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Sea StoriesThe Loss Of The Peggy
On the 28th of September, 1785, the Peggy, commanded ...
"strange Sail! Right Ahead!"
The strange sail was reported to Captain Dodd, then d...
The climb had been a stiff one. The day was very hot, ...
Origins Of Steamships—ocean-steamers Etcetera
As we have been led, in writing about ships of the n...
"Tempest? It is blowing half a gale of wind; that is all."
"Half a gale! Ah, that is the way you always talk to us ladies. Oh,
pray give me my light, and send me a clergyman!"
Dodd took pity, and let her have her light, with a midshipman to watch
it. He even made her a hypocritical promise that, should there be one
grain of danger, he would lie to; but said he must not make a foul wind
of a fair one for a few lurches. The _Agra_ broke plenty of glass and
crockery though with her fair wind and her lee lurches.
Wind down at noon next day, and a dead calm.
At two P.M. the weather cleared; the sun came out high in heaven's
centre; and a balmy breeze from the west.
At six twenty-five, the grand orb set calm and red, and the sea was
gorgeous with miles and miles of great ruby dimples: it was the first
glowing smile of southern latitude. The night stole on so soft, so
clear, so balmy, all were loth to close their eyes on it: the passengers
lingered long on deck, watching the Great Bear dip, and the Southern
Cross rise, and overhead a whole heaven of glorious stars most of us have
never seen, and never shall see in this world. No belching smoke
obscured, no plunging paddles deafened; all was musical; the soft air
sighing among the sails; the phosphorescent water bubbling from the
ship's bows; the murmurs from little knots of men on deck subdued by the
great calm: home seemed near, all danger far; Peace ruled the sea, the
sky, the heart: the ship, making a track of white fire on the deep,
glided gently yet swiftly homeward, urged by snowy sails piled up like
alabaster towers against a violet sky, out of which looked a thousand
eyes of holy tranquil fire. So melted the sweet night away.
Now carmine streaks tinged the eastern sky at the water's edge: and that
water blushed; now the streaks turned orange, and the waves below them
sparkled. Thence splashes of living gold flew and settled on the ship's
white sails, the deck, and the faces; and with no more prologue, being so
near the line, up came majestically a huge, fiery, golden sun, and set
the sea flaming liquid topaz.
Instantly the lookout at the foretop-gallant-masthead hailed the deck
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