HOME                  San  Carlos  Sport  Fishing                   E MAIL

 

 

       San Juan River and World History :  

MORGAN... NELSON...VANDERBILD.... COUSTEAU.... 

 

 

 

wpeB0.jpg (5584 bytes)

Pre-Columbian time, Colonial time, Spaniards Gold, Admiral Nelson, The pirates, Gold Rush Cornelius Vanderbilt , Walker, Mark Twain, The Transoceanic Canal, Jacques Yves Cousteau... 

San Juan river  is the only water communication between Nicaragua Lake ( one of the biggest lake in the world ) and the Caribbean sea ...

Archeological sites can be visit specifically in Solentiname Archipelago.. Many Indians were living there in the Pre-Columbian times, People here talk of a  mysterious pre-Columbian  big city lost somewhere in the Jungles.. In the rapids of  El Toro, Saballo,  El Castillo, Infirnillo   at  Dry season since ever Indians  were Harpooning Tarpons...During Colonial time Spanish were using San Juan River  to carry the gold from Pacific  to the Atlantic Ocean....Famous Pirates came  ( Morgan and Co. ) attract by all this Gold  so, Spanish  built Castles on the river banks.. in Order to prevent attacks  to so rich city of  Granada...then French and English took interest on the area.... Admiral Nelson went there took San Juan Del Norte ( Grey town ) also went up river to El Castillo...Took the fortress  but sick return to England...

 

Nowadays the Fortress of El Castillo is a famous historical destination ...( A visit to The fort in very good shape, built on a hill in the jungle and of its Museum  is  a  "Must" in my trips )

In the second part of 19th Century San Juan River has been very busy  due to  the famous GOLD RUSH , The river  was use by the pioneers to cross the Central America Isthmus... Much easier in these days than to cross all the USA.  They were going from New York to San Juan Del Norte in large " steamer'' then Up San Juan River aboard smaller boats , then across the Nicaragua Lake to San Jorge, then San Juan Del Sur or Corinto on the Pacific coast, a big steamer again and then San Francisco California...

What is amazing and almost unbelievable when you are in the area now is to think than more than a 100 000 Pioneers past there...aboard the boats of Mr. Vanderbilt...among them Mark Twain , he wrote a description of the area:

 Dark grottos, fairy festoons, tunnels, temples, columns, pillars, towers, pilasters, terraces, pyramids, mounds, domes, walls, in endless confusion of vine-work -- no shape known to architecture unimitated -- and all so webbed together that short distances within are only gained by glimpses. Monkeys here and there; birds warbling; gorgeous plumaged birds on the wing, Paradise itself, the imperial realm of beauty -- nothing to wish for to make it perfect.   Mark Twain  1866...

During all these times there have been a lot of conflict in the area , Obviously to take control of it ... Walker and its Filibusters is one of the example...

At the end of 19th Century several project of Transoceanic canal had been establish. Even a mile has been built from San Juan Del Norte....there is still some heavy machinery around...Then Decision had been taken to stop and to built the transoceanic canal in Northern part of Colombia who became Panama...

The first part of 20th century is characterized by a very agitated political history in Nicaragua, in witch USA has been involved, Sandino take over , then came  the Somosa Family  who has been in power for long..... Then came the Sandinista  revolution, ( see Arts  in Solentiname, Ernesto Cardenal ) the Contra ....

Nowadays  the country is quiet , five  presidential Elections has been held   in  respect from All parts of Democratic rules..  Nicaraguans people who have been suffering so much now want peace....

Since more than 50 years on the 14th and 15th of September is organize the Annual International fishing tournament ... It's not only fishing , all town is involved.. at 4am on the 14th a walking band awake all town of San Carlos...

Team1.jpg (69754 bytes)              Team_b1.jpg (96147 bytes) 

 Tourism is more than welcome in Nicaragua Rio San Juan , Authorities or simple Citizen are  really very friendly and always helpful.

Philippe Tisseaux

Following are some texts..

Pictures also..

I found on the Net concerning history of Nicaragua and San Juan River, Rio San Juan

 

Nicaragua

The discovery of gold in California drew additional attention from American and European powers who wanted to establish and control routes across Panama and Nicaragua. Americans, French and British were among the contenders, and in a move to control a route from the sultry, swampy Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua, the British occupied the Eastern seaboard port of San Juan del Norte between 1848 and 1850, renaming it Greytown.

