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By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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

Translated via Randolf Hogan.

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Yet i know i used to be serious about merely issues: that my lungs settle down and that the raft no longer flip once more. The solar at day holiday That was once how my 8th day at sea dawned. The morning was once stormy. If it had rained, I wouldn’t have had the energy to assemble consuming water. i presumed rain may revive me, yet now not a drop fell, even if the humidity within the air used to be like a press release of impending rain. the ocean used to be nonetheless uneven at sunrise. It didn’t cool down till after 8, yet then the solar got here out and the sky grew to become an extreme blue back. thoroughly spent, I lay down along with the raft and took a couple of swallows of sea water. I now understand that it’s no longer destructive to the physique. yet I didn’t comprehend it then, and that i merely resorted to it while the soreness in my throat grew to become insufferable. After seven days at sea, thirst is a sense unto itself; it’s a deep soreness within the throat, within the sternum, and particularly underneath the clavicles. And it’s additionally the phobia of suffocating. the ocean water relieved the soreness. After a typhoon the ocean turns blue, as in photos. close to the shore, tree trunks and roots torn up by way of the typhoon go with the flow lightly alongside. Gulls emerge to fly over the water. That morning, whilst the breeze died down, the skin of the water grew to become steel and the raft glided alongside in a immediately line. the nice and cozy wind felt reassuring to my physique and my spirit. a major outdated darkish gull flew over the raft. I had without doubt then that i used to be close to land. the ocean gull I had captured a couple of days past was once a tender poultry. At that age they could fly nice distances—they are available many miles into the inner. yet an previous sea gull, great and heavy just like the one I had simply noticeable, couldn’t fly 100 miles from shore. I felt renewed power. As I had performed at the first days, i started to look the horizon back. sizeable numbers of sea gulls got here from each course. I had corporation and that i was once chuffed. I wasn’t hungry. a growing number of often I took beverages of sea water. I wasn’t lonely in the course of the sizeable variety of sea gulls circling over my head. I remembered Mary tackle. What had develop into of her? I questioned, remembering her voice whilst she translated the discussion for me on the videos. in truth, on that day—the just one on which I had considered Mary deal with for no cause in any respect, and without doubt now not as the sky used to be packed with sea gulls—Mary used to be at a Catholic church in cellular listening to a mass for the everlasting remainder of my soul. That mass, as Mary later wrote to me in Cartagena, was once celebrated at the 8th day of my disappearance. It used to be for the repose of my soul, yet I now imagine it was once additionally for the repose of my physique, for that morning, whereas i assumed approximately Mary tackle and he or she attended mass in cellular, i used to be satisfied at sea, gazing the ocean gulls that proved land used to be close to. I spent just about all day sitting at the aspect of the raft, looking the horizon. The day was once startlingly transparent, and that i was once yes I observed land as soon as from a distance of 50 miles. The raft had assumed a pace that males with oars couldn’t have equaled. It moved in a instantly line, as though propelled by way of a motor alongside the calm, blue floor.

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