Now that the ship is headed for land, Tommo feels happy and relieved. He lazes around with nothing much to do.
Tommo describes the beauty of the water and sea, and how the silence disappears as they advance closer to land and hear the call of birds.
As the Marquesas come into view, Tommo talks about their general layout and history, particularly about the island of Nukuheva and its bay, which is the ship's destination.
As the ship sails toward the bay, they learn that the French have taken possession of the islands and named them part of the nation. This information comes from a drunken sailor who comes up along the ship.
Next to visit the ship is a large posse of native islanders, at first all men, then giving way to a large contingent of young and beautiful women—whom Tommo admires, comparing them to mermaids.
As the ship comes closer to the beach, the women scale the sides of the ship and board. As night falls, they dance on its deck.