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We Are Not Afraid to Die If We Can All Be Together Class 11 English Notes

Please refer to We Are Not Afraid to Die If We Can All Be Together Class 11 English Notes and summary provided below. The following summary and solved questions have been designed as per the latest syllabus and books issued by CBSE, NCERT, and KVS. By going through and learning the below notes for Class 11 English you will be able to understand the entire chapter and easily solve questions in your exams. Also, refer to the Class 11 English Chapter Summary for all chapters in your textbooks.

Class 11 English We Are Not Afraid to Die If We Can All Be Together Summary and Questions

The following We Are Not Afraid to Die If We Can All Be Together Class 11 English Notes and questions answers will help you to easily learn the entire chapter. You will be able to solve all questions in upcoming Class 11 English exams and score better marks


The story, ‘We’re Not afraid to Die-if We Can All Be Together’ is a story of extreme courage and skill exhibited by Gordon Cook, his family and crewmen in a war with water and waves for survival. In July 197 6, the narrator, his wife Mary, son Jonathan and daughter Suzanne set sail from Plymouth, England to duplicate the round-the world voyage made 200 years earlier by Captain James Cook. They took the voyage in their professionally built ship, the Wavewalker, accompanied by two experienced sailors – Larry Vigil, an American and Herb Seigler, a Swiss, to tackle one of the world’s roughest seas – the Southern Indian Ocean.

The first part of the journey, that is, about 105,000 kilometres up to Cape Town passed off very, pleasantly. On the second day out of Cape Town, -they began to encounter strong gales. Gales did not worry the narrator. But the size of the waves was alarming – up to 15 metres, as high as the main mast. On 25th December, the writer’s ship was in the southern Indian Ocean, 3500 kilometres to the east of Cape Town. The family celebrated their new year on board the ship.

At dawn on January 2, the waves were gigantic. Unfriendly weather and gigantic waves compelled the sailors to slow their speed, drop storm jib and take other precautions. The danger was so obvious that the sailors completed life-raft drill, attached lifelines and life jackets.

Suddenly at 6 pm, a tremendous explosion shook the Wavewalker and the author was thrown overboard. The ship was about to capsize when another gigantic wave hit it tossing it upright once again. The author was thrown back onto the deck, his head and ribs smashing against the walls. In spite of his injuries, the narrator took charge of the situation. Somehow he found the wheel, lined up the stem for the next wave and hung on till Mary appeared and took charge of the wheel. Larry and Herb started pumping out water like madmen. The whole starboard side bulged inwards. The narrator managed to cover canvas across the gaps to prevent water from entering the ship. Then came more problems. Their hand pumps stopped working and electric pumps short-circuited. Fortunately, the narrator found a spare electric pump under the chartroom that worked. The entire night was spent in pumping, steering, repairing and sending radio signals. The narrator checked charts and calculated that He Amsterdam, a French scientific base was their only hope.

Sue and Jon were injured but they said that they were not afraid to die if they could all be together. Sue’s head was swollen and she had a deep injury. The narrator became more determined seeing his children’s courage. Finally, they reached lie Amsterdam, a volcanic island where they were welcomed by 28 inhabitants. Thus, the collective strength and never failing optimism of the sailors made it possible for them to come out of the jaws of death. Though Jonathan and Suzanne did not do anything to save Wavewalker but their courage, forbearance, faith and optimism gave extra strength and persistence to the narrator and his team. The bravery of the strong-willed children is noteworthy in the story.

Important Points

  • The narrator’s family is a descendant of Captain James Cook whose round the earth voyages are popular in the history. After 200 years of Cook’s chain of journeys, the narrator and his little family – wife and two children – set sail in July, 1976 in their hulled boat Wavewalker from Plymouth.
  • Once in the atrocious Southern Indian Ocean, the boat was hit by a gigantic wave, breaking a section of the boat and the ribs broken. Through the hole water streamed in and the boat was nearly sinking. The rest is a war with water and waves for survival.
  • The children knew the end had come yet they said they were ready to die if the family could die all together. Hearing this, the narrator continued his struggles with added strength and finally closed the hole, got the water out of the ship but that was not all – the question of their location in sea was hard to answer.
  • With no access to a radio signal from the land, with no maps nor compass, the narrator made a rough calculation and the ship anchored near Ile Amsterdam, a tiny island.


  • The journey was planned for three years and a distance of 105,000 kilometres.
  • Route plan – Start point England, via South Africa, through Indian Ocean, then to Australia, the Americas and finally back in England.
  • The boat – Wavewalker – was a 23 meter long, 30 ton wooden hulled beauty.
  • Sailors – The narrator, his wife Mary, son Jonathan, 6 years and daughter Suzanne, 7 years, Larry Vigil and Herb Seigler.

July, 1976 – Voyage Begins

  • Voyage begins from Plymouth, England.
  • Good weather and cheerful days.
  • From England via west coast of Africa
  • Larry Vigil, American
  • Herb Seigler, Swis

In the Indian Ocean – December 25

  • Voyagers reaches 3,500 kilometres east of Cape Town.
  • The weather was still atrocious yet they had a wonderful holiday complete with a Christmas tree.
  • New Year’s Day saw no improvement in the weather.

