少年派的奇幻漂流 Chapter 50
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Chapter 50
It was three and a half feet deep, eight feet wide and twenty-six feet long, exactly. I know because it was printed on one of the side benches in black letters. It also said that the lifeboat was designed to accommodate a maximum of thirty-two people. Wouldn't that have been merry, sharing it with so many? Instead we were three and it was awfully1 crowded. The boat was symmetrically shaped, with rounded ends that were hard to tell apart. The stern was hinted at by a small fixed2 rudder, no more than a rearward extension of the keel, while the bow, except for my addition, featured a stem with the saddest, bluntest prow3 in boat-building history. The aluminum4 hull5 was studded with rivets6 and painted white.
That was the outside of the lifeboat. Inside, it was not as spacious7 as might be expected because of the side benches and the buoyancy tanks. The side benches ran the whole length of the boat, merging8 at the bow and stern to form end benches that were roughly triangular9 in shape. The benches were the top surfaces of the sealed buoyancy tanks. The side benches were one and a half feet wide and the end benches were three feet deep; the open space of the lifeboat was thus twenty feet long and five feet wide. That made a territory of one hundred square feet for Richard Parker. Spanning this space width-wise were three cross benches, including the one smashed by the zebra. These benches were two feet wide and were evenly spaced. They were two feet above the floor of the boat-the play Richard Parker had before he would knock his head against the ceiling, so to speak, if he were beneath a bench. Under the tarpaulin10, he had another twelve inches of space, the distance between the gunnel, which supported the tarpaulin, and the benches, so three feet in all, barely enough for him to stand. The floor, consisting of narrow planks11 of treated wood, was flat and the vertical12 sides of the buoyancy tanks were at right angles to it. So, curiously13, the boat had rounded ends and rounded sides, but the interior volume was rectangular.
It seems orange-such a nice Hindu colour-is the colour of survival because the whole inside of the boat and the tarpaulin and the life jackets and the lifebuoy and the oars14 and most every other significant object aboard was orange. Even the plastic, beadless whistles were orange.
The words Tsimtsum and Panama were printed on each side of the bow in stark16, black, roman capitals.
The tarpaulin was made of tough, treated canvas, rough on the skin after a while. It had been unrolled to just past the middle cross bench. So one cross bench was hidden beneath the tarpaulin, in Richard Parker's den17; the middle cross bench was just beyond the edge of the tarpaulin, in the open; and the third cross bench lay broken beneath the dead zebra.
There were six oarlocks, U-shaped notches18 in the gunnel for holding an oar15 in place, and five oars, since I had lost one trying to push Richard Parker away. Three oars rested on one side bench, one rested on the other and one made up my life-saving prow. I doubted the usefulness of these oars as a means of propulsion. This lifeboat was no racing19 shell. It was a heavy, solid construction designed for stolid20 floating, not for navigating21, though I suppose that if we had been thirty-two to row we could have made some headway.
I did not grasp all these details-and many more-right away. They came to my notice with time and as a result of necessity.
I would be in the direst of dire22 straits, facing a bleak23 future, when some small thing, some detail, would transform itself and appear in my mind in a new light. It would no longer be the small thing it was before, but the most important thing in the world, the thing that would save my life. This happened time and again. How true it is that necessity is the mother of invention, how very true.



