After the book’s success, the same newspaper syndicate dispatched Crane to write about the West and Mexico, and in 1897 Crane headed to Cuba to cover the insurrection against Spain. On the way there, he met his future lifelong companion, Cora Howard Taylor, the proprietress of a rundown hotel where he was staying. After The Commodore sank, Crane and four of his shipmates spent a day in a 10-foot lifeboat before they reached Daytona Beach. Crane published an account in a New York newspaper five days later, and “The Open Boat” was published in Scribner’s magazine the following June. Crane later covered the war between Greece and Turkey, and settled in England, where he befriended Joseph Conrad, . Wells, and Henry James.
From the first sentence of the story, when the men were unaware of the sky’s color, color has played a significant role in Crane’s imagery. Late in the story, the correspondent ses that “the sea and the sky were each of the gray hue of the dawning. Later, carmine and gold was painted upon the waters. The morning appeared finally, in its splendor, with a sky pure blue, and the sunlight flamed on the tips of the waves” (Crane 73). Noticeably, the open sea is always described in drab colors that evoke hopelessness. In contrast, other aspects of nature are described vibrantly.