a broad white shadow rose from the sea; by its quick, fanning motion, temporarily taking the breath out of the bodies of the oarsmen. Next instant, the luckless mate, so full of furious life, was smitten bodily into the air, and making a long arc in his descent, fell into the sea at the distance of about fifty yards.
But as he did so, the oarsmen expectantly desisted from rowing; the boat drifted a little towards the ship's stern; so that, as if by magic, the letter suddenly ranged along with Gabriel's eager hand.
But this was against all rule; for the oarsmen
must put out their eyes, and ram a skewer through their necks; usage pronouncing that they must have no organs but ears, and no limbs but arms, in these critical moments.
I felt mortified to be of so little use in the boat; but, there were few better oarsmen than my two friends, and they rowed with a steady stroke that was to last all day.
Our oarsmen were so fresh, by dint of having occasionally let her drive with the tide for a minute or two, that a quarter of an hour's rest proved full as much as they wanted.
The boat went towards the south; the oarsmen
did not hurry.
The two oarsmen
bent to their work, and the little boat glided away as rapidly as possible in the midst of the thousand vessels which choke up the narrow way which leads between the two rows of ships from the mouth of the harbor to the Quai d'Orleans.
You will thus see how much my ships excel all others, and what magnificent oarsmen
my sailors are."
The pair are both members of Chester-le-Street Amateur Rowing Club, who have an enviable reputation for having young oarsmen
attend the prestigious camp.
The record of 29 days and 15 hours was set by London's Four Oarsmen
They were treated to an additional highlight of a passing rowing boat, complete with oarsmen
in Highland Dress to commemorate the repeal of the Act of Proscription in 1782.
The group of amateurs - who have dubbed themselves The Four Oarsmen
- completed the 3,000-mile crossing between La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean in 29 days and 15 hours.