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exacting specifications. Twice the crew departed only to be driven back by gales. Finally on December 27 they set out for good on their five-year adventure. And the first thing Darwin learned was the agony of seasickness. He was ill almost the entire voyage scarcely able to get out of his hammock whenever the ship was at sea. He passed the tortuous hours reading the books he had brought along Alexander von Humboldts Personal Narrative Miltons Paradise Lost and a copy of the New Testament in Greek. Finding it impossible to even stand up without becoming seasick Darwin wondered if he made a serious mistake. The Beagles first stop was Tenerife in the Canary Islands but upon arrival the crew faced a quarantine of twelve days because England was in the middle of a cholera epidemic. FitzRoy did not hesitate. Up jib he ordered and to Darwins horror they sailed off immediately. Not only did Darwin want to visit the island he desperately wanted to stand on dry land. Fortunately the break he needed was not far off. On January 16 the Beagle reached Saint Jago in the Cape Verde Islands 300 miles off the African coast. Expecting it to be uninteresting Darwin found it electrifying. He saw for the first time the lush tropical flora he had read about in Humboldts Narrative an account of his visit to South America at the turn of the nineteenth century. It was everything Darwin had dreamed of a tangle of Tamarinds bananas palms a riot of bright colors and strange flowers in striking contrast to the islands black volcanic rocks. To his father he wrote It is utterly useless to say anything about the Scenery-it would be as profitable to explain to a blind man colours as to a person who has not been out of Europe the total dissimilarity of a Tropical view. Law of the Jungle On February 16 1832 they crossed the equator and on February 28 sailed into All Saints Bay at Baha Salvador where Darwin 15