1 awfully MPkym     
  • Agriculture was awfully neglected in the past.过去农业遭到严重忽视。
  • I've been feeling awfully bad about it.对这我一直感到很难受。
2 fixed JsKzzj     
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
3 prow T00zj     
  • The prow of the motor-boat cut through the water like a knife.汽艇的船头像一把刀子劈开水面向前行驶。
  • He stands on the prow looking at the seadj.他站在船首看着大海。
4 aluminum 9xhzP     
  • The aluminum sheets cannot be too much thicker than 0.04 inches.铝板厚度不能超过0.04英寸。
  • During the launch phase,it would ride in a protective aluminum shell.在发射阶段,它盛在一只保护的铝壳里。
5 hull 8c8xO     
  • The outer surface of ship's hull is very hard.船体的外表面非常坚硬。
  • The boat's hull has been staved in by the tremendous seas.小船壳让巨浪打穿了。
6 rivets bcbef283e796bd891e34464b129e9ddc     
铆钉( rivet的名词复数 )
  • Straighten the rivets, please. 请把那铆钉铆直。
  • Instead of rivets there came an invasion, an infliction, and a visitation. 但是铆钉并没有运来,来的却是骚扰、混乱和视察。
7 spacious YwQwW     
  • Our yard is spacious enough for a swimming pool.我们的院子很宽敞,足够建一座游泳池。
  • The room is bright and spacious.这房间很豁亮。
8 merging 65cc30ed55db36c739ab349d7c58dfe8     
  • Many companies continued to grow by merging with or buying competing firms. 许多公司通过合并或收买竞争对手的公司而不断扩大。 来自英汉非文学 - 政府文件
  • To sequence by repeated splitting and merging. 用反复分开和合并的方法进行的排序。
9 triangular 7m1wc     
  • It's more or less triangular plot of land.这块地略成三角形。
  • One particular triangular relationship became the model of Simone's first novel.一段特殊的三角关系成了西蒙娜第一本小说的原型。
10 tarpaulin nIszk     
  • The pool furniture was folded,stacked,and covered with a tarpaulin.游泳池的设备都已经折叠起来,堆在那里,还盖上了防水布。
  • The pool furniture was folded,stacked,and covered with a tarpaulin.游泳池的设备都已经折叠起来,堆在那里,还盖上了防水布。
11 planks 534a8a63823ed0880db6e2c2bc03ee4a     
(厚)木板( plank的名词复数 ); 政纲条目,政策要点
  • The house was built solidly of rough wooden planks. 这房子是用粗木板牢固地建造的。
  • We sawed the log into planks. 我们把木头锯成了木板。
12 vertical ZiywU     
  • The northern side of the mountain is almost vertical.这座山的北坡几乎是垂直的。
  • Vertical air motions are not measured by this system.垂直气流的运动不用这种系统来测量。
13 curiously 3v0zIc     
  • He looked curiously at the people.他好奇地看着那些人。
  • He took long stealthy strides. His hands were curiously cold.他迈着悄没声息的大步。他的双手出奇地冷。
14 oars c589a112a1b341db7277ea65b5ec7bf7     
n.桨,橹( oar的名词复数 );划手v.划(行)( oar的第三人称单数 )
  • He pulled as hard as he could on the oars. 他拼命地划桨。
  • The sailors are bending to the oars. 水手们在拼命地划桨。 来自《简明英汉词典》
15 oar EH0xQ     
  • The sailors oar slowly across the river.水手们慢慢地划过河去。
  • The blade of the oar was bitten off by a shark.浆叶被一条鲨鱼咬掉了。
16 stark lGszd     
  • The young man is faced with a stark choice.这位年轻人面临严峻的抉择。
  • He gave a stark denial to the rumor.他对谣言加以完全的否认。
17 den 5w9xk     
  • There is a big fox den on the back hill.后山有一个很大的狐狸窝。
  • The only way to catch tiger cubs is to go into tiger's den.不入虎穴焉得虎子。
18 notches be2894ea0263799fb95b9d050d295b3d     
n.(边缘或表面上的)V型痕迹( notch的名词复数 );刻痕;水平;等级
  • The Indians cut notches on a stick to keep count of numbers. 印第安人在棒上刻V形凹痕用来计数。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • They cut notches in the handle of their pistol for each man they shot. 他们每杀一个人就在枪托上刻下一个V形记号。 来自辞典例句
19 racing 1ksz3w     
  • I was watching the racing on television last night.昨晚我在电视上看赛马。
  • The two racing drivers fenced for a chance to gain the lead.两个赛车手伺机竞相领先。
20 stolid VGFzC     
  • Her face showed nothing but stolid indifference.她的脸上毫无表情,只有麻木的无动于衷。
  • He conceals his feelings behind a rather stolid manner.他装作无动于衷的样子以掩盖自己的感情。
21 navigating 7b03ffaa93948a9ae00f8802b1000da5     
v.给(船舶、飞机等)引航,导航( navigate的现在分词 );(从海上、空中等)横越;横渡;飞跃
  • These can also be very useful when navigating time-based documents, such as video and audio. 它对于和时间有关的文档非常有用,比如视频和音频文档。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
  • Vehicles slowed to a crawl on city roads, navigating slushy snow. 汽车在市区路上行驶缓慢,穿越泥泞的雪地。 来自互联网
22 dire llUz9     
  • There were dire warnings about the dangers of watching too much TV.曾经有人就看电视太多的危害性提出严重警告。
  • We were indeed in dire straits.But we pulled through.那时我们的困难真是大极了,但是我们渡过了困难。
23 bleak gtWz5     
  • They showed me into a bleak waiting room.他们引我来到一间阴冷的会客室。
  • The company's prospects look pretty bleak.这家公司的前景异常暗淡。
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