There he was, gone.

J. R. Carpenter.


a corner of an aviation map depicting an area of rugged coastline
a nautical chart indicating anchorage, depths, and rip tides surrounding an island of indeterminate scale bearing the name Ile Haute, French for 'Tall Island'
Creating long horizontal lines of text in a web context is neither an obvious nor an easy thing to do. set sail Like text that is handwritten, typed, or printed on a page of paper, when unformatted HTML text reaches the far right edge of a web 'page' it will automatically line-break and return to the far left margin. on home sick By default, text overflow will cause a web page to vertically scroll. ship shape The horizontally scrolling browser window may be situated in within an ancient textual tradition. house wreck Scrolls of papyri and parchment have a much longer history than the conventions of the paper page and the printed book. steer by star light The referents for horizontally scrolling text within a fixed browser window, however, emerge from a much more recent media ecology. dead of night reckoning Among the first mediations of horizontally scrolling text was Morse code as it was output as small holes punched on long narrow strips of paper, which came to be known as ticker tape as it was used to print stock prices coming in over the telegraph wire. know which way the wind blows Telegraphic text had no mechanism for a line break. know where the fish are The ticker tape passed through the fixed 'window' of the receiver in a manner similar to the way a typewriter ribbon passes in front of the keys or a film passes in front of a projector. know where the rocks aren'tThe first computer memory was paper tape punched with holes.
Maps dating back to the early 1500s refer to an isle of birds off the coast of Newfoundland. we arrive and we have only just ceased leaving After his departure from Cape Bonavista in 1534, Cartier made a second landfall at an island which he named l'Isle des Ouaisseaulx (Isle of Birds) because it was covered with snow-white, nesting birds, while a feathered umbrella of thousands more were flying and screeching.>
we coast along edges <img src= ledges In a map of 1555, the French privateer, explorer, and navigator Guillaume le Testu more prosaically calls an island in this region I. Puanto (Stinking Island). legible lines Until the 1800s, the island of Funk was commonly called Penguin, in reference to the Great Auk which nested there in the thousands. caught in a double bind According to the Oxford English Dictonary, the word 'penguin' originates from the late 16th century (originally denoting the great auk): possibly of Welsh origin, from pen gwyn meaning 'white head.' writing and erasing It would be another two-hundred and fifty years before humans of any nationality would set foot on Antarctica. By they time they arrived the Great Auk had been hunted out of existence. The southern bird we now know as Penguin is haunted by the absence of its northern double. we write questions From the time of the first voyages to the cod-fishing grounds off Newfoundland there have been reports of an Isles des Diables, an Isola des Demonias, an Île des Démons, an Island of Demons reputedly inhabited by a curious mixture of wild animals, mythological creatures, evil spirits, and demons. call answers In Les Singularitez de la France Antarctique, a account of a voyage along the entire coast of the Americas undertaken in 1555, the French Royal Cosmographer, explorer, scholar, and Franciscan Friar André Thevet observes that the region is 'merueilleusemêt froide'. keen for replies In 1542 Jean-Francois de La Rocque, Sieur de Roberval, Viceroy of Canada, sailed for Newfoundland with three ships, two hundred colonists, and his niece Marguerite de La Roque, who entered into a passionate love affair with one of the young officers on board. Immediately upon discovery of this affair, Roberval set his niece, her lover, her nurse, and four guns ashore at the first land he came to, a small, deserted island somewhere along the north east coast of Newfoundland, between St. John’s and the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. one coastline implies another, implores a far shore Two years and five months later a passing Basque fishing boat rescued Marguerite, the sole survivor of this ordeal. sure, we’ve set foot here before The narrative of Marguerite de La Roque on the Island of Demons has been retold and rewritten over the centuries and continues to resonate in contemporary Canadian literature. horizon line far as eye can see islands sea There was a woman named Marguerite de La Roque and she was stranded on an island off Newfoundland for two years and five months. But where was this island? Historians, cartographers, biographers, novelists, poets, and local inhabitants the region all disagree. between you and me an endless unknown ocean  The difficulty in locating the locus of this narrative is due in large part to the imperfect understanding of the North American coastline in the sixteenth-century.