And the iron-work on the Snark, no matter what its source, proved to
be mush. For instance, the bed-plate of the engine came from New
York, and it was mush; so were the casting and gears for the
windlass that came from San Francisco. And finally, there was the
wrought iron used in the rigging, that carried away in all
directions when the first strains were put upon it. Wrought iron,
mind you, and it snapped like macaroni.
A gooseneck on the gaff of the mainsail broke short off. We
replaced it with the gooseneck from the gaff of the storm trysail,
and the second gooseneck broke short off inside fifteen minutes of
use, and, mind you, it had been taken from the gaff of the storm
trysail, upon which we would have depended in time of storm. At the
present moment the Snark trails her mainsail like a broken wing, the
gooseneck being replaced by a rough lashing. We'll see if we can
get honest iron in Honolulu.
Man had betrayed us and sent us to sea in a sieve, but the Lord must
have loved us, for we had calm weather in which to learn that we
must pump every day in order to keep afloat, and that more trust
could be placed in a wooden toothpick than in the most massive piece
of iron to be found aboard.