We Are Not Afraid To Die If We Can All Be Together Summary in English by Gordon Cook and Alan East

We Are Not Afraid To Die If We Can All Be Together Summary in English and Hindi Pdf. We’re Not Afraid to Die… If We Can All Be Together is written by Gordon Cook and Alan East.

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We’re Not Afraid to Die… If We Can All Be Together Summary in English

The Portrait of A Lady Theme

The chapter revolves around a part of the round-the-world voyage undertaken by the narrator and his family in a sailboat. It describes their thrilling journey across the sea and their close encounter with death during their voyage. The plot talks about their possible attempts to save their lives.

The Portrait of A Lady About the Characters

The narrator: He is a 37 year old businessman. He wants to duplicate the round-the-world journey made by Captain James Cook 200 years earlier. He spends a long time improving his sea skills and finally begins his journey with his wife Mary, six year old son Jonathan and seven year old daughter Suzanne.

Mary: She is the narrator’s wife. She supports her husband’s dream and improves her sea skills. She joins her husband on their planned three-year voyage.

Larry Vigi: An American who joins the narrator and Mary at Cape Town to help them tackle one of the world’s roughest seas.

Herb Seigler: A Swiss who also joins them at Cape Town to help them cross the southern Indian Ocean.

Suzanne: The narrator’s seven year old daughter who displays immense courage throughout their voyage.

Jonathan: He is the narrator’s six year old son who shows immense strength and optimism even in difficult times.

The Portrait of A Lady Summary in English

The Voyage Begins
In July 1976, the narrator, a 37 year old businessman, his wife Mary, 6 year old son Jonathan and 7 year old daughter Suzanne started their sea voyage from Plymouth, England. They wished to go round-the-world on a long sea journey just as Captain James Cook had done 200 years earlier. The narrator and his wife had spent 16 years preparing for the round-the-world voyage and improving their marine skills. Their boat Wavewalker was a 23 metre, 30 ton boat that was professionally built and they had tested it in the roughest weather they could find.

The first part of their planned three year, 105000 kilometre journey passed pleasantly as they sailed down the West Coast of Africa to Cape Town. Then they took two crewmen—the American Larry Vigil and the Swiss Herb Seigler-before heading east from Cape Town, to help them tackle one of the world’s roughest seas, the southern Indian Ocean.

The Problems Begin During the Voyage
On the second day out of Cape Town, they encountered strong winds and high waves. The windstorms continued for the next few weeks. The size of the waves was upto 15 metres. On December 25, they were 3500 kilometres east of Cape Town, but the weather was very bad.

Despite the bad weather, they celebrated Christmas Day wonderfully. New Year’s Day saw no improvement in the weather and it worsened with the passing of time.

On 2nd January, the waves were gigantic. They were sailing with a small storm jib, but still they were going very fast. The boat moved to the top of each wave but the gigantic waves and dangerous wind continued to terrorise them. To minimise the damage, they dropped the storm jib and lashed a heavy rope in a loop across the stern. Then they fastened everything, went through their life-raft drill, attached lifelines and put on oilskins and life jackets and prepared themselves for the worst case scenario.

Disaster Strikes
The first indication of impending disaster came at about 6 pm, with an ominous silence. The wind stopped and the sky immediately grew dark. Then a loud roaring sound was heard. The narrator thought that he saw a cloud coming towards them. With horror, he realised it was not a cloud but the biggest wave that he had ever seen. It appeared vertical and double the height of all other waves.

The wave hit the boat and a tremendous explosion shook the deck. Water poured into the boat. The narrator’s head smashed against the steering wheel of the boat and before he knew it, he was thrown into the sea. He thought that he was going to die but suddenly his head popped out of the water. He saw that the boat had almost capsized. Suddenly, a wave hurled it upright and the narrator was tossed onto the boat. His left ribs were cracked; his mouth was filled with blood and some teeth were broken. Somehow he managed to find the wheel, lined up the stern for the next wave and hung on.

Frantic Survival Attempts
The narrator knew that the boat was flooding with water, but he dared not abandon the wheel to investigate. Suddenly, Mary came and informed him that the boat was sinking as water was pouring in. He handed the wheel to her and crawled towards the hatch. Larry and Herb pumped the water out like madmen. The wooden beams had broken. The whole starboard side had bulged inwards. Clothes, crockery, charts, tins and toys moved around noisily in water.

The boat had been damaged. He somehow managed to reach the children. Sue had a big bump on her head to which he did not pay much attention. He found a hammer, screws and canvas.

Somehow he managed to stretch the canvas and secure waterproof hatch covers across the gaping holes. Some water continued to come in but most of it could be prevented from entering the boat. But this was not the end of their troubles.

Damaged and Lost Equipment
The handpumps started jamming with the trash floating around the cabins. Soon their electric pump got short-circuited and the water rose threateningly.

He found that their two spare handpumps had been pulled away by currents along with the forestay sail, the jib, the lifeboats and the main anchor.

He managed to find another electric pump to drain out the water. The night was an endless, bitterly cold routine of pumping, steering and working the radio. However, there was no response to their Mayday calls as they were in a remote corner of the world. Sue’s head had swollen alarmingly. She had two black eyes and a deep cut on her arm. She didn’t tell the narrator more of her injuries as she didn’t want to worry him when he was trying to save them all.

Pinpricks in the Vast Ocean
On the morning of January 3, the pumps had reduced the amount of water on board. Each of them took rest for two hours by turns. They had survived for 15 hours since the wave hit the Wavewalker, but the boat was not strong enough to take them to Australia.

The narrator knew that the boat wouldn’t hold together long enough. He checked his charts and calculated that the only one hope for them was if they could reach lie Amsterdam, a French scientific base, one of the two pinpricks in the vast ocean. Mary found some corned beef and cracker biscuits and they ate their first meal in almost two days.

