The "Steadfast" is a whaling vessel, based on Liverpool. The whaling grounds are in the Pacific, so each voyage involves a long time away from home. The story opens with the owner-captain's wife and daughter sitting at home during a great storm, in which a vessel is wrecked verynear their house.
It seemed to Hannah, even while they were on their knees, that the gale blew with less fury than before. It was, indeed, one of those storms which occasionally, during the equinox, sweep along the coast, and, though brief, cause much damage to vessels caught near the shore, especially to such as are ill-found and ill-manned. So do the trials of life wreck those persons destitute of sound faith and religious principle, while those who are resting on Jesus are carried through them and preserved.
Next morning the wind had ceased, and the sun shone forth.
Hannah anxiously looked through the telescope in the direction she had seen the flashes of the guns. There lay a large ship on the rocks, but her masts were standing, and boats were passing to and fro from the shore. She was greatly relieved when she soon afterwards heard that, though the ship had received much damage, no lives had been lost.
"I was wrong last night in giving way to my faithless fears and running the risk of alarm