Adrift by Steven Callahan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Adrift, the frightening tale of Steven Callahan, a man who spent 76 days alone on the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most entertaining and fascinating books that I have read.

Callahan, an adept sailor and skilled shipbuilder, set sail on the night of January 29, 1982, from the Canary Islands. He was sailing alone in Napoleon Solo, a small ship that he had designed and built. Six days out Napoleon Solo sank, and Callahan found himself floating in the Atlantic Ocean in a five-and-a-half foot inflatable life raft, which he jokingly named "Rubber Ducky."

Callahan begins his voyage in "Rubber Ducky" with only three pounds of food and eight pints of fresh water. He manages to get some fresh water using a solar still, a device that removes the salt and impurities from undrinkable water. He catches fish using a makeshift spear. He also eats barnacles and tiny sea creatures.

Callahan comes face to face with death every day. His body slowly deteriorates because of lack of nutrients. His skin is burned from the scorching sun, and irritated and raw from constantly being subjected to salt water. Callahan fights off massive sharks with his makeshift spear, and watched nine ships pass by without noticing him. After Callahan manages to survive for 43 days, the bottom tube of "Rubber Ducky" collapses due to a gaping hole. Callahan loses all hope of surviving. He makes the most of available materials, however, managing to control the leak until his rescue, 33 days later.

Steven Callahan proves not only to be an expert sailor and shipbuilder, but also a talented writer. He vividly describes the terror and determination he felt throughout his voyage. He also provides the reader with many details. I recommend Adrift to anyone who enjoys stories of heroism, courage and, of course, survival.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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