot seas were running. The temperature was 5 degrees above zero. Capt. Ojard got steam up and the Edna G. charged out through the Two Harbors breakwaters in the blackness. "There was quite a sea on," he told me. "We fought high waves and wind. My radar didn't work in the snow. " He tried to reach him by radio, but all he heard was a click. Finally, he figured things out: "Frank, if you can hear me, click your button twice." "I heard two clicks," Capt. Ojard said. "His battery was nearly gone, not enough to transmit his voice. But we got his clicks." Now the problem became one of finding him, so he turned on his searchlight. "Frank," the wily tugboat captain said, "when the searchlight is on you, click your button twice again." When the lost fisherman saw the light, he clicked his receiver twice and the tugboat captain knew what course he was on. Finally the Edna G fought its way to the lost fisherman. The fishing boat had been drifting all day, without power. "He had all sorts of garbage out as a sea anchor," Capt. Ojard told me, "fish crates, five gallon buckets -- anything to hold the bow into the wind and keep him off the rocks." The Edna G. worked its way to him. "Nice to see you," the fisherman said. But that was the end of the pleasantries. The tugboat captain said, "He had a covered steel fishing boat and wouldn't leave her." Finally, the fisherman crawled up on the ice-coated bow and pulled over the line that the tugboat tossed him." The Edna G. towed him in. They had rescued him only a few miles from a storm-swept beach. It had been that close.