The Perfect Storm Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Perfect Storm.
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The Perfect Storm Summary & Study Guide Description

The Perfect Storm Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Related Titles and a Free Quiz on The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.

In September 1991, five fishermen and their captain boarded the Andrea Gail, a longliner boat used for sword fishing. Their plan was to head to the Grand Banks off the shores of New England from their fishing town of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Each fisherman expected to earn up to five thousand dollars, depending upon how many fish they caught.

Bobby Shatford and Albert Pierre are the only two fishermen with sweethearts. They spend the days before the voyage in long good-byes. The others are mostly loners who drink their farewells with fellow fishermen at a local bar called, "The Crow's Nest." At the last minute, two of the men decide not to go on the Andrea Gail - they each have a bad premonition about the voyage.

During the first three weeks, the fishing is yielding little for their efforts even though the crew is putting in twenty-hour workdays. Billy Tyne, the captain, is ready to turn back to Gloucester. He seeks help from his sister ship, the Hannah Bolen, the only fishing boat skippered by a woman. After a few good days of fishing, the Andrea Gail is loaded with 40,000 pounds of sword fish - enough to make it a financially feasible to go home.

The last week of October is a notoriously dangerous time for storms in the Grand Banks. The Banks are a great place for thriving marine life, but also a place noted for gale force winds and hurricanes. On October 27, the weather service issued a warning that a huge storm system is building. Even veteran meteorologists are watching this storm with enthusiasm and amazement. It looks as if three weather systems will converge and form "the perfect storm" - a storm that only happens perhaps once every one hundred years.

Captain Linda Greenlaw, on the Hannah Bolen, warns Billy Tyne about the approaching storm. He decides to keep heading home, even though this decision will put him in the center of the bad weather. His ice machine is not working and his fish will spoil in a matter of days if he does not make it home. Tyne talks with Tommy Barrie, the captain of the Allison, and is never heard from again.

Three weeks later, Greenlaw finds barrels marked "AG," and an ERIB from the Andrea Gail washes up on Sable Island. The ship probably sank after it was hit by a monster wave. After two weeks, searchers gave up locating the Andrea Gail.

During the same storm in nearby waters, several daring rescues took place. The captain and his two-woman crew from the yacht Satori were saved by Coast Guard rescuers. They were made to jump into the ocean and swim to a basket that hoisted them on the Tamaroa, a Coast Guard cutter. A Japanese fisherman was similarly saved on the Tamaroa. During that rescue, an Air National Guard helicopter fell into the ocean and stranded six highly trained jumpers. One of the jumpers died, but the others were saved by the crew of the Tamaroa. There are other stories of sea survival from Judith Reeves on the Eishin Maru about boats like the Andrea Gail caught in similar storms.

The Perfect Storm is full of nautical details about ocean waves, hurricanes, marine life, and shipbuilding. It also provides a complete history of the fishing industry in New England as well as the subculture of fishermen and their villages.

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This section contains 569 words
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