Ship of Gold in the De...
Gary Kinder
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Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea (Viagens Radicais)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  2,171 ratings  ·  213 reviews
Bestselling author Gary Kinder tells, for the first time, an extraordinary tale of history, maritime drama, heroic rescue, scientific ingenuity, and individual courage. This is the riveting true account of death, danger, and discovery on the high seas in the dramatic search for America's greatest lost treasure, the S.S. Central America.
Hardcover, 507 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by DIANE Publishing Company (first published 1996)
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On September 9, 1857, the sidewheel steamer "Central America", which was carrying passengers from the Panamanian port of Colón to New York, encountered hurricane winds and savage seas off the coast of the Carolinas. Although a sturdy ship, her sails were quickly shredded and a leak in one of the seals around the paddle wheels prevented her boiler from functioning. Captain William Herndon exhausted every means to save the stricken ship and its passengers, many of whom were on their way home from...more
This is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. It's about a ship that sank in the mid-1800s off the coast of the Carolinas on its way back to New York from the California Gold Rush and the search to find it and retrieve the treasure. It sat there--almost 2 miles under water and about 200 miles off the coast--until the late 1980s. The author does a great job of interweaving the stories of the lives of the people on the ship and the sinking of the ship with the story of the scientist...more
Scott Rhee
"Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea" by Gary Kinder reads like a Clive Cussler novel but is actually nonfiction.

Kinder tells an exciting well-researched story about the 1857 sinking of the Central America, an American passenger ship, off the coast of North Carolina. Roughly 400 people perished, and several millions of dollars worth (adjusted) of California gold was lost in treacherously deep waters. It was apparently the worst maritime disaster until the Titanic, and until the 1980s, no one knew...more
Sarah lent me this book along with the companion pictorial coffee table book America's Lost Treasure and said I'd like it as much as Shadow Divers. That was almost true. Ship of Gold tells two stories--one of the dramatic sinking of the steamship Central America carrying passengers and gold from the goldfields of California the other story of Tommy Thompson and his amazing search to find and recover it in deep ocean water off the east coast. Gary Kindle talked about "shaping the story," which I...more
The historical background story was fascinating, and the tenacity and genius of Tommy Thompson was amazing. However as a history major and trained archivist, I thought the research and findings made by Bob Evans were astounding. It's amazing all the little stories that were tied together with this tale (such as Mark Twain) and how small historical clues gave Evans the knowledge he needed to guide the search. By the end I couldn't put the book down so that I could find out what happened. Now I re...more
♥ Marlene♥
Finished it this morning. Had a few pages left and had to read it. last night I could not stop reading. That is what is so amazing about this non fiction book, it sometimes reads as a thriller.
At the start you read about the sinking of the ship and learn more about the people on the boat. Then we were in this century and it was about a guy called Tommy. (At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to read any more to be honest but Oh I am so glad I did.

Never in my dreams would I expect to like a book th...more
Jason Blythe
Fascinating story about the recovery of gold off the East coast of the United States, the author provided great background of the ship carrying the gold and its passengers. The present day recovery process was also neatly detailed and overall satisfying book.
Amazing story (actually two stories) about the sinking of the SS Central America and the subsequent journey of Tommy Thompson to find and recover it and its treasure at 8,000 feet below the ocean.

The book is incredibly well researched and is one of the best nonfiction books I have read. Reads like a thriller/adventure. Highly recommended.

The book was published in 1998 and if you want to know more of that happened to Tommy and the treasure in the years after, read this Newsweek article from March...more
L.F. Falconer
I have to admit, I had to force myself to keep reading this. There are two great stories here--one, of a ship which sank in the Atlantic in 1857, and two, of the man obsessed with finding it.