Dawn, January 2 1977

  • Gigantic waves in the morning.
  • Sailing with only a small storm jib and were still making eight knots.
  • Ship rises to the top of each wave
  • Endless, enormous seas rolling towards the ship
  • The screaming of the wind and spray painful to ears

Fighting the Sea

  • The storm jib dropped,
  • A heavy mooring rope in a loop across the stern lashed
  • Double-lashed everything
  • Went through life-raft drill
  • Attached lifelines
  • Donned oilskins and life jackets

6:00 PM, January 2

  • Waves higher than the ship, chase the ship
  • The wave hits the back of the ship
  • The wave breaks the starboard (right side)
  • The ship was about to capsize (sink)
  • Mary (the narrator’s wife) took the steering wheel
  • Larry and Herb pumped the water from the deck
  • An immediate action required
  • Water level rose threateningly
  • Pumps stopped functioning
  • Electric pumps used
  • All radio signals blocked. No communication with base.
  • Sue’s (his daughter’s) eyes bumped against

January 3

  • Survived 48 hours
  • Auxiliary engine failed

January 4

  • Water level almost dipped
  • Still unable to hoist sail on the mast for fear of the ship’s possible wreckage.
  • Hoisted the storm jib
  • Headed to the direction of Ile Amsterdam (not very certain about it)
  • Ate a meal after 48 hours

January 5

  • Weather went on deteriorating (became worse)
  • Jonathan says “Daddy, if we are all dying, we are not afraid to die…”
  • More water flowed in.
  • Sue made a card with her family in the ship as a caricature.
  • Narrator went to sleep after predicting the ship’s reaching

Short Questions and Answers

Question. What happened on 2nd January and what did the writer do?
Answer: – On 2nd January the weather was atrocious. The waves were twice bigger as compared to previous waves. The wind was shrieking, writer came on deck and saw clouds in front of him but suddenly he realised that they were not clouds but a big wave after that writer thought that it would pass but it hit the ship badly and resulted leakages soon, writer decided to repair the damages with the help of screws, canvas and hammer but some leakages were hidden. Therefore, water was entering the boat. Larry and herb were pumping the water outside of boat with the help of hand pumps. When the pumps were blocked writer used an electric pump which controlled the water level inside the ship. When hand pumps were blocked

Question. Who were the people in the voyage?
Answer: – There were six people in the voyage including writer. Except him, there was his wife Mary, son Jonathan, daughter Suzzane and crew men, American Larry Vigil, and Swiss Herb Seigler.

Question. Why did writer call Amsterdam as most beautiful island on earth?
Answer: – When writer reached Amsterdam which was a French scientific base. That was not a green place with cultivation. It was only a deserted island with a patch of grass but still writer called this land, the most beautiful island because it had saved their life.

Question. Describe the ship Wavewalker.
Answer: – The ship was 23 meter long and 30 ton wooden hulled and it was tested even in the roughest weather. It was made especially for the long voyages.

Long Questions and Answers

Question. What difference do you notice between the reactions of adults and children when face to danger?
Answer: – The adults give in to stress and panic in face of danger the author took sufficient measures to protect the ship when faced with a rough weather the lifelines oil cans and waterproof jackets were in place the ship was steeled in the best manner it could and they all face the storm believingly each one of them was an embodiment of courage, determination, responsibility and resourcefulness. They understood the gravity of the situation and the realistic children on the other hand were largely unaware of the danger exposed by the storm and the difficulty it could cause for them on their part they tried to keep their father stress free by not talking about their own problems they showed great maturity in keeping their problems to their self when their parents very busy.

Question. How does the story suggest optimism helps in situation of stress?
Answer: – The story instills a feeling of optimism and bravery within us the way the entire family reacted in the face of death shows the courage they had even under intense stress and panic they cope with the situation as best as they could. The children showed maturity beyond their years and all of them faced adversity with determination. The spirit of optimism helped them to conquer the worst situation many a times in life we are faced with dangerous experiences and stare at death in the faces quality required to overcome dangerous situations are taught in the story. “We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together”.
The author and his family are portrait as best examples of bravery. Life is full of struggle and we cannot escape situations that are hazardous and dangerous. Situation is not to run away but to face them with at most courage like the narrator did determination, calmness and courage are the qualities in the phase of difficulties, Determination to fight the situation and calmness to analyse and handle the situation in a proper manner just like in the chapter children motivate their parents. Similarity in real life motivation is important.

Question. Justify the name of the chapter We’re Not Afraid to Die…if We Can All Be Together.
Ans. Challenges faced by the crew during the storm points towards trust, togetherness and optimism in the face of an adverse situation although Wavewalker could not withstand the natures fury the courage and the convenience shown by the crew made sure that they reach safely the title is absolutely appropriate.

We Are Not Afraid to Die If We Can All Be Together Class 11 English Notes

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