I just finished The Sea Hunters II by Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo. It was an interest look at some of the great shipwrecks of history. Each chapter begins with a fact based fictional account of the events leading up to a ship wreck. These parts of the account are detailed, entertaining, and based on the known facts that lead up to the loss of the ship or aircraft being addressed. As with his fiction books, Cussler adds depth to the characters in his recreation of the event and makes it easy for the reader to identify with the people involved in the disaster.
The second part of the chapter is Cussler’s own account of the events that led to his involvement in the search. He explains how the search got started, those he consulted with, and the team he used for the search. From there he accounts for the ups and downs of the expedition and lends insight into some of the more unusual events that took place on the expedition. And while each story is very different, they are all entertaining.
I have yet to read the original Sea Hunters book. From what I understand, it was an award winning project. The sequel was given to me by a very close friend who knew I was a big fan of Cussler’s work. The book is even autographed. And after completing The Sea Hunters II, I’m looking forward to back tracking and picking up the original.
Cussler heads The National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), a non-profit organization named after the fictional governmental outfit from his books. And while NUMA is a multi-billion dollar world class national asset in the books, the real life NUMA is a band of true believing history buffs that work for little or no money to locate forgotten bits of history.
I enjoyed a peak behind the curtain of Clive Cussler’s private life as much as I did the accounts of the expeditions. It is refreshing to find out the man behind some of my favorite novels is as down to earth as I picture him in my mind.
Its interesting to note that the bulk of NUMA’s projects are financed by Cussler privately. The royalties from his novels are used to fund the search for lost parts of history. All the more interesting since, in his books, many of his characters share the same pursuit.