Van Weyden and Maud Brewster suffer in the small boat and drift around for many hours. It begins to storm, and both Maud and Van Weyden are in bad condition. The whole time Van Weyden is tempted to profess his love for Maud, but he keeps holding back.
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster’s current predicament shows how they are subject to the random whims of fate. Van Weyden’s inability to express his feelings for Brewster suggests one aspect of his character where he hasn’t grown, perhaps because the sailors on the Ghost had little to teach him about romance or complex emotions in general.
After days of storm, Van Weyden and Maud Brewster find themselves unexpectedly off what seems to be the coast of Alaska. Neither can swim, so they’ll have to get ashore in the boat. The boat makes a perilous trip through rocky waters before landing on the shore of a place they’ll eventually call Endeavour Island.
The rocky waters of the shore represent the harsh difficulties that Van Weyden and Brewster have ahead of them. Meanwhile, their inability to swim shows how their wealthy backgrounds have left them unprepared for these challenges.