List the steps taken by the captain to protect the ship when the rough weather began.
The storm jib was dropped. Heavy ropes were tied across the stern of the ship. Everything was bound securely with ropes.
List the steps taken by the captain to check the flooding of the water in the ship.
He took some waterproof hatch covers. He screwed them across the big holes. Thus he tried to check the flooding in of water.
Describe the mental condition of the voyagers on January 4 and 5.
On January 4, they were able to pump out most of the water that had flooded in. They ate their first meal after two days. But this relief was short-lived. In the evening, black clouds began to build up behind them. Strong wind began to blow. By dawn, the situation had become horrible. The writer went to comfort the children. Jon asked his father if they were going to die. The writer tried to encourage him. But Jon said that they were not afraid of dying if they could all be together. The writer could find no words to reply. But he was determined to fight the sea in every way.
Describe the shifts in the narration of the events as indicated in the three sections of the text.
The first section describes the preparations made for the three-year journey. After the first leg of the journey, there is a sense of hope and joy in spite of the rough weather. They celebrate their Christmas and New Year’s Day on board. But then they are caught in a terrible storm. They think their end is near. But each one shows rare courage. They are rewarded for it. They are able to spot a tiny island in the vast ocean. In the final section, we see their cheerful landing. The inhabitants of the island welcome them. The writer feels grateful to all those who stood by him during the terrible days.
What did you notice about the difference between the way in which the adults and the children reacted when faced with danger ?
Both the adults and the children stand together when faced with danger. There is not much difference in the way they react. The only difference is that children can’t fight the sea like adults. But they don’t panic at all. They in no way add to the difficulties of the elders. They show rare courage. Jon said that they were not afraid of dying if they could all be together. It adds to the father’s determination to fight the sea. Mary, Larry and Herb — all play their role heroically.
How does the story suggest that optimism helps to ‘endure the direst stress’ ?
One who keeps his face to the sunshine, has no fear of shadows. One who is optimistic, has no fear of failures. Nothing is too difficult or impossible for him. He goes on and on with the hope that he will succeed. Gordon Cook’s story conveys the same idea. It was only his courage and optimism that did not let him give up. He kept fighting the storm with rare courage. He never gave up his hope of success. Any other person in his place would have given up in despair and died on the sea. Thus Cook’s story proves that optimism helps to endure the direst stress.
What lessons do we learn from such hazardous experiences when we are face to face with death ?
Hope for the best, and be prepared for the worst. This is the first lesson that we learn. And mere hope won’t do. We have to work hard to fulfil the hope. And we should not lose courage in the face of a danger or difficulty. We should struggle on and on with firm determination. And we should have love and sympathy for those who stand by us. These are the lessons that we learn from this story.
Why do you think people undertake such adventurous expeditions in spite of the risks involved ?
Love of adventure is something instinctive. Man has it in his blood from the very birth. Why do children jump from the furniture ? Why do they jump over walls? Why do they climb up trees and jump down ? Why do people love to go up dangerous mountains ? The answer is the same. It is man’s love of adventure. It is a natural instinct. And it is always desirable that a natural instinct should be satisfied. But it is important that it is satisfied in a manner that does not harm others. Love of adventure is a noble instinct. It strengthens a man’s character. It arms him with courage and strong determination. That is why people undertake adventurous expeditions in spite of all risks.