The sky was turning an ominous blue black, Between bursts of static, the VHF radio already had called out a hurried, "Security, security.

On my port side, Spar Island was a low, wind-swept piece of rocky desolation. No refuge there.

To starboard were the notorious open waters of Lake Superior.

"Mayday! Mayday!" A new call boomed from the radio. Somewhere north of me, a boat had capsized. People were struggling in the water.

The first drops of rain pelted down, heavy and cold. From out of nowhere, something unholy grabbed my mast and shook my whole boat beneath it.

A heavy, continuous blast slammed into us -- a solid wall of wind. The boat skittered along the waves, faster and faster.

With a sudden jolt, the boat slewed sideways in the water, tipped partly upright, and stopped. I was thrown on my side, a pain circling through my ribs. Above me the starboard portlight turned a vivid green.

It was underwater.

The boat lay helpless, beam to the wind -- the most dangerous position. The steering no longer worked; the engine racketed insanely, its prop out of the water.

The wind bulked up behind the hull and Persistence canted further to one side.

We were turning over, slowly, oh, so slowly.

I braced myself.

This is it! We're going over!

* * *
This prologue and illustration are excerpted from Wake of the Green Storm: A survivor's tale, by Marlin Bree. Copyright 2001


Fall layup or storage? Use the downloadable and free fall layup checklist in this updated version of the Boat Log & Record This all - in - one boat record and logbook with engine maintenance record helps a boater to maintain in one place a season -to - season working record of a boat and its needs. It's the largest and most complete boat log and record for amateur boaters ever published. Includes special Emergency section dealing with transmitting a Mayday Message and how to deal with Man overboard. Plus other ways to boat safely and have more fun on the water. Free checklist here for fall layups or storage.
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.
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.
Boating, great maritime adventures, 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, find yourself aboard a leaky old wooden boat heading out into Lake Superior as an ice storm descends in a race to find a missing friend. 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!
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
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.
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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Find Authors

Marlin Bree Nautical Books and Children's Books

Broken Seas

True tales of incredible maritime adventures involving the Edmund Fitzgerald, Yankee Girl, Persistence, Alvin Clark, Coyote and the unnamed boat of Helmer Aakvik.

Here are some of Marlin Bree's boating books that you've been hearing about as well as some of his children's books.

Marlin Bree is an ex-newsman turned author and has written nonfiction books about the North Atlantic and Lake Superior. He built his own boat.

Alone Against the Atlantic

Ocean crossing of 10-foot sailboat

Magic tricks especially for kids and the educational secrets behind each trick. Tricks are fully illustrated .

Here's a wonderful book with step-by-step illustrations especially designed by an educator for children to learn about and do easy magic tricks using everyday things. Teachers sometimes use this in the classroom. It's a book that has repeatedly been on the best-seller list.

Children's books

In addition to the nautical books he's most famous for, Marlin Bree has developed some kid's books with his late wife, Loris, a speech and language clinician. These have been very popular.

*Kid's Magic Secrets: Simple magic tricks & why they work. (Loris Bree and Marlin Bree). A fun magic book for kids. This book was used as a set prop in the Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis movie, "Friends with Benefits." It also has consistently been rated as a #1 category Best Seller at The tricks are easy to do, well explained with step-by-step illustrations and use only everyday household objects (no fancy stages or expensive props and pretty much nothing to buy.)

*Kid's Travel Fun Book: Draw. Make Stuff. Play games. Have fun for Hours! This is a great take-along activity and fun book for kids when they go on trips with their adults. Keeps them occupied for hours. (Loris and Marlin Bree)

Kid's Trip Diary This is the all-time Marlor Press best-selling kid's activity book that lets youngsters easily record their thoughts and fun times while traveling. Includes games, prompts, and travel humor.

My Camp Book Campers! Take along this handy book to journal day by day and to have fun with. Write down your camp adventures, humorous happenings, camp stories and songs, and especially get the names and e-mails of new camp friends. When you return, My Camp Book will be a forever place of your treasured memories.

Ordering Books

Most Marlin Bree books are available both as quality trade paperbacks and e-books. If bookstores are temporarily out of stock or sold out, you can request that the bookstore order a copy for you. Some Marlin Bree books also feature the "look inside the book" feature so that you can read sample selections. More sample selections can be found on this home site of the author, including magazine excerpt versions of longer book chapters. Marlin Bree books are published by Marlor Press, Inc., and are distributed to the book trade and others by Independent Publishers Group (IPG) in Chicago, Illinois, and Gazelle Books in the United Kingdom. Other distributors handle Marlin Bree Books in Canada and in Australia. For a distributor, click on the Connections (top) on this website.

Copyright notice

All photographs, illustrations, charts and excerpts from books used on these web pages are from books and publications copyrighted by Marlin Bree. All rights are reserved, including all under International and Pan American copyright conventions. No part of this web site, illustrations, text, or photographs, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, electronic or mechanical, including e-mail, photocopy, recording, printing, or any storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without written permission from the author, Marlin Bree, except by a reviewer who wishes to quite brief passages in a review written for a magazine, newspaper or for broadcast.