The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor

By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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

Translated by way of Randolf Hogan.

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Once I heard the order I again to quarters. within the bunk lower than mine, Luis Rengifo, sitting up, blinked his eyes with a purpose to get up. “Where are we going? ” he requested. I informed him we had simply left port. Then I climbed into my bunk and attempted to fall asleep. Luis Rengifo was once an entire seaman. He was once born in Chocó, which used to be faraway from the ocean, yet he had the ocean in his blood. while the Caldas installed to cellular for upkeep, Luis Rengifo used to be now not one of the workforce. He used to be in Washington, taking a direction in armaments. He was once critical, studious, and spoke English in addition to he spoke Spanish. He had bought his civil engineering measure in Washington. He had additionally married a girl from the Dominican Republic there in 1952. whilst the upkeep to the Caldas have been accomplished, he left Washington and rejoined the team. a couple of days ahead of we left cellular, he informed me that the very first thing he was once going to do whilst he arrived in Colombia was once to aim to hurry up the preparations to have his spouse circulate to Cartagena. given that Luis Rengifo had no longer sailed for this kind of very long time, i used to be certain he will be seasick. That first morning of the voyage he requested me, whereas he dressed, “Haven’t you gotten ailing but? ” I instructed him I hadn’t. Then Rengifo stated, “In or 3 hours I’ll see you together with your tongue placing out. ” “That’s how you’ll look,” I acknowledged. “The day I’m sick,” he spoke back, “the sea gets ill. ” mendacity in my bunk, attempting to coax myself to sleep, I remembered the typhoon. My fears of the evening earlier than have been rekindled. fearful back, I back to the place Luis Rengifo was once dressing and stated, “Be cautious, now. Don’t move letting your tongue punish you. ” 2 My final mins Aboard the “Wolf send” “We’re within the Gulf now,” certainly one of my buddies acknowledged whilst I woke up for breakfast on February 26. The day earlier than, I had felt a bit frightened concerning the climate within the Gulf of Mexico, however the destroyer, even though it was once rolling a bit, slid alongside easily. i used to be chuffed that my fears had proved unfounded, and that i went up on deck. The sea coast had disappeared. basically the golf green sea and the blue sky stretched out forward. however, Miguel Ortega, light and sickly-looking, was once seated in the course of the deck, suffering from seasickness. It had began someday past, whereas the lighting of cellular have been nonetheless noticeable, and for the final twenty-four hours Ortega had now not been capable of rise up, even though he wasn’t a beginner seaman. Ortega had served in Korea, at the frigate Almirante Padilla. He had traveled greatly and knew the ocean good. yet even if the Gulf was once calm, he needed to be helped from his station on the swap of watch. He appeared to be in affliction. He couldn't tolerate nutrients, and his partners on watch had propped him up on the stern till they acquired an order to take away him to his bunk. Later he was once stretched in the market, face down, together with his head putting over the part, ready to vomit. i feel it was once Ramón Herrera who informed me, at the evening of the twenty-sixth, that issues may worsen once we reached the Caribbean. in response to our calculations, we'd be leaving the Gulf of Mexico after nighttime.

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