In spite of an extraordinary rainfall (236 inches a year), Cornelius Vanderbilt established a highly profitable route across Nicaragua by waterway and carriage road. In 1851, he developed the route in competition with the Pacific Mail Line, which had joined the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the overland Panama route. The Panama route was laborious until the railroad was completed across the Isthmus in 1855

Vanderbilt’s route was easier in that once passengers reached San Juan del Norte, on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, most of the journey between the oceans was covered in small boats (bungoes) and steamers. The bungoes ferried passengers and cargo up the San Juan River through 125 miles of jungles filled with howling monkeys and exotic birds, to Lake Nicaragua, then across Lake Nicaragua via steamer to La Virgen (Virgin Bay) near Rivas.

 http://www.maritimeheritage.org/ports/centralamerica/nicara.html

 

Daily Alta California, July 1, 1853

FROM CENTRAL AMERICA

Guatemala, January 1, 1853
Everything which tends to the development of commerce and new trade on the Pacific coast, must always be interesting to your California readers. There are few countries so little known to Americans as this; and in fact there is not one in a thousand that has an idea of the immense advantages Central America possesses for traffic and trade with California.

 http://www.maritimeheritage.org/newtale/goods.htm#trade  


 

Gold Rush History Links http://malakoff.com/goldcountry/history.htm

 


WILLIAM

WALKER

William Walker (1824-1860),

aventurero estadounidense, presidente de Nicaragua (1856-1857). Nació en Nashville (Tennessee) y estudió en la universidad de esta ciudad. Se licenció en medicina en 1843, después de lo cual estudió derecho, y se dedicó a ejercer la abogacía en Nueva Orleans (Luisiana). Marchó a California (Estados Unidos) en 1850, y en 1853 dirigió la invasión armada de Baja California (México), y se autoproclamó presidente de una república independiente, formada por la Baja California y el vecino estado de Sonora. Tras quedarse sin provisiones y tener que enfrentarse a la resistencia del gobierno mexicano, se vio obligado a rendirse a las autoridades estadounidenses. Juzgado por infringir las leyes sobre neutralidad en 1854, fue absuelto.

Durante la Guerra Civil nicaragüense la facción liberal le pidió ayuda, y en 1855 dirigió la toma de Granada. Fue nombrado presidente de Nicaragua en 1856, y reconocido como tal por Estados Unidos. Planeó unificar las repúblicas de América Central bajo su gobierno, pero el industrial estadounidense Cornelius Vanderbilt, de cuya empresa de transportes se habían apropiado los partidarios nicaragüenses de Walker, financió las fuerzas que en 1857 le derrotaron en combate. 

A pesar de varios intentos por recuperar Nicaragua, Walker no tuvo éxito. Capturado por los británicos tras desembarcar en Honduras en 1860, fue ejecutado por las autoridades hondureñas. Escribió La guerra en Nicaragua (1860).

© 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. Reservados todos los derechos.

 


 

CORNELIUS VANDERBILT

"I have been insane on the subject of moneymaking all my life." — Vanderbilt, quoted in the New York Daily Tribune, March 23, 1878.

http://www.stfrancis.edu/ba/ghkickul/stuwebs/bbios/biograph/vanderbi.htm

Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877), industrial estadounidense nacido en Staten Island (Nueva York). Se inició en el negocio de los transportes a los 16 años, creando un servicio de transporte por barco de mercancías y pasajeros entre Staten Island y Manhattan. Consiguió una flota de goletas durante la guerra de 1812, para en 1818, iniciarse en el negocio del transporte fluvial con barcos de vapor, comprando su primer barco de vapor en 1829. Amplió sus servicios con gran rapidez, y se convirtió en un importante competidor, pues podía reducir sus tarifas al tiempo que modernizaba su flota. Pronto consiguió controlar la mayor parte del comercio fluvial del río Hudson hasta el punto que sus rivales en el sector le pagaron para que montase su negocio en otro río, por lo que creó nuevas rutas entre Long Island Sound y Providence, Rhode Island y Boston. En 1851, durante la fiebre del oro en California, abrió una línea marítima y terrestre que iba desde el estado de Nueva York hasta la ciudad de San Francisco (California) permitiendo a los del cuarenta y nueve disponer de un transporte rápido con mínimos costes. En 1855 inauguró una línea para pasajeros y mercancías entre la ciudad de Nueva York y El Havre.

