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Albatross: The True Story of a Woman's Survival at Sea
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Albatross: The True Story of a Woman's Survival at Sea

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
One late summer's day, the yacht Trashman set sail from Annapolis to Florida. On board were five young people: John, the captain; Meg, Mark, Brad, and Debbie Scaling. When the boat sailed into a gale, the eighty-knot winds shredded the sails. Forty-foot seas crashed through the cabin windows, and Trashman sank, leaving the crew adrift in a rubber dinghy. Albatross tells th ...more
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Replica Books (first published May 1st 1994)
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Saundra Brewer
Nov 06, 2013 Saundra Brewer rated it really liked it
Another true adventure, this time with a woman as the protagonist, and a book I quickly read and liked. When I began the book, I thought it would be about a solo journey by the woman, Deborah Scalling Kiley. Actually, it was about a crew which began as five and later became just two. Deborah's travails included far more than the challenges of the ocean, but all held my interest. I also liked the fact of her mentioning that participation in the Outward Bound program as a youth taught her valuable ...more
Jan 10, 2008 Diane rated it it was ok
Shelves: survival
This is one of my survival books. Deborah Scaling Kiley relates the story of an ill-fated sailing trip from Maine to Florida in 1982 when she was 21 years old. One of my interests in survival stories is the question of leadership in determining survival another is the question of what makes a person a survivor. Kiley's book (Kiley is her married name) certainly brings out strongly what a leader is NOT. Three people on this journey die - two because they simple fall apart and begin hallucinating ...more
Andrea Badgley
Apr 08, 2013 Andrea Badgley rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I finished a book last night that kept me awake when I turned out the light to sleep. Albatross. A woman’s story of surviving at sea when the sailboat she was crewing on sank. As I lay there in the dark, trying to drift into dreamland, I saw her purple puckered sores in the filthy slosh of the Zodiac. I thought of the sharks bumping the rubber lifeboat, the scream she heard when one of her crew mates swam away in the night in delirium, the putrefied body of another crew mate who died in the life ...more
Megan O'malley
Aug 20, 2014 Megan O'malley rated it it was amazing
with all true stories, this was difficult cult to put down. I read it in two days, only because I had to work. great book. I think lifetime made it into a movie with Melissa Joan Hart.
Natalie Sharpston
Mar 08, 2013 Natalie Sharpston rated it did not like it
After reading Red Sky in Mourning, I wanted to read another inspiring survival-at-sea true story. I wish I hadn't read this book; it was depressing. She kept talking about how she shouldn't have joined a crew led by a drunk, undisciplined, incompetent captain. 5 people in a lifeboat; only 2 survive. What happened on the lifeboat was unconscionable - what the people did to each other...

Memorable phrase from the book: "Surviving survival." How the author survived surviving this traumatic experien
Sep 14, 2015 Deb rated it liked it
Never drink sea water.
Jan 05, 2011 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
I first heard about this story from The Moth Podcast and knew I had to read more. I ripped through this book in 24hours. It's wild and depressing and reads like a roller coaster. Many true survival books have protagonists that wax intellectual about why they survived, or go hippy dippy about the precarious state of man and how surviving is all spiritual. Blah. in this one, she narrates humbly and articulately. You can tell she isn't writing the book to make a buck or to philosophize life. Loved ...more
Sep 21, 2008 Cynthia rated it liked it
I read about a study that referenced this author/book. The study was about people who survive tragedies/severe circumstances - and what sets them apart from people who perish. Compelling subject.

I was led to pick up this book. Even though the book was not all that well written (it could have been worse), I was caught up in the story once they were shipwrecked. I cannot imagine going through what these people went through. Incredible. With all my heart, I hope the author is doing well.
Jun 17, 2011 Monica rated it it was amazing
I'd read an excerpt from this book in Barbara Sjoholm's "Steady as She Goes: Women's Adventure's at Sea," and knew that I had to read the rest, as it was the most gripping story in the book.

Scaling is helping deliver a boat from Maine to the Caribbean when it sinks in the Atlantic. She and four other crewmates are adrift on a dinghy, with sharks surrounding them. They don't all survive.

Good writing, great read.
Sep 24, 2008 Cam added it
Shelves: 2008
I saw this woman's story on the discovery channel's, "I Shouldn't Be Alive" and learned that she had written a book about her experience. It's pretty crazy what she went through, she is definitely lucky to have survived. It's not super great writing and there's too much language, but definitely interesting. It was a quick read.
Aug 16, 2008 Misha rated it it was ok
Though the story was interesting and kept one entertained with the horrific details of being lost at sea for 5 days, the story could have been written better. The swearing in the book was too strong, even if that's how it really happened, I didn't care to read with that language. This book reminded me a bit of Life of Pi.
Not the best writing, but surely a gripping story. Dialogue sounds like a movie script. I'm not sure that someone looking back could recount the conversations so accurately, but they are probably true in essence. I read it in one day. I really did want to know who survived, who didn't and how they were rescued.
Frank Brennan
Feb 13, 2016 Frank Brennan rated it it was amazing
This is a small book --- but a powerful scary tale of the sea. This should be a must read for anyone who likes adventure. Unbelievable. The only thing lacking is an update on what has occurred to Deb and Brad in the intervening years.
Nov 13, 2012 Sally rated it it was amazing
Very gripping tale of being shipwrecked. I could barely put this down while at work. Fast-moving, intriguing, and while you know Debbie lived (since she wrote the book), you're still on edge throughout waiting to see what happens next.
Aug 11, 2010 Mimsymortimer rated it liked it
Ok. She is not a good writer. Let's just get that out of the way. But OMG the story is amazing! I could not put this book down from the moment I picked up. (Disclaimer: I am an absolute sucker for shipwreck books)
Aug 29, 2008 Judy-Lee rated it really liked it
I bought this book for a friend who had been searching for it under the wrong title. She enjoyed it and gave it to me. WOW! If you like adventure this one's for you. Excellent read.
May 26, 2011 Kristy rated it really liked it
I'm typically not much of a non-fiction fan, but this one I couldn't put down. Good book!
Mar 19, 2010 Carole rated it really liked it
This account of her survival made my hair stand on end and my stomach heave.
Tereca Moore
Jun 25, 2011 Tereca Moore rated it really liked it
Many of my favorite...."always trust your gut."
Apr 16, 2013 Janet rated it it was amazing
I read this years ago, but I do remember it was a five star book.!
Jul 21, 2007 Mom rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: scott
I love stories about survival, and I can't put this book down!
Oct 07, 2008 Dee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anybody who loves survival stories.
Shelves: memoirs
Awesome story. I couldn't put this book down.
Douglas Smith
Feb 08, 2012 Douglas Smith rated it it was amazing
A quick riveting can't put it down novel.
Jen Roe
Aug 06, 2011 Jen Roe rated it really liked it
this was a good book
Michael Shea
Jul 27, 2015 Michael Shea rated it really liked it
Terrifying ordeal.
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2016
Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2016
Megan marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2016
Sarakanar rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2016
Janet marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2016
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