Sarah Robinson is deeply troubled in the wake of her dad’s second marriage. She now has to deal with a new stepmom and two stepbrothers, Marco, who is her age, and Nacho, who’s younger. Even though they’ve all moved from Texas to California to start life as a new, blended family, none of the kids seem remotely happy about it. Sarah’s dad and stepmom then decide to take the whole family on a special vacation in order to break the ice and have everyone get to know one another. They’ll fly to Tahiti, charter a boat, and go sailing for a few days. It will be an adventure, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.
When a boy inherits his great-aunt’s diary, he begins to learn fascinating things about her life, including the long-hidden secret to a family mystery, as he reads about her youthful dreams to help her father salvage ships wrecked at sea.
Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. The sailors he toils under call him el quebrado—half islander, half outsider, a broken one. Now the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera uses Quebrado as a translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother’s Taíno Indian language and his father’s Spanish. But when a hurricane sinks the ship and most of its crew, it is Quebrado who escapes to safety. He learns how to live on land again, among people who treat him well. And it is he who must decide the fate of his former captors.
In 1679, a French ship called the Griffon left Green Bay on Lake Michigan, bound for Niagara with a cargo of furs. Neither the Griffon or the five-man crew was ever seen again. Though the Griffon’s fate remains a mystery, its disappearance was probably the result of the first shipwreck on a Great Lake. Since then, more than six thousand vessels, large and small, have met tragic ends on the Great Lakes. For many years, saltwater mariners scoffed at the freshwater sailors of the Great Lakes, “puddles” compared to the vast oceans. But those who actually worked on the Great Lakes ships knew differently. Shoals and reefs, uncharted rocks, and sandbars could snare a ship or rip open a hull. Unpredictable winds could capsize a vessel at any moment. A ship caught in a storm had much less room to maneuver than did one at sea. The wreckage of ships and the bones of the people who sail them litter the bottoms of the five lakes: Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior. Ed Butts has gathered stories and lake lore in this fascinating, frightening volume. For anyone living on the shores of the Great Lakes, these tales will inspire a new interest and respect for their storied past.