However, their relief was short-lived. The weather again started deteriorating and by the dawn on 5th January, their situation was again desperate.

“We aren’t Afraid to Dying… if We can all be Together”
The narrator went to comfort the children. He tried to assure them that they were going to make it. Jon said that they were not afraid of dying if they can all be together. This gave the narrator hope and a reason to fight the sea. He tried his best to protect the weakened starboard side of the boat. However, later in the evening, as more water came into the boat, they felt defeated again. On 6th January, the weather improved. The narrator again tried to calculate their position. While he was at work, Sue came to him and gave him a card. She had drawn caricatures of Mary and the narrator.

The card said that she loved them both and hoped for the best. The narrator was filled with optimism. Somehow they had to make it.

The Most Beautiful Island in the World!
The narrator made several calculations using a spare compass, made some adjustments and asked Larry to steer a course of 185 degrees. He said that, if they were lucky, they would see the island at about 5 pm. Dejected, he went down to his bunk and fell asleep.

It was about 6 pm when he woke up. He thought that they must have missed the island. Just then, Jon and Sue came to him and gave him a hug because he was the “best daddy in the world”. The narrator was confused. Sue announced that the island was just in front of them. He rushed out to the deck and saw the most beautiful island in the world! It was lie Amsterdam, a piece of volcanic rock with little vegetation.

When his feet touched land the next day, he thought of the cheerfulness and optimism of all the people on the boat which made them pass through the worst stress.

The Portrait of A Lady Chapter Highlights

  • The narrator with his wife Mary and two children Jonathan and Suzanne set sail from Plymouth, England, to duplicate the round-the-world voyage made by Captain James Cook 200 years ago.
  • Wavewalker, a professionally built boat, had been tested for months in the roughest weather.
  • The initial period of the three-year planned journey priced to be quite pleasant.
  • American Larry Vigil and Swiss Herb Seigler joined them at Cape Town to help them tackle one of the world’s roughest seas, the southern Indian Ocean.
  • The weather began to deteriorate and the crew experienced strong winds and huge waves.
  • At dawn on January 2 the waves were gigantic. The crew members tried to slow down the boat and prepared for an impending disaster.
  • Later in the evening, a tremendous wave wrecked the boat, throwing the narrator into the sea. Then he was tossed back into the boat. However, he was badly injured.
  • Realising that the boat had taken in water in its lower parts, he instructed Mary to take the wheel and then went below deck.
  • Larry and Herb pumped out the water that had accumulated in the boat.
  • The narrator made some repairs and began waterproofing the gaping holes.
  • The family managed to survive for 15 hours but the narrator knew that Wavewalker would not hold for long.
  • The narrator made some calculations and found two small islands. They hoped to reach the nearest island, lie Amsterdam, a French scientific base, soon.
  • However, their relief was short-lived. The weather deteriorated and their situation again became hopeless.
  • Jonathan’s fearlessness filled the narrator with determination and courage to fight the sea.
  • Fortunately, they managed to find lie Amsterdam that evening. It felt like the most beautiful island that they had ever seen.

The Portrait of A Lady Word Meanings

Word – Meaning
set sail – started a sea voyage
duplicate – repeat
voyage – journey over the sea
in the wake of – following
leisure – spare
honing – improving
seafaring skills – knowledge of navigation, handling a sailboat and its equipment etc
Wavewalker – name of their boat
wooden-hulled
beauty – beautiful boat made of wood
fitting it out – furnishing it
leg – part
crewmen – men to work on the ship
Swiss – from Switzerland
tackle – handle
out of – after starting from
gales – extremely strong winds
found us – we were
atrocious – very unpleasant
storm jib – small sail used at the time of a storm
making – going at the speed of
knots – nautical miles per hour
lashed – fastened
mooring – used for tying the boat to a fixed object
stern – back part
life-raft drill – practising how to climb into a lifeboat if the main boat sinks
lifelines – ropes fixed around the bodies of persons to prevent drowning
oilskins – waterproof clothing
life jackets – jackets without sleeves which can be filled with air to help persons to float in the sea
impending – approaching
ominous silence – quietness just before some dangerous happening
aft of – behind
breaking crest – top of wave overturning
ride over – go above
torrent – large amount
overboard – into the sea
popped out – came out suddenly
capsizing – overturning
strayed past – came through
taut – tightly
guard rails – rails on the outside of the deck of the boat
sailed – was thrown
boom – long pole to which the bottom of a sail is attached
rag doll – very light object
lined up – straightened
hung on – held the boat tightly
abandon – leave
hatch – door leading below the deck
scrambled – ran
like madmen – very hard
timbers – wood planks
starboard – right side
bulged – swelled
sloshed – moved noisily
bunk – sleeping berth
bashed – broken
taking – drawing in
gaping – big
stream – fall like a stream
deflected – moved away
block up – get stuck
debris – broken pieces of material
short-circuited – became electrically defective
wrenched – removed and thrown from where they were fixed
forestay sail – big front sail
dighies – small open boats used for emergencies
anchor – heavy metal object used to keep the ship fixed in one place
chartroom – room in the boat where maps are kept
out-pipe – drainage pipe
working – transmitting messages on
Mayday calls – distress messages sent over the radio
made more of – highlighted
waterline – the level of the boat in water
rib frames – wooden pieces forming the frame of the boat
keel – long wood / steel piece fixed vertically at the bottom of the boat to keep it vertical
rigging – ropes that balance the mast of the boat
sextant – instrument measuring angles and distances used for calculating position of a boat
compass – instrument used for checking direction tousled head – head with hair not arranged
offshore – near the shore

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