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...
and then at the dull-red glowing compass and then at a star ahead. When the liner was hull-down over the horizon he gazed around, searching for any sign of the other race yachts. There was none. At ten o’clock he thought he had seen a single bright light, which might have been a competitor’s bright masthead light (they would all display them while they were crossing the shipping lanes), but it had been only a suspicion, perhaps a trick of vision. Now there was nothing but the topmost lights of
approximately, the course he had set. He let go of the wheel. The boat steered herself, but slowly veered and yawed a few degrees either side of the course. Conan peered into the night around the unseeable horizon again. Particularly he stared astern and on each quarter. Only novices, with car-driving habits, pay more attention ahead than astern in a sail craft at night. There was nothing—only the driven seas, steepening now little by little, and the black gleams of the moving ocean waters
farmlands, all brown and yellow, then further up pastures green, then woodlands and black-gray rock, and finally, at the very top, two bright sparkling white pinnacles which glowed silver in the dawn, and salmon pink, even red, in the evening twilights of long, long ago. “The nursing ground of the dolphins was a holy place, a deep fjord in the side of a mountain. The Atlanteans had built a long deep wall out into the sea to almost close the fjord; and they guarded the entrance with a strong net
jib. He glared back astern at the serried ranks upon ranks of angrily heaving seas and the racing black clouds charging at him from the northeast across an angry sky. Again he heaved the wheel as a maverick sea pushed Josephine’s stern over twenty degrees. As he labored, Conan looked over the deck and grinned to himself. “She’s a good ’un,” he grunted. Josephine yawed in reply and buried her lee deck, staggered, shuddered, and labored like a thing in agony, but the crushing blows, from astern she
at the hull bilges, and caressed the iron keel gently with their tender flippers to calm the boat’s fears and soothe her loneliness. One hundred and eighteen miles north of St. Paul’s Rocks, Aka ordered the reporting scout to return to him. Then, relaying the signal through closer intermediaries, Aka commanded all the wide-flung search schools to swing to the southwest and hurry in a long wide arc around the prowling sharks, so that they could attack from upstream in the current, thus avoiding