The next time the correspondent opens his eyes, it's dawn. The sun slowly rises over the waves. Hey, they can see the sky now. Maybe it's a sign.
In the distance
they can see sand dunes, some cottages, and a white windmill, but nothing
moving. The village looks deserted.
The men discuss
their options. The captain says that if no one's coming to help them, they
should try to make it to shore on their own while they still have the strength
to swim. They'll steer into the surf, and then swim for shore.
The men reluctantly agree.
looks up at the windmill and thinks it represents nature, blindly indifferent
to the actions of humankind.
that a man, seeing this "unconcern of the universe," might regret how
he lives his life, and want to go back and live it all over again (7.3). The
difference between right and wrong seems "absurdly clear to him" now
says the boat is going to swamp soon. They need to get her as close to shore as
possible, and then, when she swamps, jump out and swim for shore. It's an
The oiler is
rowing. The correspondent is watching the others. He knows they aren't scared,
but otherwise can't really read how the others feel. He's so ridiculously tired
he can't really grasp what's about to happen.
The captain reminds the men to jump as far from the
boat as possible, so it doesn't hit them.
The waves start crashing around them. Some water
comes into the boat and the cook bails it out.
Another wave comes, and spins the boat around. The
boat is now filled with so much water that it starts to sink. The next wave
overwhelms the boat, and the men spill out into the water.
As he falls
out, the correspondent grabs hold of a piece of a life preserver that had been
laying in the bottom of the boat.
notes the water is much colder than he would have expected it to be off the
coast of Florida. It is January,
after all. The water is so cold that it makes him sad—he almost wants to cry.
He looks around
for the other men. The oiler is way up in the front, swimming quickly and
strongly toward shore. The captain is hanging onto the upside-down boat.
stares at the shore; it looks so steady compared to the crazy crashing sea.
tells the heavy-set cook to turn over onto his back and float. He does.
correspondent feels himself trapped in a current, but a wave finally frees him.
correspondent thinks that drowning actually doesn't sound so bad. At least he wouldn't
suffer anymore—but then he sees a man on the beach. The man is throwing off his
clothing, running to come rescue them. Talk about a dramatic (and nude) rescue.
approaches the boat, the correspondent is tossed high in the air by a big wave,
right into water that's only waist-deep. Even then, the waves keep knocking him
The man on the
beach wades into the water totally naked, and drags the cook to shore. He
approaches the captain, but the captain directs him toward the correspondent.
He pulls him to safety as well.
Both men then
notice the oiler, face down in the shallow water, his forehead periodically
touching the sand, but being pulled away with every wave.
correspondent is a little delirious. He feels like he fell off a roof, but
nevertheless he's happy to be on land.
Out of nowhere,
lots of people come running with blankets, clothing, coffee, "and all the
remedies sacred to their minds" (7.38).
dead body is carried from the water onto the beach.
comes, and the waves still crash against the beach. The wind brings the sound
of the waves onto land, and the men feel "they could then be interpreters"