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Sail Away (From Mr NANA, Provincial High School of Kaya)

“I’ve done it. I’m free. Goodbye, old England!” Percy Andrews did a little dance on the deck of the 9-metre yacht which had taken him exactly a hundred and fifty-seven weekends to build. A passing gull, shocked by the dancing figure on the boat below, flew away in alarm. Percy smiled as he remembered how his boss at the post office had taken the news. The poor man’s face had turned pale with surprise. “But, Percy, you’re fifty years old and you’re a postman,” he’d said. “Postmen can’t just go and sail round the world.” “Of course they can”, thought Percy, as he watched the sea slide past the boat. “Englishmen have always been sailors”. And the mentally added his name to the list of the famous – Sir Francis Drake, Captain Cook, Lord Nelson, Sir Francis Chichester, Percy Andrews…
“Why not?” he thought.
But England didn’t seem happy to lose this twentieth century adventurer, and has Percy’s yacht moved slowly away from Plymouth, a grey blanket of fog slid lovingly after him. Percy’s head was full of the Azores and wonderful, exotic beaches, but old mother England had different ideas. “Stay with us, Percy. The world’s too big for an English postman”.
The wind dropped; the fog came down and hid the wide Atlantic.
“Damn! I can’t see a thing”, said Percy, and he began to feel more like a postman than a sailor. He started the engine and steered the yacht in a sad semi-circle back towards Plymouth.
“Tomorrow’s another,” he thought.
“I’ll try again tomorrow”.


1) Why did Percy do a little dance on the deck?
2) How long had it taken him to build the yacht?
3) How did the gull feel when it saw Percy? Why?
4) Why had Percy’s boss been surprised by the news?
5) What did Drake, Cook, Nelson and Chichester have in Common?
6) When the fog came down, it seemed that England was trying to do something. What?
7) Which word in the passage suggests that the fog was like a mother?
8) Before the fog came down, why was Percy feeling excited?
9) Why is it difficult to sail when it’s foggy?
10) Why does the writer say a “sad” semi- circle?
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