Friday, June 19, 2015


'Being the Journal of Mid-Shipman Jamie Pip. Royal Navy Cadet.

HMS Foretina, May 12th, 1903

I stood "Bow Watch" from quarter noon till sundown. Observed, and reported a French steamer on the starboard horizon. Post noon a Spanish Ironclad "Man 'o War"crossed us heading east then turned true north.

Twin rainbows sighted 12 degrees to port. A great storm has skirted us.

...for now.

Most enchanting however at dusk a Pod of Blue Whales rode our bow break. How graceful they glided as they sang to each other.


HMS Foretina, May 14th 1903

17 degrees N/NW of the Isle San Angelica de Isabella. 

It is a full Moon this night, and the North Star is to port. Orion with his three sisters drifts in the sky at our windward. 

The Foretina sings.

At night she sings. From her rigging's sails boards comes music. Her timbers groan her bow a soft choir, and oh how cleanly she cleaves the sea.

The ships bell chimes as a call to prayer.


HMS Foretina May 17th, 1903

A new lad came aboard by launch from the port of Isabella. His name is Allabad Wellington. He is kindly in disposition, and comely in appearance.

A "Black 'a Moor" he is, and poetic in his speech.

I though a Jew shall be so forward as to befriend him. Perhaps he will smile upon me if I gift him my slim though precious volume of Sufi poems, and prayers.


The 21st of May 1903,

9 degrees E/NE of Saint George's Atoll.

The a fore mentioned gales have caught up with us! We suffer within her sharp teeth! The Captain has ordered we sail into the wind. Waves lash the decks The sea looms over us. Fish rain down as "Manna".

Cook says, "...if we ain't pulled to the bottom we'll eat well this night!"

So fearful yet beautiful is this.

The sky a blur of color, Bright arcs of lightning dance on every horizon. The sea illuminated the masts ignited by "Saint Elmo's Fire!"

The bow digs deep yet rises again the rigging makes her strange music. The good "Foretina" yaws hard to port then starboard then again even more deeply.

The eyes of the younger Cadets are wide with terror yet wonder too. So it was for a night, and a day.

Fading drifting sand in a gentle wind...

A dream, why.....the ship the storm Allabad faded slowly..vanished.

Even myself...gone.


I'm reading a book. One made of linen. It's pages it's leaves flutter in the breeze. It speaks to me this linen book. Telling not only the written story within, but how it came to be.

How it was cut sewn stitched. How the words were so slowly, and carefully threaded together.

This book of cloth told me of it's inner life. About the lives the ways of all the books like her.

Then gone. the "Foretina" gone.


I enter another world in mid-sentence.

Friends. Three women friends of which I am one. In dreams you live whole lives in moments. I entered a world with life long friends about me.

I yearned to tell the 'secret' my great, and terrible secret. What for them was a lifetime was for me a moments fancy as I lay asleep in another world.

We sat, and laughed at the folly of the world. A world I was about to leave. Leave, and forget. This world, and my 'momentary' friends will vanish.

Leaving not even dust.


I awaken with the fragments of lives on the tip of my tongue. Fragments which as the moments passed melt away to nothing.


Stay Tuned.


  1. Beautifully written and imagined. I particularly like the name Allabad Wellington.

    By the way, if the North Star is overhead, it means you are at the North Pole. Orion is a he. I don't know if 14 May 1903 was a full moon night, but it's the kind of thing you can look up in an ephemeris or some other such reference.

    Gales would scare the crap outta me. Back then there were no weather satellites nor, I think, marine radio to warn you to avoid them. Wooden ships used to vanish with all hands pretty often, back in the day.

    I hope you're feeling better, and don't forget to eat!


  2. I knew i was making mistakes along the way. 'But it's the thought that counts. I'll make corrections directly.

    Actually I love storms...if they aren't to messy or deadly. Come from living in this part of the country I guess. Yes there was no wireless or the international weather watch yet in the time frame of the story.

    Those things were a few decades in the future.

    Thanks I'm better, and yes eating. Thing is I have zero appetite. So it's hard to remember to eat. However I did make a yummy stew this evening, and even remembered to ea some so I'm doing okay. thanks for caring Comrade!

    Peace through the Freed Lunch, and Free Tuition!

  3. Btw the full moon was on 'May 11th',1903. I was three days off....bleep it close enough! If I even publish my damned book of rants ravings stories, and rememberings I'll fix it...for now I'm too sleepy. Thanks for the proof reading're a swell Comrade