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


There are bodies down there

October 12, 2017

Tags: shipwrecks, Lake Superior, the Emperor, Edmund Fitzgerald, track of the Fitzgerald, Two Harbors, Minn., waterfront, Scuba diving on Superior.

Night came. Down on the waterfront, where I was tied up with my boat Persistence, lights on the ore docks blurred in fog. It was chill and eerie as I made my way up the hill away from the misty dock. "Glad to see you tonight," the security guard Bill Burke said. "I heard (more…)

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 (more…)

The Fitz went this way as storm grew

October 2, 2017

Tags: Edmund Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald shipwreck, Lake Superior, the "Wriggling Thing, " structural problems in Fitzgerald, Two Harbors, cause of sinking in lake Superior

It was foggy and stormy out on the Big Lake as I sat in the tiny cockpit of Persistence. We were securely tied up to a barge in Two Harbors, Minnesota, near the old steam tugboat, the Edna G. Out there, just past the breakwaters not far away, Superior was kicking up big waves (more…)

Safe at last -- or not?

September 19, 2017

Tags: Lake Superior, Edmund Fitzgerald, Track of the Big Fitz, Two Harbors, Lake Superior storms, Edna G steam tugboat

Now under power of my 5 horsepower outboard engine, I circled the pier which was festooned with colored flags. Banners proclaimed that the small Minnesota town was celebrating its hundredth anniversary. I was now in Two Harbors and tall ore loading docks loomed dark and rusty red. At least I was off the storm-tossed lake. (more…)

Dancing with Waves

September 17, 2017

Tags: Small craft storm handling, scalloping the waves, storms, Lake Superior, Edmund Fitzgerald, Track of the Big Fitz, Two Harbors, Storms, Northern Trek

The waves were growing ominously. I was following the track of the Edmund Fitzgerald, but in reverse. The big ore carrier had headed on the Northern Trek past Two Harbors, MN., (see locator map below) and shoving 10-foot waves away with aplomb. I was taking a walloping heading south. I could not steer a (more…)

On the track of the Fitzgerald: Two Harbors

September 5, 2017

Tags: Two Harbors, MN., Edmund Fitzgerald, northern trek of Fitz on November 9, 1975

Cautiously, I was sailing up the North Shore, always with one hand on my tiller and the other hand very close to the mainsheet. Persistence was a centerboarder and did not have any outside ballast -- no lead mine below to lever me back up. In fact, I had been warned on this matter: " (more…)