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A Night in A Wherry

As the summer vacation drew near, and the closed shutters and comparative quiet of the west end made one for a moment believe in the phrase, "Nobody in town," I had, after some thought, determined to resist the many temptations of a walking tour, and, instead of trusting to shoe-leather, try what virtue lay in a stout pair of oars, and make a trip by water instead of land.

But first, in what direction? The careful search of a huge chart and some knowledge of the Northern and Eastern seaboard led me to mark out a course along the shore of Massachusetts and among the beautiful islands which stud the coast of Maine.

The cruise was at that time a novel one, and many were the doubts expressed as to the seaworthiness of my boat. She was twenty-two feet long, nine inches high, and thirty-two wide,—canvas-covered, except about four feet of the middle section, with sufficient space to stow two days' food and water, and to carry all the baggage necessary for a week's voyage. The oars were made especially strong for the occasion, of spruce, ten feet three inches in length, and nicely balanced. In addition to provision and clothes, a gun, a couple of hundred feet of stout line, and a boat-hook were stowed in the bottom.

The day fixed for departure rose clear. An east wind tempered the heat of the sun; but the tide, which by starting earlier would have been in my favor, was dead low, and would turn before I could round the northern point of the city. After all my traps had been put on board, seating myself carefully, the oars were handed in, and a few strokes sent me ahead of the raft. The tide was low, dead low, in the fullest meaning of the word; the sea-weed slowly circled and eddied round, floating neither up nor down; while the unrippled surface of the Back Bay reflected the city and bridges so perfectly that it was hard to tell where reality ended and seeming began. Passing beneath the Cambridge draw, I turned the boat's head for the next one, and kept close to the northern point of the city. Seven bridges must be passed ere the bay opened before me. The boat had just cleared the last, when, remembering that no matches had been provided, and not knowing where a landing might be made, I decided to lay in a stock before putting to sea. With a narrow shave past the Chelsea ferry-boat, I backed water, and came alongside a raft of ship-timber seasoning near one of the docks, tenanted by a score or more of semi-amphibious urchins, who were running races over the half-sunken logs, and taking all sizes of duckings, from the slight spatter to the complete souse. Engaging the services of one of these water-rats, by a judicious promise of a larger sum as payment than the one intrusted to him for the purchase, I had soon a sufficient supply, and, resting the boat-hook on one of the logs, pushed off. East Boston ferry was quickly passed, my boat lifting and falling gracefully in the swell of the steamer, and I began to feel the flow of the rising tide setting steadily against her. Governor's Island showed rather hazy three miles off; Apple Island, tufted with trees, looked in the shimmering light like one of the palm-crowned Atolls of the Pacific; and, just discernible through the foggy air, Deer Island and the Hospital loomed up. A straight course would have saved at least two miles and avoided the strength of the tide; but, though my boat drew only three inches, and there was water enough and to spare on the flats, the sea-weed, growing thick as grain in the harvest-field, and half floating where the depth was three or four feet, collecting round the sharp bow as a long tress of hay gathers round a tooth of a rake, and burying the oar-blade, impeded all progress, and obliged me to pull almost double the distance against the rapid tide-set of the circuitous channels. I worked through the bends and reaches, till the deep, strong current of Shirley Gut was to be stemmed, where the tide runs with great force,—nearly fifty feet in depth of pure green water, eddying and whirling round, all sorts of ripples and small whirlpools dimpling its surface,—with the rushing sound which deep and swift water makes against its banks. A few moments' tough pulling brought me through, and, once outside Deer Island, nothing lay between me and Nahant. The well-known beach and the sandy headland called "Grover" stood out at the edge of Lynn Bay, and the rise and fall of the white surf, too distant to be heard, marked the long reef stretching seaward. After dining, and allowing the boat to drift while rearranging my provisions, I took my place, and, getting the proper bearings astern, bent on the oars.

To those who have rowed only clumsy country-boats, with their awkward row-locks and wretched oars, slimy, dirty, and leaking, trailing behind tags and streamers of pond-weed, or who have only experimented with that most uncivilized style of digging up the water called paddling, the real pleasure of rowing is unknown.

