Daring the Sea
They Started the Ocean Rowing Tradition...
Read the true story of the first two men to row across the Atlantic Ocean in 1896

Picture of the book cover


The remarkable saga of two men who defied the odds and set a world record unsurpassed for over a century.....

Based on the original logs, Daring the Sea is a nonfiction account of the first voyage under oars alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Convinced that they had no bright future as clam diggers supplying the Fulton Fish Market in New York City, Norwegian immigrants George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen conceived a plan to set a world record by becoming the first men to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.

To family, friends, and those intimate with the sea, the plan appeared suicidal; but to the two men the crossing represented a way out of lives offering little promise. Their hope was to attract worldwide attention and lucrative lecture and exhibition fees if they succeeded.

Samuelsen and Harbo by the Fox


Daring the Sea chronicles their incredible - and nearly fatal - row across the Atlantic in a tiny, eighteen-foot boat with no sail, no steam engine, not even a rudder to aid them as they struggled with storms, a capsize, hunger, relentless fatigue, great mental hardship, and near collisions with ships, whales, and an iceberg.

Samuelsen & Harbo with the Fox after the voyage


Samuelsen and Harbo


Despite these obstacles, Harbo and Samuelsen rowed the 3,000 miles from New York to England in an amazing fifty-five days. Sadly, their dream of fame and fortune eluded them, and for more than one hundred years - until the publication of Daring the Sea - they remained unsung and unknown heroes.

Here is a page-turning adventure story that describes daring feats in the face of seemingly insurmountable natural forces, and shows the timeless struggle of humanity to strive for the impossible and sometimes achieve it. Daring the Sea tells the unforgettable tale of these two incredible Norwegians for the first time.



How to Order Available at any U.S. bookstore. Or on the web through Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com online bookshops.
Daring the Sea will be published in Germany late in 1999.
A Birch Lane Press book
Published by Carol Publishing Group, New Jersey, USA.
ISBN 1-55972-460-9. Published 1998. 224 pages.


About the author

David W. Shaw is a feature writer and columnist for Offshore magazine and has contributed articles to Cruising World, Sail, and Lakeland Boating. An avid and expert sailor, he undertook a four-year odyssey in the ocean, lakes and rivers of the Northeast aboard his twenty-four-foot sloop Elizabeth, which resulted in his book Inland Passage: On Boats and Boating in the Northeast. His first-hand experience, as a sailor familiar with the influence of tides and weather on the ocean, make him ideally suited to tell the story of Daring the Sea.

Jacket photo: © 1998 Tony Stone Images, design by Gregory K. Wilkin.


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