Auckland Island is a godforsaken place in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 285 miles south of New Zealand. With year-round freezing rain and howling winds, it is one of the most forbidding places in the world. To be shipwrecked there means almost certain death. In 1864, Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew of four aboard the schooner Grafton wreck on the southern end of the island. Utterly alone in a dense coastal forest, plagued by stinging blowflies and relentless rain, Captain Musgrave inspires his men to take action.
"One of the Best Stories Ever Told!"
Commanded by Captain Howes Norris, the Sharon headed for the whaling grounds of the northwestern Pacific. At Pohnpei Island, 12 men from the Sharon deserted the ship, leaving her critically shorthanded. After steering for New Zealand to recruit more crew, the men on lookout raised a school of sperm whales. Two boats gave chase, each with a crew of six. Five men were left on board the Sharon: Norris, three pacific Islanders, and a Portuguese boy named Manuel.