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“We’re Not afraid to die… if We Can All Be Together”-
By- Gordon Cook and Alan East
Short Answer Type Questions (30 to 40 words)
Short Answer questions
1.”We’re not afraid to die.” Who speaks these words and when?
Ans. The narrator’s son, Jonathan, 6 years old, made this remark when his father went in to comfort the children. “But Daddy,” he went on, “we aren’t afraid of dying if we can all be together—you and mummy, Sue and I.”
2. Name the voyagers who set sail from England to reach Australia.
Ans. It was a small family, the parents and their two kids. The narrator was a 37-year-old businessman, his wife Mary and their two children—daughter Sue and son Jonathan.
3. What preparations did the narrator make for the long journey?
Ans. The narrator wanted to fulfil his dream of sailing around the world like Captain James Cook. He worked on the project for 16 years and spent all his leisure time in mastering the art of navigation. He built his Wavewalker, a 23-metre long boat weighing 30 tons.
4. How does the author describe Wavewalker?
Ans. Wavewalker was the name given to the narrator’s boat. It was professionally built. It was a 23-metre long, wooden-hulled 30-ton boat. The narrator spent months fitting it out and testing it for the roughest weather.
5. When did the adventurous family start their expedition? How did they fare along the route?
Ans. The voyagers left the English shore in July 1976. The expedition was difficult and risky. The narrator knew it. The Southern Indian Ocean was known to he very rough and stormy. They faced strong winds for several weeks after leaving Cape Town. On January 2, the boat confronted high sea waves which damaged it. Death seemed certain. It was their hard work and good luck that they survived and reached the small island, named Ile. Amsterdam.
6. Who were the two crewmen taken by the narrator? What was their contribution to this project?
Ans. At Cape Town, the narrator took a timely and very wise step. Before going eastward, he engaged two crewmen, an American named Larry and a Swiss named Herb to help them tackle the world’s roughest seas, the Southern Indian Ocean. The crewmen worked very hard to pump the water out. They remained cheerful and hopeful even when they stood face to face with death.
7. What did the narrator know about the Southern Indian Ocean? Did his fears come true?
Ans. The narrator knew well that the Southern Indian Ocean, towards the east of Cape Town, Was very rough and dangerous. So he hired two crewmen to help him. Yes, his fears came true as they started facing strong gales as they left Cape Town. They continued fighting gigantic waves and winds for more than a week.
8. How did the narrator celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day during his voyage?
Ans. As the voyagers sailed eastward from Cape Town, the strong winds began to blow. The rough weather went on for the next few days. But in spite of foul weather, the family celebrated Christmas, complete with a Christmas tree. But there seemed no improvement in the weather during the New Year too.
9. What preparations did the narrator make to face the stormy sea on January 2?
Ans. On the morning of January 2, the waves were gigantic. The wind was screaming and their boat rose to the top of each wave as it hit the boat. To slow the boat down, the narrator and his crew dropped the storm jib and lashed a heavy mooring rope across the stern. Then they double lashed everything, wore oilskins and life jackets and attached themselves with lifelines.
10. What injuries did the narrator and his daughter suffer when the sea waves tossed them about?
Ans. When the waves hit the boat, the narrator was tossed around the deck as if he were a rag doll. His left ribs cracked, his teeth were broken and his mouth was filled with blood. But he just held on to the guard rails fast and took charge of the wheel. His daughter Susan was hurt on the head very badly.
11. What information did Mary give about their problem?
Ans. Mary was in the lower part of the boat along with the children. The lid on the deck had blown off and Mary reported that the boat was full of water, and they were sinking.
12. What did the narrator do to repair the damage to the deck?
Ans. The narrator gave charge of the wheel to Mary. He found a hammer, screws and canvas. He spread the canvas and fixed it across the holes in the deck. Thus, he deflected the water over the side.
13. What more problems about the pumps worried the narrator?
Ans. Having covered the open hole on the deck, The narrator found the handpumps blocked With debris. The electric pump had short-circuited. The two spare handpumps had been thrown overboard due to the storm. Fortunately, he had another electric pump that served the purpose of pumping out water.
14. What has been the role of little children in the hazardous voyage?
Ans. The narrator had two children with him. His daughter Sue was 7 years old while the Son Jon was six. Sue suffered a bump on her head and cuts on her arm. But she did not Bother her father. They had no food for almost two days. Even after facing gales and High waves for ten days, which almost sank their boat, Jon told his father that he and
Sue was not afraid to die if all four of them were together. If was their bravery and Confidence in their parents, which encouraged the father to fight the weather.
15. How did Sue make her father laugh when the situation was almost hopeless?
Ans. The situation was hopeless and the parents were still tense. Sue made a card and drew Their caricatures, calling them funny people. Her gesture made them laugh. The card also thanked them and gave a message of hope.
16. Our only hope was to reach these pinpricks in the vast ocean. Elaborate.
Ans. The narrator spotted two small islands on the chart. One of these, Ile Amsterdam, was a 65-km wide island in 1,50,000 km of ocean. It was a French scientific base. But it was not easy to reach those small islands which were like pinheads in that vast ocean.
17. What did the voyagers succeed in achieving on January 4?
Ans. On January 4 after continuous pumping of 36 hours, the narrator noticed a steep fall in The water level. He hoisted the storm jib and headed for the islands. On that day, they had their first meal in almost two days. It consisted of some beef and cracker biscuits.
18. When did the narrator and his wife Mary almost lose all the hope of survival?
Ans. On January 4 towards the afternoon, the sea became rougher and clouds began building Up. By next morning, the couple lost all hope of survival. That evening, the narrator And his wife Mary noticed that more and more water was flowing in through the broken Planks. They both felt the end was very near.
19. What good news did Jon and Sue give to their father at 6 p.m. on January 6?
Ans. On January 6, the narrator was taking a short nap. At 6 p.m., Jonathan woke him up and Wanted to hug him “because he was the best daddy in the world, and the best captain” as well. Sue then gave the happy news that they had reached Ile Amsterdam.
20. Why did Ile Amsterdam appear to the narrator the most beautiful island in the world?
Ans. Ile Amsterdam was only a volcanic rock with very little vegetation. But to the narrator And his crew, it was the most beautiful island in the world. After all, they now felt secure. They had found an escape from the dead sea and found land at last.
21. What for did the narrator thank his crewmen, wife and children after landing on the island?
Ans. The narrator thanked his crewmen for remaining cheerful and hopeful in the face of death. Mary had controlled the wheel for hours. Sue, the seven-year-old girl did not complain of pain in spite of getting a severe head injury; while the six-year-old Jon was not afraid to die. So, they all deserved thanks and compliments.