Hell or High Seas

Hell or High Seas. From Hellorhighseas.com
Hell or High Seas. From Hellorhighseas.com

Documentaries, by definition, educate and bring to life a vision to stir the audience’s soul. Hell or High Seas, directed by Glenn Holsten and produced by Chayne Gregg, is a powerful movie following U.S. Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmer veteran Taylor Grieger and writer Stephen O’Shea’s soul-searching trek from Florida to the southern tip of South America. The film brings awareness to Grieger’s battle with PTSD as he transitioned from military to civilian life. The life-altering adventure, filled with hope and disappointments, will pierce your heart, making you laugh and cry.

Over 22 veterans commit suicide daily in our country, and Grieger almost became a statistic. But, getting a second chance after the loaded gun he pointed to his head failed to deliver the fatal shot, Grieger embarked on a ten thousand miles arduous journey to Cape Horn with O’Shea. Along the way, Grieger wrestled with his internal demons. The movie is Grieger’s attempt to reach out to other veterans like himself, providing a hopeful message they are not alone in their struggles.

Starting in Florida, the first leg of the trip looked like smooth sailing. Kellen Warner, an aviation rescue swimmer also joined Grieger and O’Shea to navigate the Gulf of Mexico. Luckily, his sailing experience helped them weather a severe hurricane and land on the Yucatan peninsula almost unscathed.

Later on in the voyage, veteran Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmer John Rose came on board to aid navigation.

The expedition to reach Cape Horn at the bottom of the southern hemisphere, where untamed power and beauty coexist as the Atlantic meets the Pacific Ocean, tested the sailor’s fortitude daily. But eventually, Grieger proved through his sheer determination that endurance is vital for other veterans to begin the healing process as he did.

The waters off the coast of southern South America are treacherous. Simple mistakes can take you hundreds of miles off the coast, something the crew experienced firsthand. Bitter winds blew from Antarctica. Hazardous waves crashed across the bow and almost broke the mast. Moviegoers sat on the edge of their seats as they watched Mother Nature throw her limitless fury on the sailboat, “Ole Lady,” trying to dash the dreams of Grieger and the others.

Director of Photography John Pope chronicles the voyage with a breathtaking reel of the strength of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, the magnificent construction of the Panama Canal, and the quaintness of small marinas along the way where the sailors re-provisioned their boat. Unfortunately, far from their final destination, one marina is the site of significant disappointment when Grieger and O’Shea determined their sailboat was damaged and could not go further.

But just as fate did not kill Grieger with a bullet, a twist of fate brought about an unexpected tide of good fortune.

Rent, buy, or go see “Hell or High Seas.” It is a story with an ending you will not forget.

Hell of High Seas: Documentary starring Taylor Grieger, Stephen O’Shea, John Rose, and Kellen Warner. At the Cinema Village Theater, 22 East 12th Street, NYC,  through December 2. 

Directed by Glenn Holsten; produced by Chayne Gregg; Executive Producers are Robert Irvine, Tom Farrell, and Matt Howley; Director of Photography is John Pope; Music by Michael Aharon; Additional editing by Dave Bauer and Meg Sarachan.

Available streaming on Google Play, Apple TV, YouTube, and VUDU,

Running time is 90 minutes.

Readers may also enjoy our reviews of West Side Story (2021), Elvis 2022,Top Gun Maverick, or The King’s Man.


Hell or High Seas


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More to explore...

The home of Electric Lemon at 33 Hudson Yards, New York NY. Photo by Sora Vernikoff

Electric Lemon at Hudson Yards

The Electric Lemon restaurant is located at the top of the five-star Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards. The rooftop bar boasts an 8,000-square-foot rooftop garden with a monumental Jaume Plensa sculpture. It overlooks the Hudson River and the city skyline. They possess a wide range of food and drinks, from light bites to seasonal offerings at dinner and rooftop brunch on the weekends. It’s open all year round because of the sleek and expansive dining room and fire-pits on the al fresco terrace.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Photo from the official trailer. Public Domain

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I suppose that the title of my blog post, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is a little misleading because it turned out to be Dinner at Tiffany’s, or more accurately, Dinner at the Blue Box Café. This Cafe honors the romance of the 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn. Tiffany’s of course was the romantic setting where the lovely Audrey Hepburn went each morning with a pastry and cup of coffee to have breakfast as she window shopped. You might add Breakfast at Tiffany’s to your movie viewing list if you’ve missed it. The song Moon River will have new meaning for you!

Josie de Guzman at The Green Room 42. Photo by Edward Kliszus

Josie de Guzman at The Green Room 42

Two-time Tony Award nominee Josie de Guzman performed her show “Back Where I Started” and enthralled listeners at The Green Room 42.The enchanting and vivacious de Guzman performed a musical biopic of her remarkable stage career. She spoke of the many fellow luminaries with whom she performed and collaborated. The amazing list includes Leonard Bernstein, Nathan Lane, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins, Alan Jay Lerner, and Burton Lane, to name a few.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x