Letters From The Cape By Lady Duff Gordon

 -   In a Queen's ship, a
yacht, or a merchantman with fewer passengers, it must be a
delightful existence.

17th Aug - Page 10
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In A Queen's Ship, A Yacht, Or A Merchantman With Fewer Passengers, It Must Be A Delightful Existence.

17th Aug.

- Since I wrote last, we got into the south-west monsoon for one day, and I sat up by the steersman in intense enjoyment - a bright sun and glittering blue sea; and we tore along, pitching and tossing the water up like mad. It was glorious. At night, I was calmly reposing in my cot, in the middle of the steerage, just behind the main hatchway, when I heard a crashing of rigging and a violent noise and confusion on deck. The captain screamed out orders which informed me that we were in the thick of a collision - of course I lay still, and waited till the row, or the ship, went down. I found myself next day looked upon as no better than a heathen by all the women, because I had been cool, and declined to get up and make a noise. Presently the officers came and told me that a big ship had borne down on us - we were on the starboard tack, and all right - carried off our flying jib-boom and whisker (the sort of yard to the bowsprit). The captain says he was never in such imminent danger in his life, as she threatened to swing round and to crush into our waist, which would have been certain destruction. The little dandy soldier-officer behaved capitally; he turned his men up in no time, and had them all ready.

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