As if to emphasise the statement, just as the two men succeeded in reaching the top of the steeply-inclined ladder a deluge of water crashed thunderously down on the cruiser's poop, driving in a solid mass along her decks from end to end, and causing her to bump again heavily.
There was, therefore, nothing for it, but to keep on as we were, the cutter heeling over to an angle of quite 500, so that we were really standing upon the inside of the lee bulwark, with our backs resting against the steeply-inclined deck, up above our knees in the sea, beneath which the little craft's lee-rail was deeply buried; while, owing to our great speed, we rushed through instead of riding over the sea which was rapidly getting up, so that, when an unusually heavy "comber" met us, we were literally buried for the moment, while it swept over us.
After travelling for three hours in midstream we steered for the land, and brought to under a steeply-inclined bank of crumbly earth, shaped into a succession of steps or terraces, marking the various halts which the waters of the river make in the course of subsidence.
Nor did our own ship present a less gallant spectacle as she careered madly forward through the hissing brine, now burying her bows deep in a fringe of yeasty foam, and next moment soaring aloft as though she meant to forsake the ocean altogether; her steeply-inclined deck knee-deep with the rushing cataracts of water which poured over her to windward, her canvas tugging at the stout spars until they bent and sprang like fishing-rods, and the wind singing through her tautly-strained rigging as through the strings of a gigantic Aeolian harp.
The sands are heaped up very curiously around the margins of these isolated sheets of water; in the present case they formed a steeply-inclined bank, from five to eight feet in height. What may be the cause of this formation I cannot imagine.