Monday, March 10, 2008

Storms are...

a'blowin in from the west driving a high spring tide onto the shores of Cornwall and Devon. A dark night indeed is predicted. Aye. This is how Herman Melville describes such an experience for Cap'n Ahab's ship, the Pequod.

"Towards evening of that day, the Pequod was torn of her canvas, and bare-poled was left to fight the Typhoon which has struck her directly ahead. When darkness came on, sky and sea roared and split with the thunder, and blazed with the lightning, that showed the disabled masts fluttering here and there with the rags which the first fury of the tempest had left for its after sport. Holding by a shroud, Starbuck was standing on the quarter-deck; at every flash of the lightning glancing aloft, to see what additional disaster might have befallen the intricate hamper there; whilst Stubb and Flask were directing the men in the higher hoisting and firmer lashing of the boats. But all their pains seemed naught. Though lifted to the very top of the cranes, the windward quarter boat (Ahab's) did not escape. A great rolling sea, dashing high up against the reeling ship's teetering side, stove in the boat's bottom at the stern, and left it again, all dripping through like a sieve."

Marvelous, rip roaring stuff. Not entirely sure I'd like to experience such a thing directly but it makes for an exciting read.