The Judea, hove to, wallowed on the Atlantic like an old candle-box. It blew day after day: it blew with spite, without interval, without mercy, without rest. The world was nothing but an immensity of great foaming waves rushing at us, under a sky low enough to touch with the hand and dirty like a smoked ceiling. In the stormy space surrounding us there was as much flying spray as air. Day after day and night after night there was nothing round the ship but the howl of the wind, the tumult of the sea, the noise of water pouring over her deck. There was no rest for her and no rest for us. She tossed, she pitched, she stood on her head, she sat on her tail, she rolled, she groaned .....
Joseph Conrad, Youth, from Tales of Land and Sea, Hanover House, Garden City, New York, 1916, p. 12.
TIME: late 19th century.
PLACE: on board of an English sailboat on the North Sea.
CIRCUMSTANCE: a storm at sea.
Half an hour passed. Suddenly there was a frightful racket, rattle, clanking of chain, hiss of water, and millions of sparks flew up into the shivering column of smoke that stood leaning slightly above the ship. The cat-heads had burned away, and the two red-hot anchors had gone to the bottom, tearing out after them two hundred fathom of red-hot chain. The ship trembled, the mass of flame swayed as if ready to collapse, and the fore top-gallant mast fell. It darted down like an arrow of fire, shot under, and instantly leaping up within an oar's length of the boats, floated quietly, very black on the luminous sea. I hailed the deck again... For a long time I heard nothing but the whirr and roar of the fire. There were also whistling sounds.
Joseph Conrad, Youth, from Tales of Land and Sea, Hanover House, Garden City, New York, 1916, p. 25.
TIME: late 19th century
PLACE: Indian Ocean
CIRCUMSTANCE: fire on board, after the explosion.