The Cruise of the Snark
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Inspired by Slocum's "Sailing Around the World Alone," London built a 45' schooner called the Snark, with the intent of sailing the world with his wife and crew. His first stop was Hawaii, where he learned to surf in 1907. He then went on to the South Seas and the Solomon Islands. This book is always insightful, and often hilarious.
stewards. Civil engineers were keen on the voyage; “lady” companions galore cropped up for Charmian; while I was deluged with the applications of would-be private secretaries. Many high school and university students yearned for the voyage, and every trade in the working class developed a few applicants, the machinists, electricians, and engineers being especially strong on the trip. I was surprised at the number, who, in musty law offices, heard the call of adventure; and I was more than
Can’t you fix it for me so as I can go back?” He had lived nine years on Molokai, and he had had a better time there than he had ever had, before and after, on the outside. As regards the fear of leprosy itself, nowhere in the Settlement among lepers, or non-lepers, did I see any sign of it. The chief horror of leprosy obtains in the minds of those who have never seen a leper and who do not know anything about the disease. At the hotel at Waikiki a lady expressed shuddering amazement at my
sixty, his daughter. “She is all I have,” he murmured plaintively, “and she has no children living.” The cutter was a small, sloop-rigged affair, but large it seemed alongside Tehei’s canoe. On the other hand, when we got out on the lagoon and were struck by another heavy wind-squall, the cutter became liliputian, while the Snark, in our imagination, seemed to promise all the stability and permanence of a continent. They were good boatmen. Tehei and Bihaura had come along to see us home, and the
splendid time-keeper. I repeat it now, with words of praise for his splendid and unblushing un-veracity. For behold, fourteen days later, in Suva, I compared the chronometer with the one on the Atua, an Australian steamer, and found that mine was thirty-one seconds fast. Now thirty-one seconds of time, converted into arc, equals seven and one-quarter miles. That is to say, if I were sailing west, in the night-time, and my position, according to my dead reckoning from my afternoon chronometer
nearly as tall as I was standing up. Big men, prone to violence, very often have a streak of fat in their make-up, so I was doubtful of him. Charmian grabbed one arm and Warren grabbed the other. Then the tug of war began. The instant the forceps closed down on the tooth, his jaws closed down on the forceps. Also, both his hands flew up and gripped my pulling hand. I held on, and he held on. Charmian and Warren held on. We wrestled all about the shop. It was three against one, and my hold on an