"As soon as his shift ended . . . Xavier lay down in his [bunk]. Now he was no longer working or talking his thoughts grew darker. He felt breathless. He felt the cold of the Atlantic surround him. He remembered the thousands who had perished in that bitterly cruel sea. He felt the crushing pressure of the water just outside the hull. He imagined how much worse it would be when the ship submerged as it would. He thought about his family and how they would grieve.
He realized that he was catching the thoughts of the men around him. For all their discipline; for all their bonhomie and horseplay; they were very frightened men. And out of the shared fear of the crew grew their extraordinary courage."