This book is glutted with facts and details and little side trips and people's backgrounds and histories and technical explanations that it nearly made it about as fun to read as an algebra textbook. Sometimes I slogged through it and other times I skimmed--neither option a good sign of an interesting read....more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
In 1857, the SS Central America, a "side-wheeler steamer" sank, taking over 400 lives--and taking with it 21 tons of gold from the California Gold Rush. The book tells two entwined stories. That of the heroic efforts to save the ship and the struggles of the survivors, and over a hundred years later the tale of Tommy Thompson, a seemingly eccentric inventor, but one with the training of an engineer and the spirit of an entrepreneur who sees the recovery of the ship's treasures not just "as an en...more
Elizabeth K.
This is one of those books that while you are reading it, you are very aware of the fact that it is 1. good and 2. long. Boy, it's long.

I picked this up because it seems to appear with some frequency on "Best of " non-fiction lists or what have you. So there's this boat, the Central America, that sinks off the coast of the Carolinas during a hurricane in 1857, carrying passengers and transporting a crazy quantity of gold from the California gold rush. Maybe a fourth of the book (there's a little...more
If you have ever dreamed of finding sunken treasure, an act I spend a good portion of my day engaged in, then this book is certain to excite the adventurer in you. It is a well researched exploration of the final voyage of the side wheel steamer Central America and a detailed account of the modern day ROV (remote operated vehicle) arms race to finance and develop the technology to search for it. The author, Gary Kinder, spent ten years reserching and writing this incredibly detailed account, and...more
Mary Harley
This book has two interesting parts - history and technology. In the first part, you read about the Gold Rush - how pioneers raced to the west coast to mine gold, and the lucky ones were rich enough to leave their wagons behind and take "the long way home" the Panama way. (Actually, this was before the Panama Canal, so the lucky rich ones lugged their trunks full of gold across the narrow strip of Panama, then boarded another ship bound for New York. Unfortunately, the ship in this story, the SS...more
This fascinating book tells the story of the ill-fated steamer SS Central America laden with California Gold Rush treasure bound for New York. The ship sank off the North Carolina coast during a hurricane in 1857. Gary Kinder relates both the stories of the travelers and of Tommy Thompson, the treasure hunter who painstakingly searched for the wreck over several years. As with the Titanic, many passengers survived. Upon rescue and arrival in New York, they told their harrowing stories to officia...more
This true story of a shipwreck, discovery and recovery is quite amazing. The first third of the book tells the harrowing story of a ship in the 1850’s struggling to carry it’s California gold rush gold back to New York City. Mr. Kinder has you holding your breath as a terrible Atlantic storm hits the ship and the passengers struggle to survive. The second third is far less hair-raising as it jumps back to modern day (the 1980’s) as a describes the person and processes used to possibly one day di...more
I would give this probably 3.5 stars. I think the story is super super duper interesting. The sinking of the historic ship itself and the stories of the people that were on it is enough to make it a great story. The tenacity and intelligence of the team that tried to find 130+ years later is incredible too! BUT I kept saying to myself..."Enough of your darn underwater shenangans!! Where's the LOOT!" So, I guess it was a bit long for me. AND I realized the problem I have had with most historical...more
I read this in 2 days in anticipation of Odyssey Marine returning to the site in April 2014 to continue the recovery of the SS Central America. The story of the sinking is compelling and some of the accounts had an emotional impact on me. It was well researched and held my attention to the end. I hope Mr. Kinder will write an update based on the coming new discoveries. This should be made into a movie.
This was a very interesting memoir detailing the sinking and recovery of the USS Central America. It was a side-wheel steamer that sunk off of the coast of Florida. The first section of the story details the sinking of the ship, created from first hand accounts and news stories about the ship's demise from the passengers and crew. The rest of the story focused on the recovery efforts led by Tommy Thompson and his crew of dedicated sponsors, assistants, and fellow scientists. The book does an exc...more
The story of the Central America, a sidewheel steamer which sank with all hands and a fortune in California gold in 1857, is presented here in two parts. The book begins with the compelling story of the actual tragedy of the Central America, told in vivid detail. The second half of the story, equally gripping, is a the true-life detective story of how a young engineer from Ohio worked through the 1980s to systematically find the resting place of the Central America and then recover her lost gold...more
