“We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All be Together” lesson word meanings in English and Hindi. The lesson is a part of syllabus for CBSE class 11 English textbook ‘Hornbill’. Click here for other lessons of class 11 English.
Word meanings Par: We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All be Together”
Page – 13
IN July 1976, my wife Mary, son Jonathan, 6, daughter Suzanne, 7, and I set sail from Plymouth, England, to duplicate the round the-world voyage made 200 years earlier by Captain James Cook. For the longest time, Mary and I — a 37-year-old businessman — had dreamt of sailing in the wake of the famous explorer, and for the past 16 years we had spent all our leisure time honing our seafaring skills in British waters.
Our boat Wavewalker, a 23 metre, 30 ton wooden-hulled beauty, had been professionally built, and we had spent months fitting it out and testing it in the roughest weather we could find.
The first leg of our planned three-year, 105,000 kilometre journey passed pleasantly as we sailed down the west coast of Africa to Cape Town. There, before heading east, we took on two crewmen — American Larry Vigil and Swiss Herb Seigler — to help us tackle one of the world’s roughest seas, the southern Indian Ocean.
|To begin a journey by boat or ship.
|दोहराना, वैसा ही दोबारा करना
|(here it means to do or recreate again)
|दुनिया का चक्कर
|A journey that goes completely around the world.
|A long journey, especially by sea or in space.
|A well-known person who travels to discover new places.
|The past tense of “dream,” meaning to have a series of thoughts, images, or sensations.
|सुधार करना, ओर माँझना, तरासना
|To sharpen or improve a skill through practice and effort.
|Skills related to sailing and navigating on the sea.
|To equip or furnish something, in this context, it refers to preparing the boat for the journey.
|सबसे खराब मौसम
|The most severe or harsh weather conditions.
|Refers to something that was intended or arranged beforehand.
|A long trip or expedition from one place to another.
|The past tense of “sail,” meaning to travel on water using a boat or ship.
|Male members of a crew who work on a ship or boat.
|To deal with or handle a difficult situation or task.
|सबसे खराब समुद्र
|The most challenging or violent waters.
|The body of water that lies between Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Page – 14
On our second day out of Cape Town, we began to encounter strong gales. For the next few weeks, they blew continuously. Gales did not worry me; but the size of the waves was alarming — up to 15 metres, as high as our main mast.
December 25 found us 3,500 kilometres east of Cape Town. Despite atrocious weather, we had a wonderful holiday complete with a Christmas tree. New Year’s Day saw no improvement in the weather, but we reasoned that it had to change soon. And it did change — for the worse.
At dawn on January 2, the waves were gigantic. We were sailing with only a small storm jib and were still making eight knots. As the ship rose to the top of each wave we could see endless enormous seas rolling towards us, and the screaming of the wind and spray was painful to the ears. To slow the boat down, we dropped the storm jib and lashed a heavy mooring rope in a loop across the stern. Then we double-lashed everything, went through our life-raft drill, attached lifelines, donned oilskins and life jackets — and waited.
The first indication of impending disaster came at about 6 p.m., with an ominous silence. The wind dropped, and the sky immediately grew dark. Then came a growing roar, and an enormous cloud towered aft of the ship. With horror, I realised that it was not a cloud, but a wave like no other I had ever seen. It appeared perfectly vertical and almost twice the height of the other waves, with a frightful breaking crest.
The roar increased to a thunder as the stern moved up the face of the wave, and for a moment I thought we might ride over it. But then a tremendous explosion shook the deck. A torrent of green and white water broke over the ship, my head smashed into the wheel and I was aware of flying overboard and sinking below the waves. I accepted my approaching death, and as I was losing consciousness, I felt quite peaceful.
Unexpectedly, my head popped out of the water. A few metres away, Wavewalker was near capsizing, her masts almost horizontal. Then a wave hurled her upright, my lifeline jerked taut, I grabbed the guard rails and sailed through the air into Wavewalker’s main boom. Subsequent waves tossed me around the deck like a rag doll. My left ribs cracked; my mouth filled with blood and broken teeth. Somehow, I found the wheel, lined up the stern for the next wave and hung on.
