Whether you are on a boat or out for a swim, July has the perfect weather for a day spent out in the water. However, the ocean can have a mind of its own and things can easily take a turn for the worst. That is was this month’s list is all about: the best podcast episodes I could find featuring seven incredible sea stories. Truth be told, these are some of my favorite episodes ever. I can’t wait to share them with you. Set your sails for adventure and get ready for seven great episodes full of emotion, elation and surprises!
Nocturne is a podcast that covers things that happen in the night and usually on land, but this episode takes place in water. This incredible story is about a surfer who found himself stranded in the Irish sea waters for over 30 hours with only his short board to help him survive. When you are completely alone and facing imminent death, do you give in or attempt to ride out the storm? This brave man chose the latter, but not without a struggle. Like most Nocturne episodes, this tale features the words of the survivor himself with brief intersections from host Vanessa Lowe. Hearing his tale first hand helps bring the swells of emotions to life and reminds you of the true power of water.
If you keep up with my posts, this show (and episode) may be familiar to you. I wrote a Special Spotlight review on The Conspirators last fall. I usually avoid doubling up on episode shares, but this one fit in too well with the rest of this list of pass up. So here I am sharing it with you once again!
The show covers a wide range of intriguing topics and jaw dropping stories from the past. This one is no different. The host recounts the saga of little Terri Jo Perrault, an eleven year old whose family was abruptly murdered at sea during a sailboating adventure by their cunning captain. Left to fend for herself on a tiny cork dingy for days, she drifts about the sea waters with nothing more than the shirt on her back and the disintegrating life raft below her. It is a true miracle that she survived. Listen to this episode for a suitable recount of her story of survival.
Consider this episode the list’s comedic relief. You won’t get through this one without literally laughing out loud at least once. The ladies from My Favorite Murder join hosts Dave and Gareth as they tell the story that inspired the Jaws movies; the great shark panic that ensued in New Jersey in the early 1900s. Honestly, this might be one of my favorite episodes ever. From ‘the Cofishioner’ intros to the actual nonsensical history covered, it is full of snarky lines and humor. Like every Dollop it tells what happens when greed is prioritized. The outcome is rarely good. This episode takes you on a strange journey back to a time when mackerels are considered scarier than bull heads. Get ready to learn all about how New Jersey discovered the fear of the shark.
Ever wonder what it is like to be lost at sea? Then this is the episode for you. And, boy is it a wild one! This is Actually Happening ep. 72 features an interview of a fisherman who went on an Atlantic angling trip with dire consequences. It was one that many did not make it through alive. In true TIAC fashion there is no breaking up the interview for descriptions or conclusions by the host. The entire story is through the eyes of the fisherman. Hear what it’s like to relive a catastrophic shipwreck and the harrowing journey that followed. After, I highly suggest listening to the next episode (73) as it is the same story but from a different perspective.
I usually wouldn’t put two episodes from the same show on one list, but these two go hand in hand (and are both too good to pass up). This episode recounts the same shipwreck story as #5 on the list, but not from a survivor’s standpoint. A daughter of one of the fishermen lost at sea tells her side of the story. Although she was less central to the shipwreck, her story is still an emotional one that should not be overlooked. To consider not being lost at sea, but instead losing a loved one is just as difficult an experience to overcome. Listen to this episode for all the feels.
This list would not be complete without including the story of the Mary Celeste, the infamous ship from the 1800s whose entire crew seemingly vanished without a trace. What really happened to the men and women who were sailing this ship across the Atlantic Ocean? Was there a mutiny, a supernatural event, or did something more sinister take place on that fateful voyage? There are many podcasts out there who cover this story but they are often filled with myths and/or misinformation that has spread through retellings over the centuries.
Check out the series by Astonishing Legends (one of my personal favorites) for all of the facts and of course some fun speculation. This three parter covers the history of the ship, its crew, and the many tales of curses and lore associated with the vessel. In true AL fashion, they stick to historical evidence and scientific reasoning to get to the bottom of this age old maritime mystery.
What would you do if you found a lost child? Most people would look after them and help them find their mother. Well, what do you do when the child weighs 3 tons and follows you up from the deep sea waters? 17 year old Lynne Cox finds herself in this scenario in when out for her daily swim one morning. This episode of This is Love tells the story that unfolded. It features the tale of a unique bond between species and the steps one young woman took to help save a young life. As all episodes of this show, it tugs at your heart strings and makes you appreciate the power and simplicity of love. Be sure to listen to the episode for all the feels.
Seven Incredible Sea Stories
These are my seven favorite sea story episodes. Thank you for reading. I hope you find the emotion and appreciation for the world’s oceans that I did from each of these stories. They all have different subjects but share one common conclusion-humans can be no match for the high seas! Of course I want us all to enjoy the waters, especially in the summer time. But it is important to understand and respect their strength.
Big thank you to all of the creators of the shows mentions here, too. I applaud the hard work and time you put into these shows. Life would be far less interesting without them. Keep sharing all the amazing stories you can and I will keep spreading the word!
What is your favorite sea story?
Do you know of another episode about an incredible story at sea? Maybe you have one of your own. Please let me know about it. You can email me here or leave a comment below.
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