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Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  4,044 ratings  ·  339 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.
Paperback, 560 pages
Published May 11th 1999 by Vintage (first published 1998)
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,044 ratings  ·  339 reviews

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Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Clif Hostetler
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This book provides a historical account of two parallel stories; (1) The sinking of the SS Central America in 1857, and (2) the locating and salvage of the sunken ship by the Columbus-America Discovery Group of Ohio in 1988-1989. Both stories are interesting on their own accounts, and they have one element in common—gold.

The SS Central American was carrying 30,000 pounds of gold from the California gold rush fields. It was gold that had been purchased by the US Federal government, sent by ship

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 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
Joy D
Non-fiction account of the wreck of the Central America in 1857 and the search, spearheaded by inventor and creative thinker Tommy Thompson, for her wreckage in the deep water of the Atlantic Ocean 130 years later. The book is divided into sections, with the first focusing on the experience of the passengers and crew aboard the Central America, the second on the early life of Tommy Thompson, and the third on the development of the technology to search for, locate, and recover artifacts. Did I me ...more
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was ok

Ich liebe Non-Fiction und Abenteuer Bücher. "Ship of Gold" hätte also genau meine Tasse Tee sein sollen.
War es leider nicht. Es fängt noch recht stark an mit der packenden Rekonstruktion des Untergangs der SS Central America, einem Raddampfer, der neben seinen 580 Passagieren auch tonnenweise Gold transportierte und vor der Küste Floridas im Sturm sank.
Der größte Teil des 510 seitigen Buchs behandelt allerdings die Suche nach dem versunkenen Goldschiff in den 1980er Jahren, sowie die anschließ
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Rob Lofland
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
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
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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 rated it really liked it
"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
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was a terrific book about the 1857 sinking by hurricane of the side-wheel steamer SS Central America, and the attempt to find and recover it's treasures.

The Central America was traveling to the East Coast from Panama, with passengers returning with immense amounts of gold from their mining efforts during the California Gold Rush.

The descriptions of the actual sinking of the boat during the hurricane are fantastic and devastating. The development and implementation of the planned
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Jason Blythe
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Elizabeth McAndrew
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a great non-fiction book. Highly recommend, great narrative, engaging, quick, interesting. Doesn’t get bogged down in details.
Dick Reynolds
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Phil K
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Extraordinary! Excellent! Wow!

This book has it all. History, tradegy, triumph, drama, mystery, adventure, science, technology, economics. This book is thick. I loved how much detail and background was given on the run-up to the shipwreck itself. Using the accounts of actual passengers and crew, I loved how personal the story was made.

After the background and history of the 1857 wreck, the book turns to the story and background of its eventual recoverer. And I was very impressed how thorough and
♥ Marlene♥
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazing story with some serious detail. Could have done with about 25% less detail but despite that it was a page turner. Loved that it was all about problem solving by looking at old problems in new ways. And the retelling of the sinking of the ship in the 19th century was so good. The Titanic wishes it had as compelling story as this.
Melissa Jill
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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!
Jeff Williams
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A blast! Great historical description of the wreck (great in that it was detailed; not in terms of the sorrow). Really, really interesting portrayal of the intersection of law, engineering, and for-profit exploration.
Michael Gerald
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Merilynn Lloyd
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mark and I read this together over 4 days. Wonderfully written and compelling story.
North Landesman
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy told a joint session of Congress that the United States should commit itself to landing a man on the moon within the decade. For the next eight years, over 400,000 people spent nearly $100 billion (current value) to put Neil Armstrong on the moon. Many scientists and engineers consider the challenges of exploring and working in the deep ocean equal to the challenges of exploring and working in outer space. In 1985, Tommy Thompson and about a dozen colleagues c
Jennifer Collins
This is a fascinating look back to the sinking of the SS Central America in 1857, and then to the recovery efforts made some 130 years later -- from the fascination with its treasure, to the hunt, and finally the development of technology that made recovery possible, as well as the people involved at each moment. Kinder's work is brilliantly crafted, with research that takes readers back to the California Gold Rush and the nearly 600 men and women who boarded the SS Central America, as well as t ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The book starts out as more of a four star book, briefly covering the California gold rush and the sinking of the ship the Central America. Where is slowed down was the modern story of the treasure hunt for the sunken gold. It was fraught with a myriad of problems; historical, technical, logistical, personnel, financial, legal and weather related. Not to mention two other ships were also in the search area. Luckily the search team was lead by Tommy Thompson, a real thinker. He would ponder probl ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
A truly remarkable book that will fascinate any reader. Humanity is fascinated with lost treasures and this one is no less remarkable, it has everything, a shipwreck, 650 lives lost, and the finding of 20 tons of gold and gold coins that some say totaled $150 million or more.

Sadly, one would think that would bring eternal happiness but this is not the case. In the end, the man who started this quest to find the Central America, a graduate of Ohio State University, which has the largest engineer
Paul Fuhr
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A gripping, thoroughly engaging account of how a young, brilliant mind in land-locked Central Ohio found himself coordinating a massive salvage operation of the sunken ship Central America in the 1980s. Gary Kinder's book is amazingly detailed and well-researched, and he deftly shifts between the sinking itself and the genesis of the operation. It's also, quite simply, a beautifully written book. At many points, it reads like a white-knuckle maritime thriller that rivals any airport pageturner. ...more
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Play Book Tag: Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea by Gary Kinder - 4 stars 3 15 Apr 03, 2019 10:20AM  
Captain Herndon 2 17 Aug 06, 2016 10:54AM  
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