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By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 In 1955, Garcia Marquez was once operating for El Espectador, a newspaper in Bogota, whilst in February of that 12 months 8 staff contributors of the Caldas, a Colombian destroyer, have been washed overboard and disappeared. Ten days later certainly one of them became up, slightly alive, on a abandoned seashore in northern Colombia. This ebook, which initially seemed as a chain of newspaper articles, is Garcia Marquez's account of that sailor's ordeal.

Translated via Randolf Hogan.

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Then it became a deep violet as I stored staring at. to at least one part of the existence raft, like a yellow diamond in a wine-colored sky, the 1st big name seemed, motionless and ideal. It was once like a sign: instantly in a while, evening fell. the very first thing I felt, plunged into darkness so thick i'll now not see the palm of my hand, was once that I wouldn’t be capable to triumph over the phobia. From the slapping of the waves opposed to the perimeters, I knew the raft used to be relocating, slowly yet inexorably. Sunk in darkness, i spotted I hadn’t felt so by myself within the sunlight hours. i used to be extra by myself at midnight, in a raft that i'll now not see yet may perhaps consider underneath me, gliding silently over a dense sea full of unknown creatures. To make myself much less lonely, I checked out the dial of my watch. It used to be ten mins to seven. a lot later—it appeared as though or 3 hours had passed—it was once 5 mins to seven. whilst the minute hand reached twelve, it was once precisely seven o’clock and the sky used to be full of stars. yet to me it appeared that a lot time had handed, it's going to now be approximately sunrise. Desperately I went on considering the planes. i began to suppose chilly. In a existence raft it’s most unlikely to stick dry even for a minute. no matter if you're seated at the gunwale, part your physique is underwater as the backside of the raft is formed like a basket, extending greater than part a meter lower than the skin. through 8 o’clock the water was once now not as chilly because the air. I knew that on the backside of the raft i used to be secure from sea creatures as the rope mesh that safe the ground avoided them from coming too shut. yet that’s what you study in class, and that’s what you think in class, while the trainer places on an illustration with a scale version of the lifestyles raft and you’re seated on a bench between 40 classmates at o’clock within the afternoon. whilst you’re on my own at sea at 8 o’clock at evening, and with out desire, the instructor’s phrases make no experience in any respect. I knew that half my physique was once in a realm that didn’t belong to males yet to the creatures of the ocean, and that regardless of the icy wind whipping my blouse, I didn’t dare movement from the gunwale. in keeping with the trainer, that was once the least secure a part of the raft. yet all issues thought of, it used to be merely there that I felt a ways sufficient clear of the creatures: these huge unknown beasts i may pay attention passing the raft. That evening I had difficulty discovering Ursa Minor, misplaced in an unending maze of stars. I had by no means obvious such a lot of. It used to be tough to find an empty house within the complete span of the sky. as soon as i realized Ursa Minor, I didn’t dare glance at any place else. I don’t understand why I felt much less on my own taking a look at Ursa Minor. On shore depart in Cartagena, we regularly collected on the Manga bridge within the small hours to hear Ramón Herrera sing, imitating Daniel Santos whereas somebody followed him at the guitar. Sitting at the wall of the stone bridge, I continuously chanced on Ursa Minor on one facet of the Cerro de los angeles Popa. That evening, sitting at the gunwale of the raft, I felt for a second as though I have been again on the Manga bridge, with Ramón Herrera subsequent to me making a song to a guitar, and as though Ursa Minor weren’t 2 hundred miles from Earth yet, in its place, up on most sensible of the Cerro de los angeles Popa itself.

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