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Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea: The History & Discovery of the World's Richest Shipwreck (Viagens Radicais)

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  3,194 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews
Ship of Gold tells the story of the sinking of the SS Central America, a side-wheel steamer carrying nearly six hundred passengers returning from the California Gold Rush, two hundred miles off the Carolina coast in September 1857. Over four hundred lives and twenty-one tons of California gold were lost. It was the worst peacetime disaster at sea in American history, a tra
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Grove Press (first published 1996)
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Sep 19, 2016 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maritime-history
If I ever had any notions of being a treasure hunter, Gary Kinder’s Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea disabused me of them.

There is something fun and romantic in the lure of lost gold. The promise of great financial rewards upon the solving of a riddle. But as Kinder shows in his epic book, it seems mostly awful. Instead of setting sail with an old, brown-stained map, X clearly marking the spot, the modern search for treasure involves Bayesian theory, and begging investors to buy stock in your

Gary Kinder's Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea checks off all the boxes for a Top-Pick work of exceptional, thrilling nonfiction: Engagingly well written; scientifically and historically captivating, humanistically fascinating and reverential; verifiably accurate; meticulously researched; and downright compulsively readable, enlightening, and captivating - equally.

"Finding the treasure of the Central America was a goal, but it wasn't the purpose. The
Apr 07, 2009 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 16, 2008 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Description: 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.

Gripping history, and who doesn't like stories of treasure. Fully recommended

There is a significant other wreck to consider in this story
Scott Rhee
Jul 14, 2012 Scott Rhee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Jan 05, 2010 Dlora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Jan 01, 2009 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Merilynn Lloyd
Jan 21, 2017 Merilynn Lloyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mark and I read this together over 4 days. Wonderfully written and compelling story.
North Landesman
Dec 27, 2016 North Landesman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Enjoyed this book. Well written, fascinating characters. Kinder needs to write a second edition with the main character cheating everyone else and all.
Dick Reynolds
Apr 06, 2015 Dick Reynolds rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Gary Kinder spent over ten years researching and writing this book about the shipwreck of the S. S. Central America about two hundred miles off the coast of North Carolina in a severe hurricane. He devotes the first eighty pages of the book telling how the ship’s passengers were carrying gold which had been found in California during the famous 1857 Gold Rush. The ultimate tally of lives lost came to 565 while 149, mostly women and children, were saved. Kinder takes advantage of the surv ...more
Rob Lofland
Riveting re-telling of the doomed ships' final days and the crew's desperate attempt to save it. This event would have been a fine book in itself.

But the book is far too reverential towards Tommy Thompson. He's a clever fellow and it truly is amazing what his team accomplished in the late 80's, recovering the SS Central America. But I really didn't need a full background biography through his early professional life, all the while flying around in his "Stupendous-Man" cape solving problems that
♥ 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
Melissa Jill
Dec 14, 2015 Melissa Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is the true story of a ship wreck from 1857 and the discovery of that same ship 130 years later. I loved how the author wove the two stories together and it was completely riveting from beginning to end. You can't beat a real life adventure story!
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.
Michael Gerald
The true story of a ship, filled mostly with workers and miners from California and the gold they were carrying, that sank in the 19th century. It is also about the scientific search and recovery of the wreck in the 1980s.
Jan 01, 2017 Lou rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book. 3.5 stars. It is interesting to note that Tommy Thompson is now in jail for allegedly running off with a bunch of the proceeds from the sale of the gold: Chicago Tribune, Dec 15, 2016. There are also still numerous legal cases pending regarding the treasure some of which is still on the bottom of the ocean. Sounds like a sequel to me.
Jul 24, 2016 Alger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is solid entertainment, but not for the reasons that you expect.

We open with the story of the California Gold fields, and the Panama Crossing that propped up the American economy through the 1850s against the headwinds of the sectional divide and feckless leadership of Washington DC. The constant infusion of gold was so absolutely critical to American interests that it spawned an interesting period of Filibustering (see: Manifest Destiny's Underworld: Filibustering in Antebellum Americ
Jan 31, 2017 Lanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such an interesting book. At 500 pages, there's a lot to it, but I couldn't put it down. Highly recommend.
Adrian O'Neill
Feb 12, 2017 Adrian O'Neill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fascinating. 10 points to Gryffindor.
Dec 16, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. The pace of action is constant. The salvation achievement was awesome. The author's words hold and grab one's attention - till after midnight! If our Newport Beach public library had not had it, I learned there are 542 copies on ABE starting at $3.43 and including free shipping.

Author Gary Kinder did a super job weaving together two struggles that occurred centuries apart: that of the "Central America" passengers and crew to survive, a
Aug 08, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On September 12, 1857, the SS Central America sank about 200 miles off the east coast of the USA in over 8,000 feet deep water. It was heading from Panama to New York City. On board were 578 people and over two million dollars worth of gold that was coming from the San Francisco gold rush.

This book provides many details about the ethos of the gold rush, the passengers that got on board, the unfortunate hurricane that they sailed into, the many heroic things they tried to do to save the ship, th
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
Feb 06, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction-faves
I enjoy non-fiction books, especially those that have a story to tell & "Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea" was definitely one of those.

The book begins with a relatively brief overview of the gold rush in California & the men & women that trekked west to find their fortune. By the time the gold has pretty much played out many of the immigrants from the eastern United States are ready to head home - and a large portion of them decide the trip back home would be easier by ship (San Fra
Richard Hartline
This book is a thrilling adventure of the '49 Gold Rush, a harrowing shipwreck, the trials of organizing and directing a world-class salvage expedition, and the recovery of gold and artifacts from a 19th C wooden-hulled, side-wheel steamer, "Central America," at a depth of 8,000 ft., 200 miles off the east coast of the U.S. The vision and extraordinary resilience of the expedition's leader, Tommy Thompson, relied on something uncharacteristic of most successful engineers: a belief in divergence. ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 29, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
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
Aug 24, 2015 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I first read this book about 2002, and it left such a strong impression, book that I actually reread part of it again last year. Ship of Gold is actually two stories in one. It was a fascinating and captivating book and I couldn't put it down. The first book tells the story of the ill-fated voyage of the SS Central America, a ship laden with gold from the California gold rush that sinks off the Carolinas in 1857. Then it continues with the story of Tommy Thompson, a young engineer, who envisions ...more
Jun 17, 2011 hankmyfoley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Graham Page
Jan 20, 2012 Graham Page rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so thoroughly researched and meticulously written that in reading it I sometimes felt as if I was reading a Clive Cussler fiction novel (and I like those a lot.) Overall, there is a sad ending to this tale. The main character is now in jail and someone else is bringing up the gold. But this book ends 10 years ago after decades of search and the initial seeds of discovery and exploration and resolves with the future looking bright. You learn much about people and how greed and money ...more
Mary Harley
Apr 22, 2009 Mary Harley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Captain Herndon 2 16 Aug 06, 2016 10:54AM  
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