Quotes Ships

May 26th to June 1st


..the little schooner was gambolling all around her anchor among the silver-tipped waves. Backing with a start of affected surprise at the sight of the strained cable, she pounced on it like a kitten, while the spray of her descent burst through the hawse-holes with the report of a gun. Shaking her head she would say: ‘Well, I’m sorry I can’t stay any longer with you, I’m going North’…


This is from Captains Courageous (1896_.

After a hard day’s fishing, the cod are stowed away in barrels, and the We’re Here is making her way through a heavy sea. But Harvey has his sea legs now, and can savour the schooner’s sea-worthiness with relish.

Precisely over the flagstaff I saw Two Six Seven astern, her black petticoat half hitched up, meekly floating on the still sea. She looked like the pious Abigail who has just spoken her mind, and, with folded hands, sits thanking heaven among the pieces. I could almost have sworn that she wore black worsted gloves, and had a little dry cough…


This is from “Their Lawful Occasions”   collected in Traffics and Discoveries (1904)

The story-teller has spent the night on board No 267 Torpedo-boat, on manoeuvres in the Englisgh Channel.

Through various piratical stratagems, her commander has triumphantly wiped the eye of the Red Fleet, by ‘sinking’ two massive battle cruisers.

if she had been forlorn before, this new purchase made her horrible to see. Imagine a respectable charwoman in the tights of a ballet-dancer rolling drunk along the streets, and you will come to some faint notion of the appearance of that nine-hundred-ton, well-decked, once schooner-rigged cargo-boat as she staggered under her new help, shouting and raving across the deep.


This is from ‘The Devil and The deep sea;/tale/the-devil-and-the-deep-sea.htm collected in The Day’s Work.

The Haliotis, a small steamer, fishing illicitly for pearls in Eastern waters, has been caught by a local protection  vessel,  fired on, and her engines wrecked. The crew get the engines running, after  a fashion, and escape.   They plan to sink her in the fairway in revenge. On the way they  are attacked by pirates. They seize  the pirate vessel  and rig her sails on the steamer, which  gets her moving a little faster,  though spectacularly inelegantly …