Grover's Head went astern; Nahant grew more and more distinct. There was but little wind, and the boat went rocking over the long roll of the huge waves, cutting smoothly through their wrinkled surface. In sight to the south and the east were the Brewsters, the outer light, and the sails of vessels of all sizes and shapes which were slowly making their way into the harbor. The afternoon was cloudy; but now and then a brilliant ray of sunshine would fall on islands and vessels, lighting them up for an instant, and then closing over again. My route took me about three miles outside Nahant and in full view of the end of the promontory. There was now a clear course, except that occasionally a huge patch of floating seaweed would suddenly deaden and then stop the boat's headway, compelling me to back water and clear the bow of the long strands. It was at first very startling to be thus checked when running at full speed; the sensation being that some one has grasped the boat and is pushing her back. With the resistance come the rush and ripple, as the sharp stem plunges through the floating mass of weed. The wind, which had been light and baffling all the forenoon, after I had passed Nahant, and was abreast of Egg Rock with its little whitewashed light-house, freshened, and, veering to the southeast, blew across my track. The vessels began to lean to its force, and the waves to rise. I was then outside Swampscott Bay, about eight miles from land. The shore was plainly visible, with the buildings dotted along like specks of white, and the outlying reefs showing by the sparkle of the foam upon them. Phillips's Beach, and the island called by the romantic name of Ram, were now opposite. Half-Way Rock, so named from being half way from Boston to Gloucester, was the point towards which I had been pulling for two hours, and it could now for the first time be seen. It came in sight as the boat was rising on a huge wave which broke under her and went rushing shoreward, roaring savagely, with long streaks of foam down its green back. The elevation of the eyes above the water was so small, that, when my boat sank away in the trough of the sea, nothing could be seen above the top of the advancing wave. I had, therefore, to watch my chance, and when she rose, get my bearings.

Half-Way Rock is a water-washed mass of porphyritic stone, the top about twenty feet above high tide, shaped much like a pyramid, and a few years since was capped with a conical granite beacon, strongly built and riveted down, but which had been two-thirds washed away by the tremendous surf of the easterly storms. The rock stands at the outer edge of a long sand-shoal, and is east of Salem. To the northward, a dim blue line on the horizon, lay Cape Ann, by my reckoning, about eighteen miles distant. I kept on pulling over the swell, which was growing larger, not quite in the trough of the sea,—but when a particularly large wave came easing up a little, so as to take the boat more on the bow, the motion was not a pleasant one. It was a sort of half rolling, half pitching,—very unlike the even, smooth slide of the early part of the afternoon. The rock soon became plainer, and at last I rested on my oars to watch the waves as they broke on its furrowed face. The great rollers, which became higher as the water shoaled toward its foot, fell upon it bursting into foam, and jetting the spray high above the half-broken beacon. It was a beautiful sight as the spray broke under the shadow of the seaward face and was thrown up into the sunlight.

Not heeding whither I was drifting, a nasal hail suddenly roused me to the fact that there were other navigators in those seas. "Bo-oat ahoy! Whar' ye bo-ound?" Giving a stroke with the larboard oar, I saw, hove to, a fishing-schooner,—her whole crew of skipper, three men, and a boy standing at the gangway and looking with all their ten eyes to make out, if possible, what strange kind of sea-monster had turned up. My boat could not have seemed very seaworthy, only seven inches above water, disappearing in the trough of every sea that passed, then lifting its long and slender bow of brilliant crimson above the white foam, and the occupant apparently on a level with the water. The hail was repeated. The answer, "Cape Ann," did not satisfy them; and the question, "Wa-ant any he-elp?" was next bawled out. My only reply was by a shake of the head; and settling back into my place, I gave way on the oars, and left my fishing friends still looking and evidently very uncertain whether it were not better to make an attempt at a rescue.

