Midshipman Hollom commits suicide by jumping off the side of the ship while holding a cannonball. The sight of his upturned face slowly fading out of sight as he sank downwards is haunting.
The scene during a huge storm where the Surprise loses a mast, and the sailors have to cut it loose fast or the ship will turn sideways to the waves and be rolled over. And there's one man still clinging to the ropes, watching his shipmates cut him loose, screaming for them to just wait for him - and his best friend is one of those taking an axe to the ropes, because he knows he has no choice.
19th century surgery on a warship. "Don't worry, it's just the laudanum talking." "It's just the laudanum talking" is Maturin's way of helping Blakeney save some face. Real men — even thirteen-year-olds having an arm amputated — don't cry. Luckily, Maturin is a genuine physician, not some ex-butcher or ex-barber with a chopper and a bucket of tar.note Another piece of Nightmare Fuel is how some "doctors" cut arms off - saw halfway through the bone, then snap through the rest and pull the arm free.