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Landfall and Departure mark the rhythmical swing of a seaman’s life and of a ship’s career. From land to land is the most concise definition of a ship’s earthly fate. A “Departure” is not what a vain people of landsmen may think. The term “Landfall” is more easily understood; you fall in with the land, and it is a matter of a quick eye and of a clear atmosphere. The Departure is not the ship’s going away from her port any more than the Landfall can be looked upon as the synonym of arrival. But there is this difference in the Departure: that the term does not imply so much a sea event as a definite act entailing a process—the precise observation of certain landmarks by means of the compass card.

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