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“We’re Not afraid to die… if We Can All Be Together”-
By- Gordon Cook and Alan East
Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each Value based questions-
Long Answer questions
1. What preparations did the narrator make for his round-the-world voyage?
Ans. The captain and his wife Mary had been dreaming for long of sailing around the world. They wanted to duplicate the voyage of Captain James Cook undertaken 200 years ago. The narrator/captain was a 37-year-old businessman. For 16 years they spent all their time learning the skills of navigation.
They built a boat, Wavewalker, which was 23 metres long and 30 ton in weight. It had a wooden lower part. But it was fitted out well and tested in the roughest weather. He carried spare pumps to meet any disaster. He knew that the Southern Indian Ocean was one of the world’s roughest seas. With foresight, he hired two crewmen to help him conquer the roughest seas in the world, the Southern Indian Ocean before he left Cape Town to go eastward. Such precautions helped the voyagers survive the disaster.
2. What inspired the author to undertake such a risky voyage? What was his experience?
Ans. The narrator was a young businessman. But he nursed a dream to do something big, to go round the world in a boat. He wanted to duplicate the achievement of Captain James Cook who had made the record 200 years ago. He was a dreamer, an adventurer, and a fighter to the bone. The sea voyage was risky. The Southern Indian Ocean was dangerous. Yet, nothing could dampen his spirit.
The experiences in the sea were very bad. He and his family had a narrow escape. The angry sea waves rose as high as his 15-metre high main mast. The waves ripped open a hole on the deck. The waves damaged the side boards and planks. Not only that, the narrator was badly hurt and was bleeding. His daughter Sue also got badly injured on the head. Death seemed certain. The pumps got blocked and extra pumps went out of order. But stars also favoured this brave and bold family and they managed to survive what seemed like sure death.
3. How did the narrator cope with and survive the attack by his enemy, the Southern Indian Ocean?
Ans. The narrator had already heard and read about the rough Southern Indian Ocean. So before he left Cape Town, he took on two crewmen for help. One was an American named Larry and the other was a Swiss named Herb. Strong winds began to blow as they set out. Strong gales kept blowing for days. But the narrator was really afraid of the high waves, which rose as high as the main mast.
Christmas and New Year’s Day passed safely. But a gigantic wave attacked the boat on January 2. The narrator did all he could to fight the nasty sea. He dropped the storm jib and put on life jackets. At 6 p.m. The wind dropped ominously. Then came a giant Wave with thunder and explosion. His head hit against the steering wheel. He was thrown overboard. The boat had almost turned upside down. His teeth broke and his ribs cracked. But he managed to grab the railing. He got on hoard and grabbed the wheel.
4. Give a brief account of the spirit with which all the voyagers and the helpers faced the approaching death.
Ans. The group of the voyagers consisted of the narrator, his wife Mary, his daughter Sue and son Jonathan. In addition, there were two hired crewmen. They faced the alarming attack by high sea waves in the first week of January. In order to face the stormy sea. They slowed the boat down, dropped the storm jib. They double lashed everything on board and then wore their life jackets and attached lifelines. Even then that evening their boat almost sank. The author was thrown overboard. He was badly hurt. His daughter also suffered painful injuries. The decks were broken and water flowed down below. Mary cried that they were sinking.
But all the six persons on board showed remarkable guts and forbearance. Larry and Herb started pumping out water. The narrator found a hammer, Screws and canvas to repair the holes on the deck. He found a spare electric pump also to drain out water. He sent distress signals. Sue bore her pain quietly. Jonathan said he was not afraid to die provided they were all together. Their hard work, cheerfulness and optimism in the face of disaster helped them ride out the storm.
5. Comment on the title of the adventurous expedition by Gordon Cook and Alan East. What message does it give?
Ans. The title of the adventure story is deeply moving. The words come from the mouth of the little six-year-old boy Jonathan. They were all in trouble. They had almost accepted defeat. Death seemed near and certain. The broken boat was filled with water. But the voyagers did all they could to save the boat and also themselves. Sue, the little daughter did not complain of pain in her head. The crewmen worked madly to pump out water. Jonathan said he was not afraid of death provided they stayed together. The title of the story is an illustrious example of man’s courage and optimism in the face of -approaching death. Will-power or the spirit of man often proves stronger than any danger. The title displays a success Mantra—United we stand, divided we fall. Even mountains yield a path to the indomitable spirit of men but the condition is that they stand united.