“…an absorbing account of a routine cruise on Buzzards Bay.”
In Buzzards Bay, a pocket of saltwater tucked away in southern Massachusetts, swamp yankee; traditions still prevail and the ghosts of Indians and 17th century explorers, pirates, and revolutionaries haunt every quarter. Among the many historical figures associated with the area are Herman Melville, Henry James, Grover Cleveland, and John F. Kennedy. Each summer, the research schooner SARAH ABBOT captained by Randall Peffer and crewed by a class of high school students studying marine biology drifts among the boats floating in the idyllic and largely unspoiled bay. A tale of exploration and adventure, Logs of the Dead Pirates Society is the absorbing account of an annual cruise that has become a rite of passage and a deeply personal quest for Peffer.
“Logs of the Dead Pirates Society: A Schooner Adventure Around Buzzards Bay is an absorbing account of a routine cruise on Buzzards Bay that became a rite of passage and a deeply personal quest for Captain Randall Peffer. He ruminates on the bay’s history, and presents unusually keen and articulate insights on the bay’s islands, coves, towns and townspeople. Part travelogue, part biography, part regional history, Logs of the Dead Pirates Society is the memorable, engaging, highly recommended account of the schooner SARAH ABBOT, her crew of high school students studying marine biology, and Captain Randall S. Peffer.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Peffer (Watermen) is a licensed captain, a regular contributor to SAIL, WoodenBoat, Smithsonian, and National Geographic magazine, and a literature instructor at the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Each summer, as part of his school’s “Oceans” program, he takes a number of high school students studying marine biology out on Buzzards Bay aboard the 55′ wooden research schooner Sarah Abbot to explore and research the marine environment. Their voyages take them to unspoiled coves as well as busy shipping lanes, where they use seines (large nets) to gather marine specimens to monitor the health of the bay. Peffer delves into the physical and historical background of each area, telling tales of the indigenous Wampanoag Indians and relating fascinating Revolutionary War stories. He also does a fine job of chronicling the rise and fall of the whaling and shipbuilding industries. A good book for armchair sailors and an excellent view of historic Buzzard’s Bay, Peffer’s account is recommended for both school and public libraries.”