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Two Years Before the Mast - Chapters 9-12 Summary & Analysis

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Pilgrim anchors off Santa Barbara, the central port on the coast of Upper California, joining the brigs Ayacucho and Loriotte collecting hides, tallow, and horns to return to Boston. They learn from the Kanakas (Hawaiians) how to negotiate the heavy surf. In Chapter 10 the brigs flee to sea ahead of a lightning storm and after the gale, Ayacucho beats Pilgrim in an impromptu race back to anchorage. The agent and passengers board Pilgrim for the trip north to Monterey. Chapter 11 has Thompson damaging his brig, showing off for his brother and the company agent, putting on extra sails before a squall hits. Dana is congratulated for climbing the rigging and clearing the mess. Seeing the passengers seasick, Dana is proud of his sea legs. By comparison with Santa Barbara, Monterey is a "Christian" (i.e., civilized) town. In Chapter 12 the crew becomes angry...

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