Water, Water, Everywhere. I could feel that the ship had water below, but I dared not abandon the wheel to investigate. Suddenly, the front hatch was thrown open and Mary appeared. “We’re sinking!” she screamed. “The decks are smashed; we’re full of water.”
|Strong, gusty winds.
|Ripples or undulating motions on the surface of water, often caused by the wind.
|Causing concern or fear; worrying.
|A tall vertical post or pole on a ship that supports the sails.
|Extremely bad or unpleasant.
|A period of leisure and relaxation, often associated with a celebration or festive occasion.
|क्रिसमस का पेड़
|A decorated tree, traditionally used during Christmas celebrations.
|The act of making something better or more satisfactory.
|The first light of day; sunrise.
|Extremely large or massive.
|A small triangular sail used in strong winds.
|A unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour.
|Tied or secured firmly with ropes or cords.
|A practice session on how to use and board a life raft in emergency situations.
|Lines or ropes used to prevent people from falling overboard on a ship.
|जलज्यों वाला वस्त्र
|Clothing made of waterproof material, worn to protect against water and rain.
|Flotation devices worn to keep a person afloat in water.
|About to happen; imminent.
|Giving the impression that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen.
|पीछे की ओर
|Towards the back or stern of the ship.
|The highest point of a wave.
|A loud, rumbling noise produced by lightning during a storm.
|A sudden and violent release of energy, often accompanied by a loud sound.
|The platform or flooring on a ship.
|The rear part of a ship.
|Suddenly pulled tight or tense.
|सुरक्षा की रेलें
|Protective barriers or rails on the sides of a ship’s deck.
|Following or coming after something in time or order.
|The act of overturning or flipping a boat or ship.
|The long, curved bones that form the ribcage and protect the internal organs.
|Broken with a partial opening or fissure.
|बाढ़ रोकने के लिए बनाई जाने वाली खिड़की
|An opening or door in the deck or hull of a ship.
|Descending below the surface of water; the ship gradually filling with water.
|जहाज़ के तल
|The horizontal surfaces of a ship.
Page – 15
“Take the wheel”, I shouted as I scrambled for the hatch.
Larry and Herb were pumping like madmen. Broken timbers hung at crazy angles, the whole starboard side bulged inwards; clothes, crockery, charts, tins and toys sloshed about in deep water.
I half-swam, half-crawled into the children’s cabin. “Are you all right?” I asked. “Yes,” they answered from an upper bunk. “But my head hurts a bit,” said Sue, pointing to a big bump above her eyes. I had no time to worry about bumped heads.
After finding a hammer, screws and canvas, I struggled back on deck. With the starboard side bashed open, we were taking water with each wave that broke over us. If I couldn’t make some repairs, we would surely sink.
Somehow I managed to stretch canvas and secure waterproof hatch covers across the gaping holes. Some water continued to stream below, but most of it was now being deflected over the side.
More problems arose when our hand pumps started to block up with the debris floating around the cabins and the electric pump short-circuited. The water level rose threateningly. Back on deck I found that our two spare hand pumps had been wrenched overboard — along with the forestay sail, the jib, the dinghies and the main anchor.
Then I remembered we had another electric pump under the chartroom floor. I connected it to an out-pipe, and was thankful to find that it worked.
The night dragged on with an endless, bitterly cold routine of pumping, steering and working the radio. We were getting no replies to our Mayday calls — which was not surprising in this remote corner of the world.
Sue’s head had swollen alarmingly; she had two enormous black eyes, and now she showed us a deep cut on her arm. When I asked why she hadn’t made more of her injuries before this, she replied, “I didn’t want to worry you when you were trying to save us all.”
|An opening or door, especially in the deck or hull of a ship.
|People who are acting in a crazy or frenzied manner.
|लकड़ी के टुकड़े
|Pieces of wood, especially the long pieces that form the framework of a wooden ship.
|भीतर की ओर उभर आई
|Swelled or expanded towards the inside.
|Dishes and pottery, especially those made of earthenware or china.
|चले आनंद से जाना
|Moved or splashed around in a liquid, often with a swishing or splashing sound.
|आधा तैरा, आधा चले
|Moved by swimming partially or with difficulty.
|धक्के लगे, खोला गया
|Struck forcefully, causing an opening or damage.
|उड़ाया, विचलित किया
|Diverted or turned aside from its original path.
|Scattered pieces of waste or remains of something broken or destroyed.
|शॉर्टसर्किट हो गया
|An electrical circuit that has a fault, causing current to flow along an unintended path.
