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me. North of Haulbowline Head, the land runs in a long way,
leaving at low tide a long stretch of yellow sand. To the north of
that, again, there comes another cape--Cape of the Woods, as it
was marked upon the chart--buried in tall green pines, which
descended to the margin of the sea.
I remembered what Silver had said about the current that sets
northward along the whole west coast of Treasure Island, and
seeing from my position that I was already under its influence, I
preferred to leave Haulbowline Head behind me and reserve my
strength for an attempt to land upon the kindlier-looking Cape of
There was a great, smooth swell upon the sea. The wind
blowing steady and gentle from the south, there was no
contrariety between that and the current, and the billows rose and
Had it been otherwise, I must long ago have perished; but as it
was, it is surprising how easily and securely my little and light
boat could ride. Often, as I still lay at the bottom and kept no more
than an eye above the gunwale, I would see a big blue summit
heaving close above me; yet the coracle would but bounce a little,
dance as if on springs, and subside on the other side into the
trough as lightly as a bird.
I began after a little to grow very bold and sat up to try my skill
at paddling. But even a small change in the disposition of the
weight will produce violent changes in the behaviour of a coracle.
And I had hardly moved before the boat, giving up at once her
gentle dancing movement, ran straight down a slope of water so
steep that it made me giddy, and struck her nose, with a spout of
spray, deep into the side of the next wave.