Excerpt:- Presently a number of figures raced aloft, orders were sharply given and as sharply re-echoed ; all three topsails were let fall at once, and the white cloths flashed to the lower yardarms as the clews were swiftly sheeted home ; the hollow clanking of the windlass pawls ceased as the great yards mounted shaping the lustrous canvas into symmetric spaces and clothing the lofty fabric with the grace of white and spacious wings. A little later and the long jibbooms of the Light of Asia were pointing seawards, with the windlass still clanking, the hoarse voices of men still chorusing, fold after fold of sail falling and then rising, passengers along the line of the bulwarks passionately gesticulating good - byes, and a crowd of boats with motioning people standing erect in them slowly settling away astern.
I had a good opportunity on this first day of sailing of observing the numerous company who were proceeding to India. With the exception of Mr. Godfrey Pellew, I believe that all the passengers assembled at the luncheon table at one o'clock on this, my first day at all events of the voyage, at which hour the ship was well clear of the Sound, standing for the central Channel navigation under full breasts of canvas from truck to waterway ; her decks, an extraordinarily busy scene of sailors coiling away the rigging and clearing up, and of soldiers passing in and out of the galley with smoking kits and steaming puddings for the messes of the three or four score men who formed the ship's cargo of redcoats.
Author: William Clark Russell
Title: A Strange Elopement
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