I now kept on about a mile farther toward the Cape, but found that the time before sundown was too short to reach it. About seven miles distant, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, was the hospitable mansion of Mr. T., where I was sure of a welcome and a good berth for my boat, and which snug harbor could just be reached by nightfall. The way lay straight across Gooseberry Shoal, on the outside of which stands Half-Way Rock. The sea for my small boat was very heavy; but, having full confidence in her buoyancy, I drove straight on. Upon the shoal the color of the water changed from deep to light green; the sea was shorter, much higher, and broke quicker; the waves washed over the stern of the boat, burying it two feet or more, and coming almost into the seat-room. Then she would lift herself free, and ride high and clear on the backs of the great rollers, which would break and crush down under her, sending her well ahead. The sunlight, falling from behind, shone through the body of each wave, making it of the most transparent brilliant emerald, and tinting the foam with every hue of the rainbow. Pulling with the sea is very easy work, if the boat be long enough to keep from broaching to,—that is, swinging sideways and rolling over, a performance which dories are apt to indulge in. There are on the shoal several reefs, whose black ridges are just awash at high tide; past these the inner edge of the water deepens and the sea becomes smoother. About an hour brought me inside what is called by the dwellers thereabout the "outer island,"—its gray-red rocks tufted here and there with patches of coarse grass, and weather-worn and seamed by surf and storm, with the usual accompaniment of mackerel-gulls screaming and soaring aloft at the approach of a stranger. When within about a quarter of a mile of the shore, I backed round to come upon the beach stern foremost through the surf. If the surf be high, coming ashore is a delicate operation; for, should the boat be turned broadside on, she would be thrown over upon the oarsman, and both washed up the beach in a flood of sandy salt-water; so it requires some little steadiness to sit back to the coming wave, hear the increasing roar, and feel the sudden lift and toss shoreward which each roller gives you as it plunges down upon the sand. Just before coming to the outer edge of the surf, I was seen by my friends, who hastened down the cliff-road to receive me. Resting on my oars, I waited, till, hearing a large roller coming, whose voice gained in strength and depth as it drew nearer to the shore, I looked behind. The crest was already beginning to curl, as it dashed under the boat and swept me in-shore, breaking, as the stern passed, the top of the sea, and carrying me in, full speed, with the flood of foam and spray. After three or four quick strokes I jerked the oars out of the row-locks, jumped into the water knee-deep, and wading dragged the boat backwards as far as she would float, when the receding surf let her gently down upon the sand, and before the next wave the servant had taken the bow and I the stern and lifted her high and dry upon the beach. And so my afternoon's pull of thirty miles was safely and successfully finished, my boat having proved herself thoroughly seaworthy, though my friends could hardly believe that such a craft could be safely trusted. After removing the stores and arranging other matters, we took her up, placed her quietly upon the grass, and left her for the night.

The next morning was rather hazy. About nine o'clock I took my way to the beach, and began to prepare for departure. Mr. T.'s house lies several miles to the south and west of Cape Ann. Eastern Point, on the Cape, was therefore the place to be steered for in a straight line,—perhaps six miles distant. Two miles on, the white light-house on the Point can be plainly seen. The tide was rising, and the two lines of ripple met across the sand-bar which connects a little island with the beach. My boat was now carried down from her night's resting-place and set at the edge of the water. The oars being placed in readiness, two of us waded out with her till she would just float, when, quickly and cautiously stepping in, I met the advancing wave in time to ride over it. The line of surf is hard to cross, unless one can catch the roller before it begins to crest. Once outside the line, I turned and pulled swiftly across the bar, over which the tide had risen a few inches, and, bidding good-morning to my hospitable entertainers, set off for Eastern Point. There was considerable swell, though not much wind. The shore being familiar to me, I was rowing along leisurely, recognizing one well-known cliff after another, as they came in sight, and was between Kettle Island and the main, when a slight dampness in the air caused me to turn my face to the eastward, and I saw coming in from the sea, preceded by an advance guard of feathery mist, a dense bank of fog. It swept in, blotting out sea, shore, everything but the view a few feet around the boat. Fortunately knowing the place, and guided by the sound of the surf, I soon neared the wet, brown rocks at the inner edge of Kettle Island. Backing up into a little cove between two huge sea-weedy boulders I waited, hoping that a turn in the wind might drive the mist seaward and allow me to keep on. There I sat a full hour, watching the star-fish, and the crabs scrambling about among the loose strands of the olive-green and deep purple rock-weed, which looked almost black in the shadow, while here and there, as it waved to and fro with the sea, disclosing patches of yellow sand. Very beautiful was this natural aquarium; but time was flying, and "The Shoals" were more than thirty miles distant. The mist began to drive in long rifts, and a gleam of sunshine came out, but only for a moment. I took advantage of it at once, and pushed out from port.