Vanderbilt vendió sus barcos de vapor en 1862 para introducirse en el negocio de los ferrocarriles; en cinco años logró controlar los ferrocarriles del estado de Nueva York. Continuó con su política de calidad en los servicios y siguió adquiriendo líneas férreas. Aunque en 1868 fracasó cuando intentó controlar la empresa de ferrocarriles Erie Railroad, consiguió en 1873 establecer una línea entre Nueva York y Chicago.

Al final de su vida entró en los círculos financieros y se convirtió en un gran filántropo. Entre sus donaciones destaca la que otorgó a la Universidad Vanderbilt, de un millón de dólares. Se estima que, cuando murió, su fortuna superaba los 100 millones de dólares.


HORACIO NELSON

In 1779 Nelson was promoted to captain, at the age of 20. He was given command of a frigate, the Hinchingbrook, and took part in operations against Spanish settlements in Nicaragua, which became targets once Spain joined France in alliance with the American Revolutionaries. The attack on San Juan was militarily successful

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/terrace/adw03/c-eight/nelson.htm

http://www.aboutnelson.co.uk/chronology.htm

 

 

Concerning the Canal

Nicaragua, Lake

3,089 sq mi (8,001 sq km), c.100 mi (160 km) long and up to 45 mi (72 km) wide, SW Nicaragua; the largest lake of Central America. It is drained into the Caribbean Sea by the San Juan River. Lake Nicaragua, along with Lake Managua (which drains into it from the northwest), occupies part of the Nicaragua Depression, an extensive lowland region stretching across the isthmus. Once part of the sea, the lake was formed when the land rose. There are several islands in the lake (the largest is Isla de Ometepe); and small volcanoes rise above its surface. The freshwater of Lake Nicaragua contains fish usually associated with saltwater,  including tuna...  ( Personal comment ( Philippe )  we have a lot of fish here but SORRY NO TUNA IN THE LAKE !!! ) and sharks, which have adapted to the environmental change. The lake is a transportation route; Granada is its chief port. Located only 110 ft (34 m) above sea level, the lake reaches a depth of 84 ft (26 m). It was to be an important link in the proposed Nicaragua Canal.

MarkTwain’s Travel  to Nicaragua Rio San Juan .

From book: '' Travel with Mr. Brown''

At the end of 1866, Mark Twain traveled to Nicaragua and the San Juan River. A traveler for nearly a decade of his adult life, Twain needed to go from San Francisco to New York City. Instead of crossing the United States by land, he chose to make his way to New York City via Nicaragua and the San Juan River.

In a series of letters to the Alta California newspaper, Twain describes his travels through Nicaragua and down the San Juan River. Not published in book form until 1940 as Travels with Mr. Brown, Mark Twain’s commentary on Central America has remained relatively unknown
to a good many historians and even readers of Twain.

Here is the original English text  which includes  introduction and textual notes to his travels
over what was commonly called in the nineteenth century the Nicaraguan Route.


At the end of 1866, Mark Twain traveled from San Francisco to New York via Nicaragua and the San Juan River. He went aboard the steamer America from San Francisco to San Juan del Sur and journeyed by wagon across the twelve-mile stretch from San Juan del Sur to the Lake of Nicaragua. Then at Virgin Bay, he crossed the Lake of Nicaragua by steamer and at Fort Castillo, on the southeastern tip of the lake, made his way down the San Juan River to Greytown (San Juan del Norte), caught another steamer and, after a short layover in Key West, followed the eastern seaboard to New York City.