|खींचकर बाहर पूछ दिया
|Torn or forcibly removed from its normal position and thrown overboard.
|वनज़ैल जो देखभाल करता है
|A sail that supports the forestay, the cable or rope that keeps the mast from falling backward.
|जिब, पूर्वाधारी तूफ़ानी जहाज़ की छोटी जहाज़ की तरह सीलिंड्रीय धातु जहाज़ के उत्तेजक के साथ जिसमें एक परिछिन्न जहाज़ के पाठिक के लिए सीलिंड्रीय धातु धनुष से जुड़ी एक छोटी जहाज़ के बारे में बोलते हैं, जिसे जिब कहा जाता है।
|छोटी कच्ची नावें
|Small boats, often inflatable or collapsible, used as lifeboats or for short trips.
|Distress signals or emergency calls used in radio communication.
|Enlarged or puffed up, especially due to injury or inflammation.
|Causing concern or fear; worrying.
|A severe or profound wound made by a sharp object.
|Physical harm or damage caused to the body.
|Causing anxiety or unease; making someone feel concerned.
Page – 15, 16, 17
By morning on January 3, the pumps had the water level sufficiently under control for us to take two hours’ rest in rotation. But we still had a tremendous leak somewhere below the waterline and, on checking, I found that nearly all the boat’s main rib frames were smashed down to the keel. In fact, there was nothing holding up a whole section of the starboard hull except a few cupboard partitions.
We had survived for 15 hours since the wave hit, but Wavewalker wouldn’t hold together long enough for us to reach Australia. I checked our charts and calculated that there were two small islands a few hundred kilometres to the east. One of them, Ile Amsterdam, was a French scientific base. Our only hope was to reach these pinpricks in the vast ocean. But unless the wind and seas abated so we could hoist sail, our chances would be slim indeed. The great wave had put our auxilliary engine out of action.
On January 4, after 36 hours of continuous pumping, we reached the last few centimetres of water. Now, we had only to keep pace with the water still coming in. We could not set any sail on the main mast. Pressure on the rigging would simply pull the damaged section of the hull apart, so we hoisted the storm jib and headed for where I thought the two islands were. Mary found some corned beef and cracker biscuits, and we ate our first meal in almost two days.
But our respite was short-lived. At 4 p.m. black clouds began building up behind us; within the hour the wind was back to 40 knots and the seas were getting higher. The weather continued to deteriorate throughout the night, and by dawn on January 5, our situation was again desperate.
When I went in to comfort the children, Jon asked, “Daddy, are we going to die?” I tried to assure him that we could make it. “But, Daddy,” he went on, “we aren’t afraid of dying if we can all be together — you and Mummy, Sue and I.”
I could find no words with which to respond, but I left the children’s cabin determined to fight the sea with everything I had. To protect the weakened starboard side, I decided to heave to — with the undamaged port hull facing the oncoming waves, using an improvised sea anchor of heavy nylon rope and two 22 litre plastic barrels of paraffin.
That evening, Mary and I sat together holding hands, as the motion of the ship brought more and more water in through the broken planks. We both felt the end was very near.
But Wave walker rode out the storm and by the morning of January 6, with the wind easing, I tried to get a reading on the sextant. Back in the chartroom, I worked on wind speeds, changes of course, drift and current in an effort to calculate our position. The best I could determine was that we were somewhere in 150,000 kilometres of ocean looking for a 65 kilometre-wide island.
While I was thinking, Sue, moving painfully, joined me. The left side of her head was now very swollen and her blackened eyes narrowed to slits. She gave me a card she had made.
On the front she had drawn caricatures of Mary and me with the words: “Here are some funny people. Did they make you laugh? I laughed a lot as well.” Inside was a message: “Oh, how I love you both. So this card is to say thank you and let’s hope for the best.” Somehow we had to make it.
