The lookout sighted Barclay de Tolley to the eastward, barely visible from the masthead, and vainly and for hours the PYRENEES tried to beat up to it.
A few minutes later, just as the captain had discovered that a new current from the northeast had gripped the Pyrenees, the masthead lookouts raised cocoanut palms in the northwest.
The cry of land came down from the masthead. From the deck the land was invisible, and McCoy went aloft, while the captain took advantage of the opportunity to curse some of the bitterness out of his heart.
The Pyrenees sailed the ten miles; she sailed ten miles more; and the lookouts at the three mastheads saw naught but the naked, sun-washed sea.
Lookouts at the mastheads could report no land, and the day passed in drizzling calms and violent squalls.
One by one--I was at the masthead
and saw--the six boats disappeared over the bulge of the earth as they followed the seal into the west.
And in this stretch of ocean, lookouts were mastheaded
at day-dawn and kept mastheaded
until twilight of evening, when the Mary Turner was hove-to, to hold her position through the night.
Faint, ruddy flashes of lightning flicker in the starlight upon her mastheads
. A chilly blast hums in the taut rigging, causing the ship to tremble to her very keel, and the soaked men on her decks to shiver in their wet clothes to the very marrow of their bones.
They don't come down here now; they're all mastheaded
on them mountings for the fear of Benjamin Gunn.
The ship's bell was ringing for us; a guitar in the background burlesqued the Wedding March under skinny fingers; the air was poisoned by a million cigarettes, they raised a pall of smoke above the mastheads
, they set fire to the ship; smoke and flame covered the sea from rim to rim, smoke and flame filled the universe; the sea dried up, and I was left lying in its bed, lying in my coffin, with red-hot teeth, because the sun blazed right above them, and my withered lips were drawn back from them for ever.
The night was not so dark but that, besides the lights at bows and mastheads
gliding to and fro, they could discern some shadowy bulk attached; and now and then a ghostly lighter with a large dark sail, like a warning arm, would start up very near them, pass on, and vanish.
I tacked back and forth and wore for two solid hours, then hove to till daybreak, and cruised back and forth all day, two men at the mastheads
. It is terrible.