A much-loved member of The Gunroom (the mailing list dedicated to Patrick O'Brian "...and everything else...") has passed away. At 5:46 P.M., I shall raise a glass to the memory of Gary, a gentleman if there ever was one. Another "lissum" (member of the mailing list) posted this quote from 21 (the final, unfinished installment in the Aubrey-Maturin series), so I post it here as well.
Quietly indeed they sailed along, with gentle breezes that wafted them generally northwards at something in the nature of five miles in the hour, northwards to even warmer seas. Little activity was called for, apart from the nice adjustment of the sails, and although the exact routine of the ship was never relaxed nor her very strict rules of cleanliness, these long sunny days with a soldier's wind seemed to many the ideal of a seaman's life—regular, steady traditional meals with the exact allowance of grog, hornpipes in the last dogwatch, the deep melody of the Doctor's 'cello from the cabin and the cheerful sound of the gunroom's dinner: the future lost in a haze somewhere north of the equator.