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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Great review of The Elephant Voyage


by Joan Druett
Old Salt Press $26.50 (New Zealand price)

In November 1883, the unlucky, bad tempered Captain Sanford Miner and the crew of the schooner Sarah W. Hunt found themselves off Campbell Island.  Twelve men in two whaleboats headed for the island in terrible weather to look for seals. One boat disappeared, the six men in the other struggled ashore and nearly died. Captain Miner, assuming they were all lost, sailed for Lyttelton and a heap of trouble. The captain's indifference to the fate of his men outraged the public, acting premier William Rolleston dithered about sending a rescue mission, and it was only the lucky arrival on Campbell Island of a seals protection vessel that saved the castaways. When they returned to Lyttelton and told their story, it blew up into an international scandal, that brought down politicians and created waves that reached as far as the United States. Joan Druett tells this riveting story superbly. -- JOAN CURRY "Your Weekend"

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