A Journey to the Interior of the Earth HTML version

Wonders Of The Deep
On the 13th of August we awoke early. We were now to begin to adopt a mode of
travelling both more expeditious and less fatiguing than hitherto.
A mast was made of two poles spliced together, a yard was made of a third, a blanket
borrowed from our coverings made a tolerable sail. There was no want of cordage for the
rigging, and everything was well and firmly made.
The provisions, the baggage, the instruments, the guns, and a good quantity of fresh water
from the rocks around, all found their proper places on board; and at six the Professor
gave the signal to embark. Hans had fitted up a rudder to steer his vessel. He took the
tiller, and unmoored; the sail was set, and we were soon afloat. At the moment of leaving
the harbour, my uncle, who was tenaciously fond of naming his new discoveries, wanted
to give it a name, and proposed mine amongst others.
"But I have a better to propose," I said: "Grauben. Let it be called Port Grauben; it will
look very well upon the map."
"Port Grauben let it be then."
And so the cherished remembrance of my Virlandaise became associated with our
adventurous expedition.
The wind was from the north-west. We went with it at a high rate of speed. The dense
atmosphere acted with great force and impelled us swiftly on.
In an hour my uncle had been able to estimate our progress. At this rate, he said, we shall
make thirty leagues in twenty-four hours, and we shall soon come in sight of the opposite
I made no answer, but went and sat forward. The northern shore was already beginning to
dip under the horizon. The eastern and western strands spread wide as if to bid us
farewell. Before our eyes lay far and wide a vast sea; shadows of great clouds swept
heavily over its silver-grey surface; the glistening bluish rays of electric light, here and
there reflected by the dancing drops of spray, shot out little sheaves of light from the
track we left in our rear. Soon we entirely lost sight of land; no object was left for the eye
to judge by, and but for the frothy track of the raft, I might have thought we were
standing still.
About twelve, immense shoals of seaweeds came in sight. I was aware of the great
powers of vegetation that characterise these plants, which grow at a depth of twelve
thousand feet, reproduce themselves under a pressure of four hundred atmospheres, and
sometimes form barriers strong enough to impede the course of a ship. But never, I think,