A Yachting Cruise in the South Seas.


p. 6-7, Chapter I: The weather now was intensely hot and fine, and that feeling of drowsiness and languor came over me, which I have always experienced on first reaching the tropics. Reading becomes a delusion and a snare, and to take up a book means to be asleep in a few minutes. On Sunday, May 11th, we sighted Rotumah. This was the first island I intended visiting, my object here being to ship some of the natives, to strengthen my present crew. No one ought to attempt a voyage through the South Sea Islands without carrying an extra crew of this kind. For in the first place there are so many islands where there is no anchorage or perhaps a very precarious one, that it is better to keep the vessel standing off and on, worked by the white crew, while those who wish to visit the island go away in the boat manned by the South Sea Islanders. A coloured crew, too, are better able to row about all day in the hot sun; they are cheery, light-hearted companions, and are always ready, and enjoy the fun of diving into the water after any shell or piece of coral that one may fancy whilst rowing over the reefs.