The trip took eleven days to arrive at San Juan del Sur, three days to cross the isthmus, and eleven more days to sail from Greytown to New York City. Twain, who spent nearly a decade on the road and once said that, if he had his way, he “would sail on forever and never go live on solid ground again,”1 wrote an account of his journey via Nicaragua to New York for a San Francisco newspaper called the Alta California (Rodney v.). He wrote seven letters describing the sea trip from San Francisco to New York. These letters were not collected in book form until 1940 and then published as Travels with Mr.
Brown, which includes all his letters to the Alta California—some twenty-six in total—dealing with his sea voyage from San Francisco to New York as well as his six-month stay in New York City and a few weeks in his native Missouri and elsewhere in the Midwest.
Mark Twain loved traveling and rivers. When he was only 23 and had not yet stepped outside of the United States or traveled much even in the United States, he said about traveling on the Ohio River:
I became a new being, and the subject of my own admiration. I was a traveler! A word never had tasted so good in my mouth before. I had an exultant sense of being bound for mysterious lands and distant climes which I never have felt in so uplifting a degree since. I was in such a glorified condition that all ignoble feelings departed out of me, and I was able to look down and pity the untravelled with a compassion that had hardly a trace of contempt in it. (Twain 1945: 25)
Although near the end of his life MarkTwain denied that he had ever enjoyed traveling, and he even claimed, “That there is no man living who cares less about seeing new places and peoples than I,” there obviously was something in travel that brought out the best in this man, that permitted him to see and feel life in all its complexity, and that no doubt complemented, if not cultivated, his literary skills (qtd. in Neider 23).
As a young man, Twain had wanted to go to Brazil—to participate in the ongoing explorations of the Amazon. He traveled to New Orleans to find passage south. He never made it. No ships. No money (Rodney 1993: 54). In spite of the fact that he had once wanted to go to Brazil, and that he traveled and circumnavigated the world, Twain never traveled, after the crossing of the Nicaraguan route, in Mexico or the rest of Latin America. Nor did he ever travel much in Africa, other than the northernmost countries.

When he traveled in Central America, it was to get somewhere quickly and to avoid the treacherous stagecoach ride across the continental United States. He crossed the isthmus three times on his way toand from New York and San Francisco. He did it via Nicaragua the first time and then, a few years later, he crossed the isthmus twice again by taking the easier route via Panama—by trainfrom Panama to Colon (Aspinwall). The more rugged Nicaraguan route apparently cured Twain of any desire to repeat it. He never took on the Nicaragua route again, and he only wrote an account of his Nicaragua crossing—never of the two Panama crossings by train.


One year prior to the trip to Nicaragua, in 1866, Twain boarded a steamer and went off to the Sandwich Islands (present day Hawaii) under the condition that he would write a series of letters detailing his four-month trip to the readers of the Sacramento Union (Rodney1993: 4).

He would go to the Sandwich Islands for four months and “describe their people,recount their history, and report on whatever advantages they might have in the way of trade opportunities and economic development” (Rodney 1993: 4). The trip to Hawaii was the first of a long series of journeys outside of the continental United States that would eventually take him around the world. He would go on to record those travels meticulously in a vast corpus of works, Letters from Hawaii, Roughing It, Innocents Abroad, Following the Equator, A Tramp Abroad, Travels with Mr. Brown.
When he returned to California after his four months in Hawaii, at the behest of a friend who worked at the Alta California, Twain gave a lecture on the Sandwich Islands, and his career as a raconteur and public speaker was set in stone (Rodney 1993: 21). His lecture on the Sandwich Islands was so warmly received that he went on to give some fifteen lectures in numerous cities in California (Rodney 1993: 21). These lectures set the foundation for hundreds of more appearances on the lecture circuit that would keep Mark Twain busy as a public speaker in the United States and abroad for the rest of his life.
Twain eventually came up with an idea to travel the world and be paid for his travels by continuing the practice that he had begun with the Sacramento Union: He would write a series of letters describing his travels, beginning with New York, then Europe and the rest of the world (Rodney 1993: 22).

He convinced the editors of the Alta California to underwrite this venture,and he set off for New York City, where he would cross the Atlantic and commence his travels(Rodney 1993: 22).

The problem was getting to New York City. He had already once taken the overland route by stagecoach across the Midwest with his brother Orion, who, in 1861, had  been named Secretary of the Nevada Territory (Johnson 1974: 216), and the trip was filled with problems: Indians, rough riding, and the frequent breakdowns of stagecoaches (Johnson 1974: 43-61). Aside from the dangers of crossing the lands of Native Americans and the cumbersome nature of stagecoach travel itself, Twain knew that it would take him some sixteen days to get to St. Louis, and then he would have to take a long, tedious train ride to New York City Rodney 1993: 22).

