Be grounded by uniformly textured and shaded variants, originating from a raw, unpolished source. Quartz is not only adaptable to suit your personalised finish, but it can also withstand scratches, heat and moisture to last you a long time.


No one noticed; the audience was tired by that time. We arrived in Yokahama on a cold November early morning and anchored in the roads. The officers were bad-tempered after a testing trip through the Inland Sea on Honshu Island the busiest waterway in the world, crammed with every craft imaginable and fraught with every conceivable aspect of bad maritime manners. I was on the bridge as we came into Yokohama Bay, manning the engine telegraph, swinging the big brass handle to the Old Man’s instructions, from ‘Full Ahead’, through ‘Slow Ahead’, to ‘Dead Slow. LJ sent me down to the main-deck to meet the pilot, who leapt from his launch onto the white wooden pilot-ladder that hung over the side, clambering up and over the rail. The bridge was crowded: the Old Man – always there when going in and out of port; the chief officer, LJ – because he was the officer of the watch; Ben the senior cadet/fourth officer – who was LJ’s shadow; the AB – who was on the wheel, because auto-steering was dispensed with when manoeuvring; the second AB of the watch – to take turn at the wheel and to be there for anything that needed doing; the pilot; and me – general dogsbody. The Vexilla crept slowly through the other ships at anchor in the pre-dawn. When we reached our anchorage-spot, the engines were nudged ‘Slow Astern’, and when the churning wash from the propeller was level with the bridge, the call was given to the third mate on the fo’c’sle to let go the anchor. The chain paid out evenly as we slid astern, paying out six cables (a cable is 15 fathoms or 90 feet). For a big sea-going vessel, it’s the weight of the chain that keeps the ship fixed, not the anchor itself.

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