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Bill Conan, a middle-aged adventurer, has entered a 30,000 mile solo race around the world in the sloop Josephine, seeing it as his last chance to win status and success. Risking the ultimate test of skill, strength and endurance, Conan will follow his course across the vast expanse of the treacherous Atlantic, toward the one disaster a seaman most dreads. Overboard and alone on the open sea, his struggle can have only one end...
months to make its way east across the North Atlantic, ranging north almost as far as Iceland, to their traditional landfall of Cape Finisterre, the northwest tip of Spain. From then on, as they continue south, is their mating time, from Finisterre to the Moroccan coast. From Finisterre, the dolphins steadily make their way south during March and April, south in the cool Portugal current, in a vast area which extends right down the coast of Portugal, across the herring, cod, and pilchard-teeming
machine gun. The big jib was pulling like a brewer’s dray horse, full-bellied and heavy with wind. Josephine flung herself from one sea to the next, each fling now a full-bodied rugby tackle on the shoulders of the driving seas. With each crash, spray drove in tiny sparklets over the bow, the shining droplets in their thousands reflecting the red and green of the navigation light glares. Conan determined to leave the number one jib aloft all night, this side of a roaring gale, until he had
down sail again, or at least long enough to unship the running pole. Quickly, fumbling as spray driving over the stern blinded him momentarily, he locked in the gear and adjusted the vane to the wind direction as best he could. Then he clambered up forward, his safety harness clipped to the long running line which ran the whole length of the vessel, and made his way—was bodily pushed by the gale—forward. A second after he grabbed the coach-roof handrail, hand over hand on the plunging, rising
the audience that Conan imagined if he reached out he would be able to touch it. “…and he took me into the jungle, up in the hills, and the locals laid on a big feast. They had bones in their noses and they had singing and all the girls and the blokes dancing…and then we all set to, eating. We had piles of fruit and yams and roast pork…” “That was really something, eh?” the Interviewer showed his teeth. “Yes, and then we set off back to the coast, and I thanked the Aussie bloke for taking me
with dolphins, but in low relief. Against this long quay was moored a whole fleet of ships, all very similar to the one that had housed Conan for two days. Conan as he swam swiftly across the harbor with the other dolphins, all of them leaping and diving as they shot through the clear blue harbor water, counted with his fast dolphin’s eyes and brain six hundred masts, all with purple sails on them, all with the sails at the same angle to the wind, all with their slats wide open. The two hundred