New Bedford, MA – The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center presents an author reading with Paul Doucette on Thursday, November 8th at 6:30 during AHA night. Mr. Doucette will read from his new book, Neptune’s Nor’easter, about the November 1962 storm which his father, Captain Louis Doucette, Jr., called the worst heavy weather event in his 50-year career.
Neptune’s Nor’easter is the story of an unexpected storm which struck the Western North Atlantic on November 14 and 15, 1962. The United States Weather Bureau had not forecast the storm which generated 105-mph winds from a low pressure of 968-millibars, with seas reaching 60-feet in height. It reached out 1,000 miles from its’ center, and in 48 hours caused the sinking of six ships which resulted in the death of thirty-six seamen. Among those lost was the fishing vessel Midnight Sun, a New Bedford scalloper, and her eleven-man crew.
Captain Louis Doucette, Jr., was aboard the fishing vessel Venus in this storm and was fishing on the Northern Edge of Georges Bank. Although he had weathered three named hurricanes at sea, including the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, as well as numerous nor’easters and other gales in his 50-year career, he always said this storm was the only time he thought he would be lost at sea.
The book begins and pivots around the recollections of Captain Doucette, but it also encompasses the stories of the other boats and ships caught by this monster storm. The death toll could have easily exceeded 200 men and 21 ships, but for the skill and experience of the mariners involved, and the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy.
Mr. Doucette will read excerpts, discuss how he came to write this story, and answer questions about the storm. He will also sign copies of his book which will be available for sale. This event is free and open to the public.
The Center is open Thursday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Located at 38 Bethel Street in the heart of the National Park, the Center is wheelchair accessible with free off-street parking.
The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the commercial fishing industry past, present, and future through exhibits, programs, and archives. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508) 993-8894.