N by E.

An account of Kent’s small-boat journey with Arthur Allen on the yacht Direction from New York to Greenland, its wreck, and other adventures.

p. 81-82: It may seem that the appointment as navigator of one so inexperienced [as Kent] was rash—especially in view of the eminent qualification, to accept his own estimate, of the mate. “I have read,” said the mate pompously, “every book on navigation that there is.”

“You don’t read books on navigation,” I cried indignantly, “any more than you read arithmetics. You study them.” Goes on to talk of his lost navigational note book.

p. 111, drawing of someone reading in cabin.

p. 112: The cabin of a small boat at sea, hove to in a gale of wind. All hands below. Mess and confusion, wet and cold, and semi-darkness from the closed companionway. Skipper and mate wedged in their tilted berths; the cook, braced ‘thwartship on the floor, reads “Ann Veronica” aloud.

p. 119: Fortunately we had continuous daylight. And when during the hours of my watch that night we lay utterly becalmed, I secured the boom amidships, lashed the tiller, and sat—bundled with blankets and my legs down the warm companionway—reading until midnight.

p. 135, an account of the boatwreck: Havoc! It’s no-man’s land; a mass of wreckage: doors, drawers, shelves, sheathing, stove lids, pots and pans and crockery, springs, mattresses, tools, beans and butter and books,–torn, splintered, crashed and mashed, lifted and churned and hurled again with every shivering impact of the ship.

p. 159, while climbing a rockface inland in Greenland: And the foolish idea came to me that I with my burden was Christian. And that all this journey with its labors, roundabouts and hazards was contrived to try the faith and fortitude of Man through me, his type and symbol. And this thought became an obsession; so that against the clamoring voices of despair I muttered crazily, “I will, I will!” So by the grace of madness I attained the summit.