The opposite shore of the cove, in the mouth of which the island lies, was dimly discernible, and the dense foliage of the willows surrounding the fishermen's houses loomed up in the distance, while at the extreme end of the Point the sea broke heavily on the long protruding reef which slanted eastward. I made rapidly for the Point, and reached the outside line of rollers just in time; for the fog, which had been drifting backwards and forwards and torn in long rents, now closed over again, shutting down darker than ever. It was with the utmost difficulty that I could make out the faint gray line of cliff and surf. On the whole, however, it appeared best to keep on and feel my way along the coast, navigating rather by sound than by sight. The shore grows higher as you go northward towards Gloucester harbor, and is, if possible, more rugged and broken than to the south. The chief danger was from sunken rocks, which every wave submerged three or four feet, and which in the hollow of the sea were wholly above water. I came upon one very suddenly, as the wave was swelling above it, and the rock-weed afloat on its sunken head looked, for the instant, like the hair of a drowning person. My boat went directly over it, and the next moment its black crest rose in the trough of the wave. One such chance of wreck was enough, and so I kept farther out, losing sight almost entirely of the cliffs. The sun, meanwhile, was pouring down an intense heat, making the fog luminous, but not rendering the coast any more visible. I knew that before me, somewhere, lay the reef of Norman's Woe. The huge rock on the inside of the reef, separated from the shore by a narrow strait, I judged must be right ahead, but not knowing how near, I kept on, cautiously looking behind, every few strokes, and began to think I must have passed it in the fog, when suddenly, as if it had stepped in the way, it rose before me, its top lost in the mist, and with the sullen drip and splash of the sea on its almost perpendicular sides. I had to back water with some force, and, skirting the reef, stood on till fairly outside,—when, turning shoreward again, I went on to the edge of the surf.

Resuming my former style of navigation, almost twisting my head off to keep a sharp look-out for rocks and reefs, I came to what seemed to be the mouth of Gloucester harbor, and there stopped for a moment. There was no use in pulling up one side of the harbor and down the other, four miles, while in a straight line to the Point it was only one and a half. I had almost decided on rowing the longer distance, however, when I heard a bell ringing somewhere in the direction of Eastern Point. It was striking in measured time, and the sound came across the water with great distinctness. It puzzled me a little, till I remembered there was a fog-bell as well as a light-house on the Point. Hoping that the tolling would continue, I aimed for the bell as straight as possible. With a couple of strokes the shore vanished, and nothing could be seen but fog. Rowing where there is plenty of light and yet nothing visible is embarrassing business. One must rely wholly upon the sense of hearing, as eyes are of no use in such a case. Fearing that the bell might cease before I got across, I bent with a will upon the oars and went racing through the fog. The sound grew more and more distinct with each peal, when, suddenly as the apparition of Norman's Woe, right before me sprang up the black dripping hull of a fishing-schooner, becalmed, and rocking with the roll of the sea; one turn and I shot beneath her bows, passed her, and was lost in the fog before the fat darkey who was lazily fishing by the bowsprit could shift from one side of the deck to the other to keep me in sight. The creaking of blocks and the heavy flap of wet sails warned me of the neighborhood of other vessels. In a short time I could hear the rusty grating of the pivot as the bell turned; then my boat glided close under the rock on which the light-house stands. At that moment the fog opened half across the bay, showing clearly my track with more than a dozen vessels lying close by it. The lifting was but for a moment; back rolled the cloud and all was invisible again. I rounded the Point, however, and went ahead, pulling along the eastern coast of the Cape in the fog.

It was hard work, this groping through the mist, and made me wish for the Janus power of gazing out of the back of my head to save the trouble of continually turning. The look-out was now necessarily more vigilant than when on the lower shore, as I was entirely ignorant of the coast and could not see twenty feet before me. The sea was calm, save the ever-swinging ground-swell, which does not show its power till it meets with some resistance; and though without crest, the surf on the rocks was very high. There was nothing to deaden the force of the sea, and it came on in huge green masses, sliding bodily up on the rocks with a sound like distant thunder, making one feel that a boat would be shivered to splinters, should she fall into its power. Once the breakers nearly caught me broadside on, as I had begun to pull along the shore, compelling me to keep outside the line of surf and thus follow it till the rocky headland loomed up on the other side of the bay, then past the reefs again till another bay curved inward,—nothing to be seen but fog, dim white surf, and dimmer rocks. Once, when passing an outlying point, I saw, for a moment, a couple of men fishing; they shouted something which the surf rendered inaudible; then rock and fishers melted away into the mist. After rowing in this manner for about an hour, the water shoaled, the fog lightened, and an island appeared to the east, with the sea rippling over the sand-bar which joined it to the shore. I pulled on and found the depth but a few inches, just enough to cross without touching. The island was very picturesque, and the end towards the west was broken into ledges, on which were perched eight or ten small weather-beaten houses. Half floating by the beach under the cliff, or drawn up on it, were a number of dories, while a troop of little children were wading, splashing, and shouting in the shallow water on the bar. They stopped when they saw me, clustered together watching as I passed, and when I was fairly over set up a shout and resumed their play. I rowed on until two in the afternoon, when the fog became thinner, and finding myself between two rocky headlands, in "Milk Island Strait," as I conjectured, and it being dinner-time, I went ashore in a little inlet, took out my provisions, and dined.

