However, on looking out of the window, I found that it was a glorious still day of late summer, the smoke from one or two tall chimneys too lazy to rise. The sun shed an air of serenity on everything. To be flying round the world on such a day was the perfect adventure. After my camera and pistol had been ceremoniously returned to me, and the thirteen cartridges solemnly counted into my hand one by one, the seaplane was brought in to the beach for me to refuel it. The sunlight was balm; the water sparkled, the wavelets lapped the beach, and gently rolled the shingle. I felt happily lazy as I filled up with tin after tin of petrol.
On leaving land, I had a 300-mile sea flight in front of me. I felt soothed and contented to be out of sight of land. The Pacific Ocean was friendly, and I skimmed the surface to be close to it. It seemed to give me strength. Life was grand; flying had become an art, and that morning I felt that I was master of it.
China Map With Counties Photo Gallery
When I reached the mainland again I flew into a patch of dark windy weather, and in it came upon a rusty old tub of a steamer wallowing in the seas. She was the Bellerophon of Liverpool, and she seemed like a close friend in those foreign seas. The log line ran out a considerable distance from the high stern before it entered the water and the seaplane, coming round the stern steeply banked, nearly caught it with the lower wing. I saw it only just in time, for I was watching the ship’s cook in his white cap who had stepped on to the stern and was waving a frying-pan at me.
I flew round a headland, and began looking for Katsuura. It had not been on my chart; but the policeman had marked it in, telling me that it was a small fishing town, with a natural harbour. The whole coast seemed to be honeycombed with natural harbours, but at the spot marked on my map, I found a perfect harbour and town, an ideal place for a seaplane, but I thought it strange that I could see no sign of any launches. So I decided to fly on farther before coming down, and it was as well, because the policeman had marked a spot 6 miles south of the real Katsuura. There was no mistaking the launch party when I got there for one man was waving a small flag at me, and another an umbrella.
Katsuura was a beautiful place like a partly submerged crater on the edge of the coast with the ocean entering through a gap at the south end, and ajagged rim of precipitous rock separating the harbour from the open sea. I came down in an inlet like a fjord adjoining the harbour.
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