Recently, while watching an episode of Deadliest Catch (one of about three television series I follow anymore), I had a bit of a surprise in terms of the introduction of a new crew member to the show.
It was a lengthy introduction and for good reason.
The new crew member was Linda Greenlaw. THE Linda Greenlaw. If you don't know who she is, and you ever saw the motion picture The Perfect Storm with George Clooney as the captain of a swordfishing boat, Andrea Gail, out of Gloucester, Massachussetts, that's the Linda Greenlaw I'm talking about. It was based on a true story about real people. And Linda Greenlaw was -- and still is -- one of those real people. The captain of the Andrea Gail's sister ship, the Hannah Boden.
|(theatrical release poster)|
In relating her backstory, they included some footage of Greenlaw talking about her life and about surviving the "perfect storm" (what they had always referred to as the 1991 "storm of the century") and how it had impacted her life.
The motion picture had been based on a novel by Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea. There were a few things I gleaned from her story that spoke to Hollywood's version of the "true" story, such as the suggested romance between Captain Linda Greenlaw (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and Captain Billy Tynes (George Clooney) of the starcrossed swordboat, Andrea Gail.
Apparently, they were never a "thing." Greenlaw related that they did work for the same man, and they occasionally shared info about the location of fish, but there was no tearful scene with Linda speaking at the Andrea Gail crew's memorial service. "I wasn't there. I was out fishing," Linda related.
But that's not to say the disaster didn't impact her and her life. The owner of her boat did send her out to the last known location of the Andrea Gail, where they found a floating barrel with "A.G." painted on the side--debris from the lost ship. (Ironically, Mark Wahlberg's character, Bobby, is first viewed in the film standing on the bow of the Andrea Gail with several barrels marked "A.G." around him.) There was also a scene where a deceased member of Greenlaw's crew is carried off her vessel. That may have been based, in part, on a story she recanted on The Deadliest Catch of losing a crewmember.
Here's an opening clip from the movie which highlights the Andrea Gail and Hannah Boden vessels and captains returning from the sea. Some of the elements I just mentioned above are included, but it's score only -- no dialogue.
But what intrigued me the most was that I learned via her introduction and back story that Linda Greenlaw was also an author, and quite a successful one, apparently.
It occurred to me, an author who writes many stories centered on small crews on starships, that her work might have a few inspiring ideas and "small ship environment" tidbits to lend to my work. (Wish I'd found her work a decade ago.)
So although I don't tend to read a lot outside my preferred genre, I'm going to give her books a try starting with The Hungry Ocean: The Captain's Story and Seaworthy: A Swordboat Captain Returns to the Sea. If those are inspiring, I'll read on.
I'll post a follow-up here on The Firebird at some point in the future.