The mist, meanwhile, had disappeared, leaving the sky perfectly clear. It was nearly three when dinner was finished. The Isles of Shoals were full twenty-one miles distant, and if they were to be reached before night, there was no time to be lost. So I backed out of the inlet, and, getting the bearings, aimed for a point on the horizon where I supposed the islands to be, and pulled without stopping for three hours. The wind was fresh from the southeast, the sea high, and there was not the least trace of the fog. The hills of Cape Ann, as I went on, changed from green to blue, and the color grew fainter in the distance. The land, which was ten miles inside to the westward, had now come nearer, and the dark line of the woods was just visible.

It was time to see the Shoals. I turned, but the heavy sea tossed the boat about so that it was not at all certain whether they were or were not in sight. The only objects in view were a few small white clouds about the horizon and the distant sails of a schooner; so again bringing the Cape astern, I rowed on till sunset. The hills had then almost sunk below the water, and it was full time to see White Island and the light which would be kindled in a few moments. The boat swung into the trough of the sea, and when on the top of a wave I looked up to the northward. The sight was not a pleasant one for an evening pull: the sky was covered with the dark clouds of a gathering storm rapidly rolling up, and my old friend the fog was again working in, as the wind had shifted to the east and north. In the distance nothing could be seen but black sky and blacker water, while nearer crept on the line of mist, shutting out all prospect. The Shoals were doubtless somewhere in the darkness, but just where I could not determine. Something must be done at once before the fog reached me. Calling a council of war, I debated. There was no certainty of hitting the Shoals, and if I did come on them in any other than the exact spot, my boat would be beaten into chips in five minutes on some of the reefs which abound in that region. It would be entirely dark when I reached the islands, and the wind and sea were rising; it looked very much like the beginning of an easterly gale. So the council concluded to let the Shoals go for that night, and stay out at sea till morning. Should the gale come on, the boat could be beached on the coast to the westward; and if the wind lulled, as it probably would for a few hours on the next day, there was time enough to get ashore. I was from eight to ten miles at sea, and six miles east and south of the Shoals, as nearly as I could reckon. It was necessary to get more to the westward to clear the islands in the night, when the tide set in. Rowing for half an hour brought me far enough in to stop. The fog was again all around me, and the thick clouds made it so dark that it was impossible to see twice my boat's length. Resting on my oars for a moment, I began to stow a few things more closely in the seat-room, when a huge sea broke just ahead, and, striking the bow a little on one side, whirled the boat round and rolled her half over, pitching the crest into the seat-room and filling it with water. I caught her with the oars barely in time to save her, and turned her again head to the sea, keeping a watchful eye to windward. Then baling out the seat-room, I took some crackers and a draught of water, and turned the boat stern foremost to the sea.

