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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Far Side of the World (Book 10), Chapters 9-10 (pg. 3505-3574)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

The arrival of replica ship Hermione sailing into port. Seventeen years in the re-making, the authentically reconstructed Hermione has set sail from France and has traveled 3,819 miles across the Atlantic to come to America.
Replice of the HMS Hermoine
Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images


Having been rescued, Aubrey & Maturin are enjoying the daily routine back on board of the Surprise, which resumes chasing the Norfolk. But next it’s the weather that starts not cooperating once again (Aubrey would later remark that this voyage has had the most weather-related problems ever), with a tail end of a typhoon hitting the ship. It doesn’t cause much damage, but it does cause Maturin to fall, hit his head, and slip into a coma. The rest of the non-doctors figure he needs to be trepanned, but they need a calm sea (or dry land) to try to do so safely. Fortunately, they spot an island nearby.

As they approach, they find a bunch of shipwrecked white men — the crew of the Norfolk! The Norfolk itself lies broken in the lagoon, devastated by the full force of the same typhoon that hit the Surprise. Captain Palmer of the Norfolk claims the War of 1812 is over and thus avoids official capture, though Aubrey is wary of believing him fully, especially as a solid portion of the Norfolk’s crew are deserters from the HMS Hermoine. In real life, it was the Surprise that recaptured the Hermoine following their famous mutiny, so the Hermoine crew have a special distaste for that ship.

Meanwhile, the Norfolk’s surgeon joins to help with Maturin’s trepanning, but just as that’s about to go down, Maturin snaps out of his coma. Phew!


More bad weather forces the Surprise (with 1st Lt. Mowatt left in command) to seek shelter away from the island, stranding everyone. Aubrey realizes the’s outnumbered on the ground and tries to figure out a way off the island using one of their landing craft. They are accosted by former Hermoine crewmembers, but just as things are about to turn really ugly, the Surprise does show back up after weeks away!

And thus ends Book 10, “The Far Side of the World”! Next up, Book 11, “The Reverse of the Medal”.





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