He chose the Nicaraguan route instead. He would sail to Nicaragua, cross the isthmus via wagon and steamer, and arrive in New York City within a month. His choice was a common one. In the mid-to-late nineteenth century, the Nicaraguan route was how most people traveled from San Francisco to New York if they opted not to weather the hazardous crossing of the continental United States by stagecoach (Rodney 1993: 22).
Twain’s journey through Nicaragua and down the San Juan River was not without incident. He and his fellow passengers faced an outbreak of cholera, which killed a good many of his fellow shipmates (Twain 1940: 64-68). Cholera on steamships was common and traveling on a Vanderbilt steamship was not easy.3 When his ship arrived in San Juan del Sur on the Pacific coast, an epidemic of cholera, as Twain says, was “raging among a battalion of troops just arrived from New York” (Twain 1940: 38). Although no infection occurred in Nicaragua, cholera did break out on the New York leg of the trip, and his steamer San Francisco became, as Twain himself describes it, “a floating hospital” and “not a single hour passes but brings its new sensation—its melancholy tidings” (Twain 1940: 66). Passengers were “sheeted and thrown overboard,” and Twain remained sober about the whole affair, noting the responses of his fellow passengers and his own to the epidemic and its toll on human life (Twain 1940: 64).Filología y Lingüística XXXI (1): 82 79-115, 2005 / ISSN: 0377-628X
 

The Nicaraguan route itself was established by Cornelius Vanderbilt. There was already one route to California via the isthmus at Panama—bongos up the Chagres River to the village of Gorgona and then mule-back to the western coast of Panama4 (Folkman 1972: 2)—which had been set up by William Henry Aspinwall and the Pacific Mail Steamship Company. Vanderbilt opened the Nicaraguan route for wide commercial use in 1851, and it was done to ferry people to California to “pick nuggets.” After gold was discovered at Sutter’s mine in California, and after President James Polk’s curt but consequential comment before the United States Congress (“Recent discoveries render it possible that these mines are more extensive and valuable than was anticipated”), nothing could stop the stampede to California(Lewis 1949: 3).

Vanderbilt had already made a fortune building and operating steamships, and he took note of the mad rush to California (Folkman 1972: 16). He had conceived the idea of creating a passage to California via Nicaragua to compete with the Panama route, and the California gold rush made his plans to traverse the isthmus all the more economically enticing (Folkman 1972: 23-7).


The trip across the isthmus at Nicaragua was difficult in places. On a trip from New York to San Francisco (the directional inverse of Twain’s trip), a passenger once at Greytown (San Juan de Norte) had to go 120 miles up the San Juan River to the Lake of Nicaragua and then another 100 miles across the Lake of Nicaragua to Virgin Bay (Lewis 164),5 traverse the land portion of the route to the Pacific coast by wagon or mule, some twelve miles, and then catch still another steamer to San Francisco. While the isthmus was wider at Nicaragua (165 miles) than at Panama (60 miles), a passenger who opted for this route would nevertheless shorten the trip to the eastern or western coasts of the United States by 1,000 miles (Lewis1949: 163). While often uncomfortable, especially the land portion of the trip, the journey was short in time (it could be done in a few days), and this route was better than taking the long sea voyage around Cape Horn, a total of 15,000 miles, which would take some five months to complete (Lewis 1949: 133).


Since the Panama crossing proved to be remarkably profitable, Vanderbilt wanted a piece of this lucrative transportation business (Folkman 1972: 16). Aspinwall’s Pacific Steamship Line was charging “Argonauts,” as the California gold diggers were called, 600 dollars to cross the isthmus through Panama (Folkman 1972: 16). Vanderbilt knew that the route through Nicaragua was shorter and faster, and it offered significant savings in time and distance for travelers who were desperate to get to California before all the gold could be panned and carted home.

After the British and the United States governments signed the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, which resolved territorial claims between the two countries over an interoceanic trade route, the Nicaraguan route quickly became the competitor to the Panama crossing, and it was a vastly superior alternative to get to California than the long way around,via Cape Horn (Folkman 1972: 18-21).


By the time Mark Twain took the route in 1867, some sixteen years after its inauguration, it had not changed much. The route had endured, during the intervening sixteen years, the changing of hands, William Walker’s meddling, the United States Navy's shelling and burning of Greytown, and the territorial disputes between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. But the route that Vanderbilt had marked out in 1851 was still essentially the same in 1867: A steamship to San Juan del Sur, mule or wagons to the Lake of Nicaragua, another steamer to cross the Lake of Nicaragua, and then a riverboat steamer down the San Juan River to Greytown on the Atlantic coast.

That Mark Twain loved ships and rivers is a cardinal fact of American literature, and he no doubt wanted to see both the Lake of Nicaragua and the San Juan River. Cornelius Vanderbilt, the quintessential American robber baron, made all that possible with his explorations and commandeering of the Nicaraguan route across the Central American isthmus.

