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naturally not quite certain of our whereabouts ; but our distance run was carefully taken, and, true to our reckoning, we sighted the land a little to windward. We could now watch the terrible sea driving with stupendous force against the rocks, and we haul to the wind confident in the prowess of our little schooner. She is one of the best sea boats we have ever sailed in.
There are few vessels afloat that would venture to weather that storm-tossed shore under the circumstances—a lee shore, a sea running, and a whole gale blowing at the time. an awfully grand spectacle, and we were right glad when every difficulty of approaching the harbour was at length overcome, and we once more dropped anchor in Lerwick Harbour. There, that portion of the crew whose services we had secured from the Shetlands left us, and we watched, with profound interest, the hearty welcome, if the term can convey with it the meaning it ought to serve, of their glad wives and children at the return of the long absent relatives to their homes. On Monday we again put out into the gale, which had abated nothing of its fury during our short pause,
and once more under its driving influence we sped along the pitching sea.
Here it was we fell in with many vessels all hove to, none daring to run with us. We see the great advantage of the broad stern of the schooner over the narrow and finer lines of the other craft about us. We now resolve to run for Peterhead; but the bar harbour, dry at low water, is surmounted by a boiling and seething surf; no vessel durst venture there in weather such as this, and this, be it remembered, is the condition of the harbours along our eastern coast from Leith to the Humber, offering no refuge whatever for a belaboured craft like ours, running from the north.
Here it was we saw a large water-spout-one of those remarkable phenomena seen at rare intervals along the coast of England ; not one of those steady columns of water that rise like a pillar out of calm still water, such as we have seen in the tropical seashissing and foaming after the approved fashion, twisting round and round in a long spiral, growing thinner and thinner, until they disappear altogether, to reappear, perhaps, again at a little distance, in company with some ten or twelve other water-spouts, carrying, each of them, an enormous volume of water into the thin, warm air ; but this, a great thick cloud, low down over the surface of the sea, dark and threatening-looking, as it travelled, at a great pace, over the waves, and was only linked with the ocean, from which it sprung by a slender neck, as it swept along before the storm, itself threatening, in turn, with destruction
everything that came in its way. To us, this novel form of water-spout was grand in the extreme. That afternoon the elements proved impossible to contend with ; we, who had grown accustomed to the gale, by daily contact with its force, were at length compelled reluctantly to give in, beaten in the long struggle. We hove-to in company with some ships bound north possibly, and others, like ourselves, bound towards the south; but these, like ourselves, were unable to endure the force of the tempest. As the wind began to lull, by comparison be it said, we again set out on
This time we stood towards Whitby lights, and we caught sight of them just at the proper moment, for we were in ground swell before we got the schooner round. There are few vessels afloat that could weather a point in a gale better or with the ease of our little vessel, and she well maintains her reputation; but this night she has to grapple with the gale, now grown more fierce than ever, and in an evil moment we ship a sea ! The water runs well over the taffrail, carrying with it the frail woodwork, and bursting out her sides and gunwale, carrying all before it. Of her two boats, one was soon washed away, the other was shivered to pieces. The galley shifted with the shock was slewed round, and so overturned, that evidently there can be no cooking there to-morrow, to
the great consternation of our cook. This commotion is too much ; so there is nothing for us now but to have to, and put the ship to rights. Once again she rides upon the waves like a duck, and the angry sea roaring in the gale throws its spray in violent wrath against the little vessel ; but she has recovered her selfpossession wonderfully, and as she rises to the waves once more, shivering no doubt from stem to stern, as she comes up out of the trough of the sea, her little bows seem to the hardy sailors to swell with proud and defiant indignation, as she mounts over the angry waters. Well done! they cry, in exultant tones, as they watch every movement of the craft, now once more plunging madly forward. Not a drop of water comes on board, as she floats supremely over the overwhelming masses of water surging heavily around us. In the far distance we see a goodly number of ships anchored under the lee of the land, and the Humber is well lined with weather-bound vessels, as we beat up the harbour in the afternoon; well pleased, indeed, are we to escape at last out of the turmoil of the sea, where we have been so long contending.
We now sail along with a garland hanging from the mast-head, worn in true old whaler fashion.
Now a bag is produced on board, into which we drop our sixpences for the boys of the relations of our