It was, by guess, about nine o'clock; and there was no light except the phosphorescence of the water. When a wave came rushing through the fog, its black body invisible in the darkness, the crest glanced like quicksilver and broke into ten thousand coruscations as the boat balanced on the top,—pouring a flood of glittering water past the stern and over the canvas cover, and dripping from the sides in sparkling drops. Wherever a foam-bubble burst or oar dipped, it was like opening a silver-lined casket. The boat left a luminous track, which rose with the waves as they swelled behind her, and disappeared in the night. It required a strong hand to keep her in her course; had she broached to, I should have been rolled out and obliged to swim for it. A quick eye was necessary to watch, lest, in spite of the oars, she might swing round and turn over. The utter darkness and the storm so threatening at sundown had come in full force. It was raining and blowing heavily, and the strong wind driving the rain and mist in sheets across the water deepened the hoarse roar of the sea. I was very wet, and not so fresh, after my forty miles or more of hard, steady pulling, as in the morning; I was also very sleepy, so that it was not easy to keep even one eye open to look out for passing coasters,—the chief danger. My craft was so slender they could have gone over her in the darkness and storm and never have known it. The tide was still setting out, the sea was very high, and there was not a ray of light from White Island. My best course seemed to be to continue pulling slowly and keep the boat stern to the sea till after midnight, when the tide would change and the wind would lull for a short time,—unless it should prove to be the beginning of the gale, and not its forerunner, as I had thought. The hours passed slowly. There was much to do in heading straight and in easing up when the great waves loomed through the fog. Midnight would decide whether at day-dawn I must pull for it, and run, if possible, the line of breakers on Rye Beach, with rather less than an even chance of coming out right-end uppermost, or whether the wind and sea would go down so that I could slip quietly ashore before the gale returned.

Midnight came at last; the rain ceased and the wind began to shift to the south, and I knew that now the probability of going ashore decently was good. The tide having turned, the wind moderated, and the sea, though still high, was longer and did not break so quickly. Still farther to the south veered the wind, and a little after three, as well as I could tell by my watch, the fog thinned, so that, looking up, I caught the faint glimmer of a star; then another peeped through the cloud. The mist broke in several places, then drifted over, then broke again; and, chancing to look seaward, a light flared into full blaze for a moment, swung smaller, then vanished. There was no mistaking it,—White Island light at last!

Backing with one oar, pulling with the other, I rose on the top of a great sea, and caught the light again just as it began to come into sight. Off I went, at a splendid pace, driving along in the trough and over the crest of the waves, steering by a star behind me, for about ten minutes; then light and stars sank back into the mist, and all was black again. I waited a few moments, and again the light shone out; but meantime the boat's bow had veered several points. Turning toward it, I was off full speed this time for about five minutes, before the fog swept in again. Then another rest on my oars. The fog drifted out and drifted in backwards and forwards, now thinning here, then thinning there; but no other glimpse of the light did I get that night. For a moment, a shadowy-looking schooner glided slowly along a few hundred feet ahead of me, and directly across my track,—then melted out into the darkness. After waiting some time longer, finding no chance of another glimpse of the light, I secured my oars, and, as the wind and sea had decreased, got ready to turn in. The seat-room was only four feet long,—two feet short of my length; and the washboard, which was three inches in height, surrounded the seat-room and obliged me to use the boat-sponge as a pillow. But trusting to chance that my craft would come across nothing either fixed or floating, I retreated at once to the land of Nod. What the weather was during the rest of that night, or what might have been seen, I cannot say; for I did not wake till my watch told seven in the morning. Then my eyes opened to, or rather in, as choice a specimen of mist as had yet been met with.

It was perfectly calm; the sea was undulating slightly, and not a breath of wind stirring. I sat up and looked around. Nothing visible but misty atmosphere and leaden-colored water; the phosphorescent sparkle had quite gone out of it. I listened, and with the low dull roar of the surf on Rye Beach on one side came the break of the waves on the Shoals, but so faint that it was doubtful whether it were really audible, when another most unmistakable sound assured me Landlord Laighton was blowing his breakfast-horn on Appledore Island. The familiar notes of that very peculiar performance came clearly through the fog. Had he kept on blowing twenty minutes longer, he would have had another guest; but he stopped before ten strokes could be taken. So, reluctantly turning my boat for the other shore, I pulled for the sound of the surf, which increased as I approached it. The beach was still several miles distant, when the short, quick rap of oars came to my ears. I knew at once the fisherman's stroke, and, supposing that he had put out from the shore and did not mean to stay out long, I gave chase at once, and pulled till he stopped rowing and was apparently near. Then I hailed, and after a twenty minutes' hunt caught a glimpse of his dory and immediately introduced myself. He was fishing with two lines, one on each side of the boat, and was about returning when I came up. He had never before beheld such a craft as mine, and did not know what to make of her as she came through the fog. He soon, however, drew in his lines, and, acting as pilot, set out for the beach, from which we were then three miles distant. After various twistings and circlings through the mist, the row of sandy hillocks which backs Rye Beach appeared, and in a few moments we pulled through the surf and landed, thus ending one part of my summer's cruise.