By David Vann
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Extra info for A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea
So the following i used to be at evening in seas and wind, the sail whipping wildly, making seems like pistol photographs, and it wouldn’t come down. i attempted pulling the sail from the aft finish, which intended mountaineering onto the roof of the pilothouse, a deadly spot within the wind and seas. of my team have been on the halyard, pulling it up then liberating it, repeatedly, yet that wasn’t doing any strong both. ultimately I went ahead to the most mast and climbed fifteen toes off the deck, to the place i'll seize onto a fold of the sail. I hung on with either palms, permit my toes hold above the deck, and began yanking downward with all my bodyweight and power whereas my staff stored tightening and liberating the halyard. at the same time i used to be doing this, i noticed it was once dangerous. The deck used to be rolling, it used to be darkish, we have been being blasted with saltwater and howling wind, and that i was once dangling above the deck, yanking on whatever that will finally fall down. there have been winches and different steel fittings i would hit at the means down, loads of issues to land on that weren’t delicate. yet I simply did it, annoyed with the stupidity of getting a chief sail that wouldn’t come down. after which the sail fell, all immediately, and that i fell speedy and tough, clipping my knee on a stainless becoming at the mast. I rolled at the deck, threw out my fingers to discover whatever to carry onto, and located a bulwark for the ahead seating zone. I paused, considering how not easy I had hit, after which stood up. The knee was once sore, yet i may stand and stroll, so i used to be ok. yet i glance again and draw back at how silly i used to be, taking that chance. an afternoon and a part later, in predawn darkness, we slowed and waited in a wide channel open air our port within the Cape Verde Islands. This was once Africa. I had handed within reach of a number of African ports on my approach around the Mediterranean eighteen months prior, yet this used to be going to be my first time truly touchdown in an African nation. The guidebooks all warned to forestall for gas and not anything extra. The crime cost, in particular robbery from traveling yachts, was once imagined to be bad. The wind made it chilly out within the channel. The waves have been up, too, as they regularly are in channels, and the group used to be prepared for a holiday from the rolling, no matter if just for a couple of hours. We persisted to attend, although, simply because I didn’t are looking to input this unexpected port at evening. The charts for it weren't strong, and that i had no different wisdom to attract on. The sky went from black to a truly darkish blue, then progressively lightened. We started to see the description of mountains, the japanese sky in the back of them a paler blue. after which lets see land plenty round the lighting of the port, a wide rock within the heart of the bay and, as we approached slowly, the lengthy line of a breakwater down low. i attempted the VHF, yet nobody replied. It was once early on a Saturday. We crept nearer and located ourselves in a bit bay that was once shallowing, without gasoline dock in sight and some rocks simply sticking up randomly, unmarked, so I grew to become us round, again towards the economic docks, and determined to tie up subsequent to the ships.