This book had a little bit of everything in it. History, scientific discovery and adventure, but it was a long winded and at times there was to much detail given. Yes, Tom Thompson thought in a different way than most people, but really I got the message without spending pages and pages giving me examples. The history of the SS Central America and how she went down was probably the best written part of this book and the most enjoyable to read. The author really made you feel like you were there....more
Roy Weiler
I liked this book because it is a true story and very well put together by the author. It spans more then a hundred years of history. From the California Gold Rush to the SS Central America sinking in the Atlantic Ocean to the finding of the wreck and recovery of some of the gold.
One of the most fascinating books I have ever read. Historical nonfiction. There are several story lines. The main story is the sinking of a ship in deep water off the coast of North Carolina in the 1800's. The ship sank with gold from the 1849 gold rush and other private treasure on board. It was lost for years before capability for deep water exploration was invented. The story also tells about some people who were on board when the ship sank, some survived, some did not. Kinder also writes ab...more
Overall a very satisfying tale. The middle third drags a bit when the technical difficulties of undersea exploration become the focus. The narrative of the Gold Rush, the fateful voyage of the SS Central America, and the 20th century treasure hunt is entertaining and instructive. The book is American history, emotional drama, undersea adventure, and an homage to the power of creativity and perseverance, all rolled into one.
This is a long book – over 500 pages—but I found it engrossing. It is really three stories in one. The first is a brief account of the Gold Rush in California. The second is an account of a shipwreck, the Central America, which was carrying twenty-one tons of gold when it went down off the Carolina coast in a hurricane. The third is the story of Tommy Thompson, who spent years working to find the Central America and salvage the gold. The very human stories of the people who were on the ship and...more
Sue Keay
I love this book. It describes an inspirational combination of curiosity and determination. It shows the impact one person can have on advancing science and technology to open up new frontiers for exploration.
This book was amazing. When I first picked it up it was a last resort but as I began to read through i became enthralled. It is probably the best written nonfiction piece I've read. The author takes what could be a boring book about shipwrecks and turns it into this amazing story about the SS Central America which sank in 1857. The book follows passengers and crew until the survivors from the wreck were rescued and got to land. While in the middle to latter part of the book it Follows Tommy G. T...more
Detailed, fascinating, well written double story [non-fiction] of the sinking of the Central America and the finding of the Central America. Kinder puts it all in context and that makes it all the better. Combining the stories of the shipwreck survivors within the context of what it was like to travel in 1857, what it was like to be in a hurricane on a wooden sidewheel 200 miles from shore and the impact of the California Gold Rush made the first story a fast-reading adventure. The interwoven mi...more
This one was okay. The topic was very interesting (the recovery of the paddle steamer "Central America" and about 700 million dollars worth of gold (in current currency). The author seemed to have a well researched, well written book

The main thing I didn't like was that it was more a hagiography of "Tommy", the gentleman who discovered the shipwreck location and recovered it. He was obviously an intelligent guy, but the author depicts him as being light years smarter than everyone around him and...more
Lucy Megronigle
I would have rated this book higher, except for the middle part. The beginning was tense and couldn't put it down as the passengers faced a sinking ship in a terrible hurricane. But the middle part about Tommy was difficult to keep up with as it was pretty technical about the craft they needed to build to do their deep underwater recovery of the ship wreck's gold. Also pretty daunting was his quest for investors. Both parts probably could have been edited better. But the end was fairly riveting...more
The book consists of two true stories told in parallel. You learn both of the doomed side-wheel steamer Central America and the search for her remains and lost cargo of gold. I think what really drew me into the story is that the protagonist is this completely stubborn guy who is utterly and completely certain that he is right. When everyone who “knows better” tells him that this is not the way that you search for buried treasure, he still does it his own way. This probably fascinates me so much...more
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Captain Herndon 1 13 Nov 28, 2007 01:41PM  
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