The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

Essay by wjo711High School, 11th gradeA, December 2007

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"Seventy-footers are roaming around the sea state like surly giants and there's not much Billy can do but take them head-on. If his floodlights are out he wouldn't even have that option. He'd just feel a drop into the trough, a lurch, and the boat starting up a slope way to steep to survive" (138). This is just one of the many dangerous events that the fishermen of the Atlantic are faced with in their attempts to make the catch. The Perfect Storm centers around the small fishing town of Gloucester, on the coast of Massachusetts. In The Perfect Storm, written by Sebastian Junger, these people continue to become fishermen in towns like Gloucester despite the endless disadvantages of the profession consisting of extreme danger, low pay, and the very mindset these fishermen face when they are alone in the ocean accompanied by seventy foot waves.

The fishermen of the Atlantic are a different breed of brave.

These are men and women who occupy one of the most dangerous careers in the world. On a calm day, a fisherman could easily be hooked and thrown overboard. Although when conditions reach extremes as seen in The Perfect Storm, wave heights reach never before seen peaks of over one-hundred feet high and the Captains task becomes distinguishing up from down in the pitch black of the night. In the treacherous sea all a boat can do is wait out a storm as rogue waves crash the bow and demolish the vital technology on the vessel. Aboard the Andrea Gail, that is just the position they fall victim to. "If Billy has lost his electronics: his GPS, radar, and loran, he's effectively back in the old days. He'd have a chart of the Grand Banks on his chart table and would...