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click to enlarge LOST VOYAGES: Two Centuries of Shipwrecks in the Approaches to New York
by Bradley Sheard, 256 pages, 81/2 x 11, paperback/full flaps, 213 color and 111 B&W photos, 39 drawings, 11 maps, Index
ISBN 1-881652-17-3
Price: $29.95
This is the story of shipwrecks, and of the human dramas played out in the throes of howling winter nor'easters, frozen rigging, tremendous seas, wrenching collisions, burning oil and exploding torpedoes. It is a story fraught with pathos and heroism, death and survival. It is also the story of the evolution of ships and shipping, for in the approaches to New York lie the sunken hulks of hundreds of ships of every era and type, providing time capsules of the world's maritime history for two centuries. In the author's lively historical narrative you will read about many types of vessels that now share a haunting grave beneath the cold Atlantic including: wooden warships, coastal schooners, sailing ships, armored cruisers, U-boats, rumrunners, tramp steamers, passenger liners and revenue cutters. Augmenting the text are over 200 color, and over 100 black & white historical photos, maps, and drawings of many of the ships as they lie today. Keyed to the drawings are photos of the highlights of the wrecks.

Table of Contents

  • The Past
  • Oak Timbers and Iron Shot: The Wooden Warship
  • The Sailing Merchant Ship: A Forgotten Fleet of Flying Dutchman
  • The Ascendancy of the Steamship
  • A Ground the Beach
  • The World Goes to war: 1914-1918
  • Between the Wars: Collisions and Rumrunners
  • World War II: The U-Boats Return
  • The Era of Modern Navigation

About the Author

A native of Long Island, New York, Bradley Sheard was introduced to ships and the sea at an early age by his grandfather. Following his ambition to explore shipwrecks he took up scuba diving and made his first wreck dive off Long Island in 1977. Thus began an all-consuming passion for exploring and photographing shipwrecks that has led him to sunken ships form all eras of American history, many of which are chronicled in this book.

Advances in recreational scuba diving have led to exciting discoveries in the ocean's depths, and Sheard's thirst for new explorations has driven him to these untouched frontiers. He was among the first to dive the newly discovered graves of the tankers Norness and Sebastian, the World War I passenger liner SS Carolina , and what is believed to be the submarine USS Spikefish fleet, which included descents to seven of the ten ships sent to the bottom during Mitchell's exercises, and an exploration of the Bikini Atoll fleet sunk in an atomic bomb test are among the author's more recent explorations. His articles and photographs have been published in a variety of books and magazines, and his first book, Beyond Sportdiving, explored the East Coast Shipwrecks lying beyond the accepted depth limits of sport scuba diving.

Sheard holds a Master of Science degree in engineering mechanics. He began his professional career at Grumman Aerospace Corporation, where he spent 14 years performing engineering analysis of carrier-based jet aircraft for the U.S. Navy. He recently moved to Seattle, Washington to work for the Boeing Company on the next generation military jet aircraft, the Joint Strike Fighter.


"I enjoyed Lost Voyages immensely. Bradley Sheard has done a remarkable job, giving us one of the most fascinating and enjoyable shipwreck books in a long time. Informative, most certainly, but entertaining as well. Exactingly crafted by a master of research, Lost Voyages is an indispensable source for divers absorbed in underwater history."
?Clive Cussler, best-selling author; founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) dedicated to the discovery and preservation of historic shipwrecks

"If you're a wreck diver that is interested in shipwrecks around the New York area, Lost Voyages is absolutely a ?must have? book. It is one of the most eloquent wreck diving books I have read lately, not only interesting from an historical point of view, but also visually. Everything about the book is done tastefully. You will appreciate that many of the pages contain meticulously drawn sketches of what the wreck looks like today on the bottom, accompanied by photographs of portions of the wreck and artifacts, as well as archival photographs. Bradley obviously did careful research into every aspect of the ship's history, purpose, detail of its demise, and a helpful account of what to expect while diving on the wreck. He even delves into construction methods of some of the older wooden vessels with intricate diagrams that I found very educational.
At the end of the book is an exhaustive bibliography and source notes, along with a list of 78 maritimne and naval museums throughout the USA and Canada.
I was so impressed with the book that I invited Bradley to write an article for our next issue.;"
?Joe Porter, Editor-in-Chief, Wreck Diving Magazine

"What a superb offering to anyone interested in ships and the sea. A treasure on many counts....a must for anyone who loves far horizons, the wind and the waves. And it is simply mind boggling to realize how many wrecks there are in the approaches to New York."
?Frank O. Braynard, curator, American Merchant Marine Museum Foundation; maritime historian and artist; author of more than 40 books on steamships

"History buffs and wreck divers of all ages will thoroughly enjoy Bradley Sheard's exciting account of shipwrecks in New York waters. The author has produced a readable and accurate description of hundreds of late 19th and 20th century sunken vessels as he brings them back to life in a way both divers and non-divers can easily relate to."
?R. Duncan Mathewson III, Ph.D., archaeological director of the search for the Nuestra Senora de Atocha; marine archaeology professor

"Bradley Sheard has done a lot more than explore the bones of a handful of shipwrecks. He has come up for air, done his homework, and told the stories of how these unfortunate vessels and their crews found their way to Davy Jones Locker. Best of all, whether we get wet or cling to our armchairs, he has taken us along for the adventure."
?Jerry Roberts, maritime historian; senior curator, Intrepid Sea-Air-Apace Museum

"In one of the most comprehensive and insightful views of shipping history in the Atlantic ever assembled, Sheard's mastery of detail is coupled with an innate sense of the big picture to create the definitive lost-ship chronicle....Sheard tackles all the wrecks from colonial times to the present off New York Harbor (one map shows every wreck?hundreds of them?off Long Island.) What's more he does it with a breezy but serious style, facts, charts, and maps, maps, and more maps. This information is colorful, insightful, and sometimes surprising (for instance, more U-boats than expected sank off the coast of New York), and when it is not surprising (let's face it, every story is the same?the boat sinks), Sheard offers so much background (lots of color photos, too) that even the casual mariner will be enthralled."
?Joe Collins, Booklist

"Lost Voyages is a quality work of scholarship infused with numerous illustrations. The book contains 215 color and 111 black-and-white photographs, many shot by the author. Also included are 39 exquisite line drawings and 11 maps, all of which were hand-drawn or charted by Sheard. From stem to stern, Lost Voyages is a high-quality chronicle covering two centuries of shipwrecks. It is a must-have book wihich belongs in every wreck diver's and nautical history buff's library. Don't miss this one."
?Roni L. Smith, Wreck Diver

" entertaining account that should appeal to naval and other military buffs, scuba divers, maritime history aficionados, sailors, and readers of dramatic adventure stories."
?Michael Coleman, Library Journal

"What a great reference to have for my library! I'm so happy to own this treasured book. The work of the divers to identify the ships is truly amazing."
?William H Marten, LT CDR, U.S. Navy (Ret)

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