Some Blamed The Captain
For Loading His Ship So Deep, When He Knew What He Must Expect;
While Others Said That The Wind Was Always Southwest, Off The Cape,
In The Winter; And That, Running Before It, We Should Not Mind The
Seas So Much.
When we got down into the forecastle, Old Bill, who
was somewhat of a croaker, - having met with a
Great many accidents
at sea - said that if that was the way she was going to act, we might
as well make our wills, and balance the books at once, and put on
a clean shirt. "'Vast there, you bloody old owl! You're always
hanging out blue lights! You're frightened by the ducking you got
in the scuppers, and can't take a joke! What's the use in being
always on the look-out for Davy Jones?" "Stand by!" says another,
"and we'll get an afternoon watch below, by this scrape;" but in
this they were disappointed, for at two bells, all hands were
called and set to work, getting lashings upon everything on deck;
and the captain talked of sending down the long top-gallant masts;
but, as the sea went down toward night, and the wind hauled abeam,
we left them standing, and set the studding-sails.
The next day, all hands were turned-to upon unbending the old
sails, and getting up the new ones; for a ship, unlike people
on shore, puts on her best suit in bad weather. The old sails
were sent down, and three new topsails, and new fore and main
courses, jib, and fore-topmast staysail, which were made on
the coast, and never had been used, were bent, with a complete
set of new earings, robands and reef-points; and reef-tackles
were rove to the courses, and spilling-lines to the top-sails.
These, with new braces and clew-lines, fore and aft, gave us a
good suit of running rigging.
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