We passed under the stern of the English brig, and had a long pull ashore. I shall never forget the impression which our first landing on the beach of California made upon me. The sun had just gone down; it was getting dusky; the damp night-wind was beginning to blow, and the heavy swell of the Pacific was setting in, and breaking in loud and high ``combers'' upon the beach.
The solemn thundering combers caught her up from astern, passed her with a fierce boiling up of foam level with the bulwarks, swept on ahead with a swish and a roar: and the little vessel, dipping her jib-boom into the tumbling froth, would go on running in a smooth, glassy hollow, a deep valley between two ridges of the sea, hiding the horizon ahead and astern.
We passed under the stern of the English brig, and had a long pull ashore. I shall never forget the impression which our first landing on the beach of California made upon me. The sun had just gone down; it was getting dusky; the damp night wind was beginning to blow, and the heavy swell of the Pacific was setting in, and breaking in loud and high "combers" upon the beach.
Then he attached the Flying Fish's mooring cable to the contrivance and paid it out for a hundred feet or more, while the storm-battered craft drifted steadily backward. Instead, however, of lying beam on to the big sea, she now headed up into them, the "drag," as it is sometimes called, serving to keep her bow swung up to the threatening combers.
Things of the senses appeal to me more than to most; it is, of course, the artist within me. I am like a mountain torrent or the beetling crest of an ocean comber rushing, full-bodied, down upon upon the floor." He came to a full stop and stared with pursed lips at the object of his love, sitting unhappily before him. What the devil do mountain torrents and ocean combers rush down upon?
Lord Ashbridge got up and began walking across the terrace opposite the tea-table with his elbows stuck out and his feet lifted rather high. "Michael doesn't seem to realise that he is not Tom or Dick or Harry," said he. "Music, indeed! I'm musical myself; all we Combers are musical. But Michael is my only son, and it really distresses me to see how little sense he has of his responsibilities.
This time she carried fresh southerly breezes with her most of the way across the Pacific, and plunged along hove down under the last rag they dare set upon her with the big combers surging up abeam, until at length they ran into the clammy fog close in with the Kamtchatkan beaches.
Then the tide wash comes in with a rip like a whirlpool, or the ebb sets the beach combers rolling lashing billows of tumbling waters that crash together and set the sheets of blinding spray shattering. Or the fog comes down over a choppy sea with a whizzing wind that sets the whitecaps flying backward like a horse's mane. The chase may have led farther and farther from land.
The combers came up behind her, foaming and glistening blue and green, with seamy white streaks on their hollow breasts, and broke about her with a roar. Then they surged ahead while she sank down into the hollow with sluicing deck and tilted stern.
To either side were tumbling the broken waves, curling away like beach combers. The hollow of each was a curved sheet of electric white, and the top the crest was a heavier, hotter white. The crests would rise above our rail and break, and back into the hollows would fall a shower of shooting stars that almost sizzled. There wasn't a star above, but millions on the water!