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Night Watch It was a dark night, back in April of 1942, darker than I’d ever seen. We were running “blacked out,” without our lights, because Captain Skjelbred had had a report that there might be a German U-boat, an enemy of the United States, in the area. We were three miles out, off the Florida Keys, and every once in a while I’d see a glimmer of light from shore. It was four months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States had entered World War II in which Japan, Germany, and Italy were our enemies. I was only 19 then and had signed on as a seaman on this merchant freighter, the Benwood, back in ’41 before the war started. The pay was good and I needed it to help support my mother and younger siblings. We were on a routine voyage from Tampa, Florida, to Norfolk, Virginia, with a load of phosphate rock. I had come on watch at midnight, but all was quiet and the seas were calm. About an hour into my watch, I thought I saw a large black object off to starboard, but I couldn’t make it out because it’s hard to see black against a black night sky. I blinked and tried refocusing my eyes, and when I looked through my binoculars panic ran through me. I tried to get the words out, but they caught in my throat. Finally, they spilled out in a growl “Ship!...to starboard!” The captain’s reflexes were instantaneous. He blew the ship’s whistle twice to alert the other ship of our presence and that we were turning to the port side. There was no response from the other ship—only silence, except for the waves lapping against the bow below where I stood on deck. The captain ordered the engine full astern, and as the ship shifted into reverse quickly, I lost my footing and stumbled backward. I regained my balance just in the nick of time, because I had a brief glimpse of the other ship towering above me just before we collided with it. The crash was horrendous as I fell forward onto the deck and then slid backward toward the bridge. The bow of our ship had punched the other ship just aft of the port side bow, above the waterline, causing the bow of the Benwood to collapse. I scrambled to my feet as water began gushing in over the decimated bow, flooding the deck. I was splashed head to toe and soon soaked to mid-thigh, the taste of saltwater on my lips. As I sloshed across the deck to the bridge, the captain turned the ship hard to port and headed toward shore in a desperate attempt to save the ship from running aground. In less than an hour, all was lost. The ship took on more water, and the captain ordered all on board to abandon ship. We piled into lifeboats, shivering, and watched from a distance as the Benwood grounded on a sandy slope about 25 feet in the water between Dixie Shoals to the north and French Reef to the south. As we rowed to shore, I kept looking back at her hung up like that. It was sad to see her cast aside and deserted. When we reached shore in Key Largo, some locals were waiting for us on the beach, having heard the wreck. They offered us what dry clothes they had and a place to sleep for the rest of the night. Early the next morning, I was up at daybreak and trudged down to the beach. I saw the captain talking with the crew of a salvage tug before they went out to check the wreck to see what could be recovered. Later that day, I heard that the keel was demolished, and the ship was a total loss, but they were able to salvage the cargo of phosphate rock.
james1769
  • james1769
wat u need
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like1234
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like1234
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i know the answer 2 the first 2
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it C and D
like1234
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and for 2 i think it this It is more descriptive when the writer says sloshed rather then walked or stepped because it makes the reader imagine the difficulty of walking threw the water that had started seeping onto the deck.
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i really only need help with number 3
james1769
  • james1769
three is the passage is about a boat is the night? correct
like1234
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yes the passage is about a boat
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@james1769
james1769
  • james1769
yes?
like1234
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what ????????? cloud you just explain what the question is asking number 3
james1769
  • james1769
its asking u to describe the passage
like1234
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ok thx
like1234
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is this what is it asking me to do 3. The central idea of "Night Watch" is about a young boy who was watching for pacing ship potentially a German-U boat. He spots a boat and tells the captain "Ship!.... to starboard!" the captain in a attempt to save there ship from crashing into the other ship put the ship in reverse but it was to late they had already crashed. They went onto lifeboats and headed for shore. In the morning the ship was in ruins but they were able to save the cargo.
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@james1769
like1234
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k could u now explain what the question number 4 is asking
james1769
  • james1769
explain how the characters change from the start to finish
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thx soooooo much!!!!!!

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