As the stories opens, what does the young captain feels?
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Our "young captain" is heading out to command a ship for the very first time in his career. He is ready to pull up anchor in the Gulf of Siam, and he is feeling a bit insecure in his new role. Before heading out he compares himself to the ship, "we seemed to be measuring our fitness for a long and arduous enterprise, the appointed task of both our existences to be carried out." His insecurities lead him to take a five hour watch on the first night by himself, during which time he enjoys the solitude and ability to reflect that it affords him.