The writer (Edwin Hood) received the account from the lips of the captain, and has found in the journal confirmatory details of the narrow escape.
On Sunday, June 27, 18__, the ‘Arcadia’ was in the vicinity of Long Island, the passengers seated in little groups about the deck rejoicing in the prospect of a speedy arrival at their destination. At about two p.m. the Captain March calculated that the ship could stand on the same tack for at least an hour longer without risk, and then went below to read in his favourite commentator, Matthew Henry.
Overcome by heat and fatigue, he fell asleep. Suddenly, it seemed as if a hand touched him and he awoke. There was no one in the cabin; no unusual sound on deck. Looking at his watch, he found that the hour was more than expired, and immediately hurried up the gang-way and shouted, “’Bout ship!” A thick fog had arisen, so that now no land was to be seen. As he was taking the helm from the man, and putting it a-lee, a cry came from the bows of, “Breakers ahead!” He strained his eyes, and, though he saw nothing through the enveloping mist, could distinctly hear the sound of surf on the shore. All eyes were fixed on him; there was a dead silence, which he was able to break by saying, “All’s right, the ship’s about.” A few minutes more and the vessel would have struck, and in all probability become a total wreck. In relating this circumstance, Captain March always devoutly acknowledged the providence of God which interposed in so marvelous a way to arose him at that critical moment when so many lives and much property were in jeopardy.
Memorials of Charles March, Commander Royal Navy