Reading the Sea with Ellen Prentiss

h1 March 11th, 2014 by jules

“Each day at dawn, at noon, and at twilight, Ellen lifted her sextant from its flannel nest and took her measurements. In the evening, she went belowdecks to
the great oak table, where she ran her daily calculations. …”

(Click to enlarge and see full text)


I hope to be back tomorrow with an interview, but for now here’s a quick art stop:

I recently wrote a review for BookPage of Tracey Fern’s Dare the Wind: The Record-Breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully and released by Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar Straus Giroux in February. The review is here.

As always, I’m following up with some art here at 7-Imp. (My 2012 breakfast interview with McCully is here.)

Enjoy …

“Ellen Prentiss had always felt the sea tug at her heart, strong as a full-moon tide.
Her papa said that was because she was born with saltwater in her veins. …”

(Click to enlarge and see full text)

“‘Hoist it to your shoulder, Ellen, and look for the sun,’ Papa said as he put his sextant in her hands. ‘Now, move the sextant’s arm until the sun sits
in the middle of the mirror like a picture in a frame.'”

(Note: The colors in this illustration are slightly brighter than they appear in the book.)

“The mainmast had broken. The sails hung in ribbons. The deck was littered with splinters of pine, shreds of canvas, and bits of iron. Perkins and the crew worked all through the day and night fixing the mast, patching the sails, and sweeping the deck. During that time, Ellen could only worry and wonder:
Had her daring pushed the ship too hard?”

(Click to enlarge; please note that the colors in this illustration
are slightly brighter than they appear in the book)

“Clouds piled up like black cotton, and thunder boomed like cannon fire. Wind howled through the masts, and waves crashed onto the deck. Soon the ship was lost in the endless gray of sea and sky and snow. Ellen couldn’t see the sun, so she couldn’t use her sextant. Now is the time for caution, she thought. I can still read the sea.”
(Click to enlarge)

“Ellen lashed herself to the rail and peered at the ship’s wake through flashes of lightning. Usually the thin band of white water shot straight out behind the ship.
Now the wake angled sharply out to sea. Ellen knew this meant that the wind and waves were pushing the ship sideways through the sea toward the rocky coast! Turning back would cost them some dear time, but Ellen didn’t hesitate.”
(Click to enlarge)

* * * * * * *

DARE THE WIND: THE RECORD-BREAKING VOYAGE OF ELEANOR PRENTISS AND THE FLYING CLOUD. Copyright © 2014 by Tracey Fern. Illustrations © 2014 by Emily Arnold McCully. Published by Margaret Ferguson Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, New York. All images here reproduced by permission of the publisher.

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