Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Demonic Fury off Cape Horn (a short story)

Demonic Fury off
Cape Horn

It was a frightfully chilled morning (October, 17, 2010), the blustery weather was fearsome. The morning winds around Cape Horn rocked the ship—shaking its futtlock (rib of the ship), the Via Australis, with its ninety-passengers. I hesitantly went to open the door, of the third deck lounge—similar in location to an older ship’s poop (the enclosed structure at the stern of a ship, above the main deck), a big heavy wrought iron door, I ascended over the bottom part of the iron door frame, as the door swung open, and hit the right side of the ship with a heavy and awfully surprised bag, too heavy to pull back in place for me, outside was this demonic fury of wind and water, I tried to push forward, grabbing the taffrail (rail around the stern of the ship), the winds rushed at me—likened to a football player bombarding you, I was to the elements, the absolute perfect obstacle to lift and push around, with its invisible passion, its intensity was overwhelming, I wrenched my hands tighter around the rail, lashing firmly into a solid stance—my wife behind me—little and as light as she is, hugging my body as if in a bear hug, had she not, she would have been dragged away like a rag doll into its deadly waters. Both my legs got struck awkwardly by the force of the winds, and my spine had to fight to lean forward against it. My face, its flesh stuck to my bones, the waves in the water smashed against the starboard side of the ship (right side of the ship when facing forward), as I made my way to the port side (left side), Rosa’s face was pink from the cold water and wind hitting it, as it twisted around the ship to its bow.
I was breathing with difficulty, with the winds hitting my face, and the waters of the Drake Passage being tossed and lifting three stories high onto the third deck, and this I was told later on was a normal morning.
All in all, it was I suppose, going well, while the bombardment was knocking the ship off its smooth sailing.
‘Here,’ I thought—Where two oceans meet each other, one six inches lower than the other, ‘was where both oceans were fighting one another to dominate the Drake Passage’ around the Horn—where I would be climbing up her stone walls in just one hour. My second-self told me, ‘You’re ridiculous to be out in this open weather’ the weather had horns and hands and was like a bull trying to ram me, wham against the wall of the ship, as if it was crazy drunk.
I continued to grapple with the elements and ship as the waves and winds pounded her lower decks—reaching slightly to the third level—as previously mentioned, thus, rocking the ship to and fro. Then after awhile, perhaps twenty-minutes, the boat stopped rocking—settling down to a smoother voyage, and carefully I made my way back to the door entrance, it was too heavy for me to close, a crewman was available, and did it for me—the door slightly had jammed. My cloths were soaked through. And then as I looked outside the large bay type window, the wind had died down, completely died down, and Cape Horn was in sight.
It was no big cyclonic event, for this area of the world, where legend says 10,000 seamen, and 800-ships have suck to her bottom some ten-thousand feet below—a terrible physical reality, and nearly 20,000-feet in the center of the Drake Passage, but it was for me, a morning rush, if not a little scary.

No: 780 (3-22-2011)