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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Wine-Dark Sea (Book 16), Chapters 1-2 (pg. 5043-5093)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

Undersea Volcano Erupts Off Of Tonga
An undersea volcano erupts near Tonga in 2009
Photo by Dana Stephenson//Getty Images


We pick up the action in mid-pursuit as the Surprise chases the Franklin following the events of the previous book. The Surprise is the stronger ship, but they are evenly matched in terms of speed. They’re only able to take potshots at each other as they dance right on the edge of their effective ranges. The Franklin gets luckier and knocks out a mast, which slows the Surprise. Aubrey guesses that the French ship would try to double back and sneak past them during the night.

During the night however, the Surprise finds itself right in the middle of an underwater volcanic eruption, barely surviving. The Franklin, who were indeed trying to sneak past the other way, get it even worse, with all the fire and brimstone practically disabling their ship.


Plenty of casualties from the natural disaster, including West, who cops it with a headshot form the eruption. Unlucky. The crew’s able to repair the Surprise and get the Franklin (now commanded by Pullings as a prize) back into sailing condition quite quickly however, and they can resume their journeys towards Peru.



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