The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor

By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 In 1955, Garcia Marquez used to be operating for El Espectador, a newspaper in Bogota, while in February of that 12 months 8 workforce participants of the Caldas, a Colombian destroyer, have been washed overboard and disappeared. Ten days later one among them grew to become up, slightly alive, on a abandoned seashore in northern Colombia. This e-book, which initially seemed as a sequence of newspaper articles, is Garcia Marquez's account of that sailor's ordeal.

Translated by way of Randolf Hogan.

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I started regretting that I had made it to the existence raft; I imagined that my shipmates have been rescued and i was once the one one nonetheless adrift simply because my raft were blown away through the wind. I even attributed attaining the lifestyles raft to undesirable good fortune. that concept had not often ripened whilst i assumed I observed a speck at the horizon. I mounted my points of interest at the black element coming towards me. It used to be eleven-fifty. I watched so closely that the sky used to be quickly full of glittering issues. however the black speck saved relocating nearer, heading without delay towards the raft.

At the twenty-eighth. One used to be Ramón Herrera, my better half the entire time. The watch officer used to be Guillermo Rozo. It used to be my final accountability on board. I knew that at within the afternoon we might arrive at Cartagena. i presumed that i might fall asleep once i used to be relieved on watch, in order that i may exit and luxuriate in myself on my domestic flooring after an eight-month absence. At five-thirty I went on an inspection journey belowdecks, observed through a cabin boy. At seven we relieved these on lively responsibility so they might visit breakfast.

I didn’t hide my face with my blouse simply because i wished to move on taking a look at the ocean gulls, that have been flying slowly, swooping down at an acute attitude to the ocean. It was once one o’clock within the afternoon at the 5th day. I don’t understand while it arrived. i used to be mendacity down within the raft, round 5 within the afternoon, getting ready to reduce myself into the center prior to the sharks got here. Then I observed a small sea gull, concerning the dimension of my hand, fly in circles above the raft and land at the finish contrary me. My mouth jam-packed with icy saliva.

Jaime Manjarrés didn’t answer. He used to be silent for a second. He became to teach me how one can Cartagena. I the path during which he used to be pointing and observed the lighting on shore and the buoys dancing within the harbor. “We’re there,” I stated, carrying on with to seem carefully on the lighting fixtures of the port, with no emotion, with no pleasure, as though I have been arriving after a standard voyage. I requested Jaime Manjarrés if lets row a section. yet he was once now not there. i used to be on my own within the raft, and the harbor lighting grew to become the rays of the sunlight.

I held on to the tail of the fish with the entire energy I had. The beast’s lunge disenchanted my stability. i used to be thrown opposed to the aspect of the raft yet I hung on to my meals offer; I clung to it like a savage. In that fraction of a moment, it didn’t ensue to me that with one other chunk the shark can have ripped my arm off on the shoulder. I saved pulling with all my power, yet now there has been not anything in my arms. The shark had made off with my prey. Infuriated, rabid with frustration, I grabbed an oar and added an enormous blow to the shark’s head while it glided by the aspect of the raft.

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