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The Daily Aubrey-Maturin: The Wine-Dark Sea (Book 16), Chapters 5-7 (pg. 5151-5230)

Your daily dose of off-topic shenanigans

War of the Pacific.1879-1883. Conflict between Chile and Peru and Bolivia. Peru. Dock and port Callao,1879. Engraving by Rico. La Ilustracion Espanola y Americana, 1879.
Dock and port in Callao, Peru, 1879
Photo by: PHAS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


Aubrey & Co run across a whaling ship, which they take as a prize because them’s the rules. The whaler tells them of a French warship in the vicinity, which they spot but then quickly lose sight of as bad weather moves in. The Surprise and the Franklin get separated as well, which proves unfortunately for the latter as they are found by the French ship and are boarded. Fortunately, the Surprise arrives in time to save the day and capture the ship. Aubrey is however wounded in the action.

Meanwhile, Martin’s depression grows, which Stephen eventually figures out is a symptom of a psychosomatic condition — Martin, who’s a parson by trade, had some unclean relations with Clarissa Oakes in the previous book, and is now convinced that he’s sinned greatly. He even develops sores on his body, though those are apparently from the salt on unwashed clothing (washing reduced due to lack of abundant fresh water).


Martin overdoses on mercury, but survives. Aubrey’s also ailing but should make a full recovery. He’s set to continue privateering aboard the Franklin, while the Surprise (under Pullings’ command) goes to port with the latest prizes and also for repairs and supplies. It’s decided that Maturin should go, too, so that he may finally get on with his original mission in Peru of trying to incite a rebellion against the Spanish. In Callao, he also meets Sam Panda, Jack’s long-lost son who reappeared a few books ago and is now a respected and learned clergyman.


Maturin gets to work in Lima, learning that the situation has changed significantly in the past year or so that it’s taken him to get there — in both good and bad ways. He decides to push on with the mission, with the help of local contacts.

Meanwhil, at sea, Jack figures out that Dutourd, the shifty French captain, had snuck off the ship, and this could endanger Maturin’s mission. Jack tries to get back to port, but the winds keep him away despite seven tries.





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