He had done his very best. And anyhow, here, at night, far out in the North Sea, what could he do other than what he was doing?
If anybody could have seen his face in the faint glimmer from the compass window, he would have seen that there was a grin on it.
John was alone in the dark with his ship, and everybody else was asleep.
He, for that night, was the Master of the Goblin, and even the lurches of the cockpit beneath him as the Goblin rushed through the dark filled him with a serious kind of joy. He and the Goblin together. On and on. On and on.
Years and years hence, when he was grown up, he would have a ship of his own and sail her out into wider seas than this. But he would always and always remember this night when for the first time ship and crew were in his charge, his alone.
— Arthur Ransome We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea
The Enduring Appeal of “Swallows and Amazons” by World Update: Daily