I directed the boats to move their oars as gently as possible, just enough to stem the current, and not to talk, or even whisper. Being able to expend half an hour here unseen was a great event for us, to allow it to become darker, as everything depended upon our being able to reach the vessel unseen. At last I judged it dark enough, and we dropped silently down upon our prey literally without moving an oar until we were close alongside of her. These were anxious moments for me, knowing how hazardous it is to climb a vessel's side and make good a footing upon the deck without being knocked on the head; however, in this, as in everything else, fortune favoured us. When within a boat's length of the vessel, one of the watch (who had apparently just awoke out of a sleep) cried out, "Boat, ahoy! boat, ahoy!"