The proof of it was that on that very occasion he desired him suddenly after a period of silent pacing, to have all the staysails
sheets eased off, and he was going on with some other remarks on the subject of these staysails
Off Ship Island Light the reefs were shaken out, and at Charley's suggestion a big fisherman's staysail
was made all ready for hoisting, and the maintopsail, bunched into a cap at the masthead, was overhauled so that it could be set on an instant's notice.
As to the seas, they runs more in uppers in the Bay of Biscay, unless it may be in a sow-wester, when they tumble about quite handsomely; thof it’s not in the narrow sea that you are to look for a swell; just go off the Western Islands, in a westerly blow, keeping the land on your larboard hand, with the ship’s head to the south’ard, and bring to, under a close-reefed topsail; or, mayhap, a reefed foresail, with a fore-topmast-staysail
and mizzen staysail
to keep her up to the sea, if she will bear it; and ay there for the matter of two watches, if you want to see mountains.
I pulled till I burst open the ends of all my fingers; and while I pulled, the flying-jib and staysail
split their cloths apart and thundered into nothingness.
The Jessie swung off under her full staysail
, then the foresail, double-reefed, was run up.
In the end he managed to knock both shackles out and raise the staysail
and jib, and the Duchess filled away for the entrance.
Scarcely had we recovered our senses, before the foretopsail went into shreds, when we got up a storm staysail
and with this did pretty well for some hours, the ship heading the sea much more steadily than before.