From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Ralph makes use of this image twice. First, he convinces his father to "put a little wind in her sails" (18.25) by bequeathing her a fortune. Later, he claims that Isabel is on an expedition to explore life, and will "be steaming away again" (26.2) once she’s done observing Osmond. This metaphor expresses Ralph’s admiration for his cousin’s sense of adventure and unbounded possibility.