This is an excellent book, telling of the adventures of three midshipmen and a much older sailor from a British warship that went aground off the coast of Africa and sank with all hands on board. These surviving four find themselves afloat on a spar which they paddle for several days until they reach the shore of Africa. Shortly thereafter they are taken prisoner by Barbary pirates who intend to sell them as slaves, and their adventure continues...
ely under water, when the sea swelled over them--and one and all of them many times on the point of being washed from their frail embarkation.
By daybreak the storm had ceased, and was succeeded by a clear, calm day; but it was not until a late hour that the swell had subsided sufficiently to enable them to take any measures for propelling the strange craft that carried them. Then, using their hands as oars, or paddles, they commenced making some way through the water.
There was nothing in sight, neither land nor any other object, save the sea, the sky, and the sun. It was the east which guided them as to direction. But for it there could have been no object in making way through the water; but, with the sun now sinking in the west, they could tell the east; and they knew that in that point alone land might be expected.
After the sun had gone down, the stars became their compass, and throughout all the second night of the shipwreck they had continued to paddle the spar in an easterly dire