Saturday, May 30, 2015

Short Story: Frozen Ship

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By Creator:George Grie (Own work, [1]) [Public domain, GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

                   Frozen Ship

 By Floyd Looney
 

 December 31, 1866

94th day. The charting of the southern sea is going well, our maps will become standard for the ships passing to the Pacific on this route. I am proud of the crew, we have pulled through the rough seas and have now found calm seas. A sea calmer than I have ever seen. I have full confidence that we shall arrive in Portsmouth ahead of schedule.

January 2, 1867

96th day. We fired cannons into the empty seas to celebrate the New Year. I passed around some of the last libations in the stores to the crew, solemn in the contemplation of this happy day. I note that tears and singing of sad melodies could be heard for hours after the end of daylight.

January 3, 1876

I gave the order to turn about and make haste for home. The men worked hard as they looked forward to seeing England again!

January 4, 1867

98th day at sea. 98 days ago we left London and it was just a few weeks ago we reached the southern region we are commanded to chart to find a new path to the Pacific. At first the sea was much too rough to consider for routine traffic but the farther south we went I can attest that things did improve. Where we are now the sea is calm,nary a movement has been spotted on the surface for well over a week.

One of the crew seems to have lost his mind during the night and jumped overboard. He was screaming about walking to Tierra del Fuego and how the rest of us were the ones that were mad. It is not an uncommon occurrence that long voyages can make some men crazy. Supplies are running low, morale is falling among the remaining crew, as cold weather is wont to cause.

January 8, 1867

102nd day. The Captain has fallen ill, I - Commander Laury, have taken charge of the ship for the meantime. Reading these logs is distressing, for I fear the Captain must have lost his mind weeks ago. We are surrounded by a desert of ice as far as the eye can see, the ship creaks and pops as it is slowly crushed by the force of the ice. Even firing cannons does not break up this ice. Half the crew have frozen to death, many more are frostbitten in their hands and feet, missing fingers and toes.

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