In his Life on the Mississippi, looking back on his experiences as a cub-pilot and as a full-fledged pilot on the Mississippi River, Mark Twain details his wonder at life on the  Mississippi River, and his singular admiration for the men who piloted ships up and down the river. Mark Twain took his name from the measurements or the soundings of the depths of a river—“mark twain” meant two fathoms deep, and he would convert those two little words into a name known both at home and abroad.6

Twain piloted steamers on the Mississippi for four years until the American civil war brought to an end his career as a pilot. Much of Life on the Mississippi, written years later, concerns both his experiences and the characters that he met on the river. Twain’s reputation as a humorist and raconteur, and as the author of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and The Prince and Pauper, has overshadowed his skills as an observer of nature. We seldom think of Twain as a writer of nature; indeed some critics argue that Twain’s descriptive passages often border on being “purple passages” (Rodney 1993: 10). Yet when Twain is writing at his best about a landscape—be it the Mississippi, his stagecoach crossing of the United States, or Nicaragua— his descriptive powers are noteworthy, if not remarkable.
In Life on the Mississippi, Twain seldom speaks of the river itself except in relation to piloting although he warns us precisely of this fact:

That a river pilot’s eye is not that of a naturalist’s and, once you see a river through the eyes of a pilot, you will never see it again inquite the same way:
Now when I have mastered the language of this water, and had come to know every trifling feature
that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet I had made a valuable
acquisition. But I had lost something too. I had lost something that could never be restored to me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry had gone out of the majestic river! (Twain 1945: 48).


When Twain does speak of the Mississippi in aesthetic terms, as an artist looking out at nature, he speaks of the beauty of the river in the language that made T.S. Eliot understand the full significance of the river in Huckleberry Finn: The river in the novel is God; the river is character (Clemens 1977: 332). It was a boy’s story to be sure but, as Eliot argued in his now famous essay on Huckleberry Finn, it was a river’s story as well. And in Life on the Mississippi, Twain’s language and ability to conjure the beauty of the Mississippi is surpassed by few writers in American letters:


I still kept in mind a certain wonderful sunset which I witnessed when steamboating was new to me. A broad expanse of the river was turned to blood; in the middle distance the red hue brightened into gold,through which a solitary log came bloating, black and conspicuous; in one place a log, slanting mark lay sparkling upon the water, in another the surface was broken by boiling tumbling rings, that were as manytinted as an opal; where the ruddy flush was faintest, was a smooth spot that was covered with graceful circles and radiating lines, ever so delicately traced; the shore on our left was densely wooded, and the somber shadow that fell from this forest was broken in one place by a long, ruffled trail that shone like silver; and high above the forest wall a clean-stemmed dead tree waved a single leafy bough that glowed like a flame in the unobstructed splendor that was flowing from the sun. There were graceful curves, reflected images, woody heights, soft distances; and over the whole scene, far and near, the dissolving lights drifted steadily, enriching it every passing monument with new marvels of coloring. (Twain 1945: 48)


In one of his most celebrated and quoted passages from Life on the Mississippi, Twain describes rivers as watery manuscripts that erase themselves and then reappear:

The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book—a book that was a dead language to the
uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secretsas if it uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day. Throughout the long twelve hundred miles there was never a page that was void of interest, never one that you could leave unread without loss, never one that you would want to skip, thinking you could find higher enjoyment in some other thing. There never was so wonderful a book written by man; never one whose interest was so absorbing, so unflagging, so sparklingly renewed with ever reperusal. The passenger who could not read it was charmed with a peculiar sort of faint dimple on its surface (on rare occasions when he did not overlook it altogether); but to the pilot that was an italicized passage; indeed it was more than that, it was a legend of the largest capitals, with a string of shouting exclamation points at theend it, for it meant that a wreck or a rock was buried there that could tear the life out of the strongest vessel that ever floated. It is the faintest and simplest expression the water ever makes, and the most hideous to a pilot’s eye. In truth, the passenger could not read this book saw nothing but all manner of pretty pictures in it, painted by the sun and shaded by the clouds, whereas to the trained eye these were not pictures at all, but the grimmest and most dead-earnest of reading-matter. (Twain 1945: 47)

 

HOME                  San  Carlos  Sport  Fishing                   E MAIL