|Devices to move liquid
|A circular movement or pattern
|Very large or intense
|An unintended hole or opening
|The line where water meets the hull of a boat
|किल, बोट की नाव का निचला हिस्सा
|The central beam running along the bottom of a boat
|टूट गई, मस्तकड़ीदार
|Broken into pieces or damaged severely
|जहाज़ की तख्ती
|The main body of a ship
|अलमारी के बंटवारे
|Dividers or partitions inside a cupboard
|बच गए, प्राण बचाए
|To continue living or existing after a dangerous situation
|A country in Oceania
|Small and remote islands
|विशाल, बहुत बड़ा
|Extremely large or immense
|कम हुआ, कमी हुई
|Reduced in intensity or amount
|ऊपर उठाना, लहराना
|To raise or lift
|Backup or secondary engine
|लगातार फूंक बम्प
|Pumping without stopping
|जहाज़ की रस्सियां
|The system of ropes and chains used on a boat or ship
|A short period of rest or relief
|जंझार तूफ़ानी जहाज़ के मस्तूल पर लगाया जानेवाला परिदृश्य
|A small triangular sail used in stormy weather
|In a hopeless or dire situation
|To console or soothe
|Made or done with whatever is available at the moment
|A device used to slow down or stabilize a boat in rough seas
|A type of fuel or wax
|A navigational instrument used to measure angles
|नौका चार्ट रूम
|A room on a boat where navigational charts are kept
|The movement or flow of water or air
|धारा, विद्युत धारा
|A flow of water or electricity
|Exaggerated or humorous representations of people
|Enlarged or bloated
|काला हो जाना
|Turned black or darkened
|Narrow openings or cuts
|जबरदस्ती से ले जाना
|Taken or transported forcibly
|प्रार्थना कर रहा था
|Expressing a request or wish
|डुबाया गया, निमग्न
|Submerged or soaked in liquid
|खुशी से उछलना, आनंदित होना
|To feel or show great joy or happiness
|छोड़ देना, त्यागना
|To leave behind or give up
|Bravery, strength to face danger
|Feeling or showing gratitude
|Feeling or showing thanks
Page – 17, 18
I checked and rechecked my calculations. We had lost our main compass and I was using a spare which had not been corrected for magnetic variation. I made an allowance for this and another estimate of the influence of the westerly currents which flow through this part of the Indian Ocean.
About 2 p.m., I went on deck and asked Larry to steer a course of 185 degrees. If we were lucky, I told him with a conviction I did not feel, he could expect to see the island at about 5 p.m.
Then with a heavy heart, I went below, climbed on my bunk and amazingly, dozed off. When I woke it was 6 p.m., and growing dark. I knew we must have missed the island, and with the sail we had left, we couldn’t hope to beat back into the westerly winds.
At that moment, a tousled head appeared by my bunk. “Can I have a hug?” Jonathan asked. Sue was right behind him.
“Why am I getting a hug now?” I asked.
“Because you are the best daddy in the whole world — and the best captain,” my son replied.
“Not today, Jon, I’m afraid.”
“Why, you must be,” said Sue in a matter-of-fact voice. “You found the island.”
“What!” I shouted.
“It’s out there in front of us,” they chorused, “as big as a battleship.”
I rushed on deck and gazed with relief at the stark outline of Ile Amsterdam. It was only a bleak piece of volcanic rock, with little vegetation — the most beautiful island in the world!
We anchored offshore for the night, and the next morning all 28 inhabitants of the island cheered as they helped us ashore.
With land under my feet again, my thoughts were full of Larry and Herbie, cheerful and optimistic under the direst stress, and of Mary, who stayed at the wheel for all those crucial hours. Most of all, I thought of a seven-year-old girl, who did not want us to worry about a head injury (which subsequently took six minor operations to remove a recurring blood clot between skin and skull), and of a six-year-old boy who was not afraid to die.
|Extra, additional, not in regular use
|सुधारा, सही किया
|Adjusted or made accurate
|Deviation of compass readings from true north due to magnetic field
|Adjustment or compensation
|Rough calculation or prediction
|Effect or impact
|To guide the course of a ship or vehicle
|Firm belief or certainty
|जहाज़ की डेक्स
|Horizontal platforms on a ship
|उलझा हुआ, बिखरा हुआ
|Bed or sleeping berth
|उन्माद हो गया, सो गया
|अंधेरा हो गया
|पीछे पीछे मुड़ जाना
|Sail against the wind or current
|उलझे बालों वाला सिर
|Messy or unkempt hair
|Spoke or sang together in unison
|Clear or distinct outline
|Gloomy, depressing, barren
|Residents, people living in a place
|तटीय, समुद्र के किनारे
|On or to the shore
|Ideas, feelings, reflections
|Positive and hopeful
|Most severe or extreme
|Extremely important or critical
|बार बार होना
|Mass of coagulated blood
|Afterward, later in time