All Hands on Deck by Will Sofrin
A maritime adventure memoir that follows a crew of misfits hired to sail an 18th-century warship 5,000 miles to Hollywood in the late 1990s, Patrick O’Brian’s multimillion-copy-selling historical novel series ― the Aubrey–Maturin series, which was set during the Napoleonic Wars ― seemed destined for film.
With Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Stephen Maturin, the production only needed a ship that could stand in for Lucky Jack’s HMS Surprise, with historical accuracy paramount. The filmmakers found the Rose, a replica of an 18th-century ship that would work perfectly. Only there was one problem: the Rose was in Newport, Rhode Island, not in Southern California, where they would be filming.
Enter a ragtag crew of thirty oddballs who stepped up for the task, including Will Sofrin, at the time a 21-year-old wooden-boat builder and yacht racer, who joined as the ship’s carpenter. All Hands on Deck is Sofrin’s memoir of the epic adventure delivering the Rose to Hollywood. It’s a story of reinvention, of hard work on the high seas, of love, and of survival. The Rose was an example of the most cutting-edge technology of her era, but in the 21st century, barely anyone had experience sailing it. The crew effectively went back in time, brought to life the old ways of a forgotten world, and barely lived to tell the tale. Just a few days in, a terrifying hurricane-strength storm nearly sank the Rose, and later, a rogue wave caused a nearly fatal dismasting. And the ups and downs weren’t limited to the waves ― with the crew split into factions, making peace between warring camps became necessary, too, as did avoiding pirates and braving the temptations of shore leave. All Hands on Deck is a gripping story of an unforgettable journey and a must-read for fans who adore O’Brian’s novels and the dramatic film adaptation of Master and Commander.
- 230 pages
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