We Are Not Afraid To Die…If we can All be Together
By Gordon Cook and Alan East
A critical summary:
This short story is about the writer narrating his thrilling journey across the sea on board his Wave walker and about how optimism raises one's spirits and helps one overcome stress and difficulty. The narrative describes on how determination and strong will power helps us overcome all forms of stressful situations. Optimism helps to reduce "the direct stress". This can be verified with the instance where the level of perseverance rose in the author after seeing the caricatures of him and Mary, drawn by the children. His motive was to travel around the world through sea just like Captain James Cook, which he wished to complete in three years. He was with his family, his wife Mary, his daughter Suzanne and his son who was only six years old.
The first phase was about 105,000 kilometres up to the South African seaport of Cape Town, which passed off very pleasantly. The second part of the journey was for 150,000 kilometres. This phase was completed in Australia. On 25th December, the writer's ship was in the southern Indian Ocean, 3500 kilometres to the east of Cape Town. The family celebrated their new year(1977) on board the ship. Next came a phase when the ship was caught in the stormy seas. The weather suddenly became very terrible. The writer thought that their ship would ride over the waves but were heavily caught amidst the stormy situations at the sea. There was water everywhere and they found the ship to be sinking. The condition was extremely helpless and very pathetic. Water was gushing in from everywhere. Debris was floating across the cabins. The electric pump was also not working as it has short-circuited. They had to keep pumping and steering all night long. The writer's daughter's head had swollen and she had a deep injury. However, the bravery of the strong-willed children is noteworthy in the story. On January 4, they breathed a sigh of relief after having survived 36 hours of continuous pumping. However, their relief seemed to be quite short-lived because by evening that day the sea again witnessed bad weather. This is the turning point of the story when we see the author consoling the children. It was quite amazing that the children exclaimed "...we aren't afraid of dying if we can all be together." This led to the building energy and enthusiasm inside a very extremely fatigued writer. He decided to heave and fight the sea. Next day saw a very bright morning. He was welcomed by his children who exclaimed "You are the best daddy in the world." He rushed to the deck and to his amazement, gazed at the stark outline of Ile Amsterdam. It seemed to him to be the most beautiful island in the world. They anchored off shore for the night and then were welcomed by the 28 inhabitants of the island the next morning. All along, the only thing which filled the writer's mind was the undeterred courage which his wife Mary showed, his daughter who didn't worry about her head injury and his son who wasn't afraid of dying.