Watching a coast as it slips by the ship is like thinking about an enigma. There it is before you, smiling, frowning, inviting, grand, mean, insipid or savage and always mute with an air of whispering ‘come and find out’.
This one was almost featureless as if still in the making, with an aspect of monotonous grimness, the edge of a colossal jungle so dark green as to be almost black. Fringed with white surf it ran straight like a ruled line far far away along a blue sea whose glitter was blurred by a creeping mist. The sun was fierce the land seemed to glisten and drip with steam. Here and there greyish whitish specks showed up, clustered inside the white surf with a flag flying above them, perhaps settlements some centuries old and still no bigger than pin heads, on the untouched expanse of their background.