1958- The Flying Marlin was deep in the Atlantic Ocean, no one in history could quite say where- but it was deep in the swirling storms of the Atlantic. The beautiful Flying Marlin ship has begun to take on water and the crew wonders what to do next. What do you do when you’re working on the poop deck of a fishing boat and your Northern starboard begins to flood with water?
You speak with The Captain.
The Crew of the Flying Marlin raced to The Captain’s corridor and knocked hesitantly at the door.
“Sir. I uh, I mean Captain.” Said the First Mate; a bit quieter than he should have.
“What it is friends!?” The Captain replied with a jovial response.
You see, The Captain never liked a stern ship. He kept the Flying Marlin calm and efficient. The Crew took home a decent pay for fisherman in 1958 and risked their lives about once a month to a hairy situation. This was worse than hairy.
“The ship is sinking, Captain.” The First Mate formally informed The Captain.
The thick copper door swung open and the captain (not completely sober) addressed the crew.
“Alright men, the Flying Marlin is an ol’ gal but we better get her patched up soon or you’ll be delivering our latest bounty to the Devil at bottom of the Sea.
The Crew looked a little bit defeated already.
“Captain, it’s beyond repair. We need to take emergency precautions. I have a wife at home and I would like to see her and my son again.” The First Mate cried.
The Captain put his hand on the First Mate’s shoulder.
“Then let’s get you come, mate.”
The Captain ordered all of the crew to find the life rafts and take immediate (but efficient) choices in order to save the crew. When all of the rafts were set to be deployed one by one by a hoist, the crew got a bit happier and had some hope in their hearts.
The Captain had been looking upon his crew with joy as he smoked his pipe. The Captain wasn’t a big smoker, but he figured if there ever was a time to have a smoke-this was it.
The emergency life rafts were ready to go.
“All younger men first! Lets get these boys home to their family.” The First Mate shouted. Even though he was a young man himself, he knew he had obligations to The Captain.
The Crew followed orders and put the younger crew members on the life rafts. In Theory, this was a kind hearted gesture all thought up by The Captain. It wasn’t until the last life raft was out of site that everyone realized they had just saved their strongest men and The Flying Marlin was left with 16 old men.
These senior portions of The Crew were gentlemen who lived on the sea their whole life. They had been with The Flying Marlin since she first set sail and most of them lost some fingers in the process. Moral was low but no one was giving up.
The Last Minutes
Now, with a ship full of old men in galoshes aboard a vessel that is now taking on massive amounts of the salty sea… The Crew began to panic and the mood was sinking just as quickly as the ship. The Crew of the Flying Marlin began to fight the Atlantic with a bit of a chill down their spine.
“Captain! What now!?” Shouted the First mate from the Southern Side.
The Flying Marlin was in full Titanic Mode.
The Captain stopped puffing his pipe because by now it was raining and he found it annoying to light a match every 30 seconds, only to have it whiffed out by the surrounding elements.
The Captain responded just before the crew got anxious.
“We are going build our own life rafts, gentleman!” The captain informed everyone.
“Find whatever you can and make a life raft. We have some time and I know all of you are good with tools and creativity.”
The Captain pointed to his First Mate.
“We used to install fencing around the old factory together.”
The Captain pointed to his Second Mate.
“We’ve known each other since Mrs. Goldman’s science class!”
The Captain pointed to his Third Mate.
“And we were on the same little league team!”
“Go Badgers!” They said in unison.
“Lets lay this bastard of a ship down and save our lives!” The Captain screamed. The Crew shouted with cheer and hope.
The Crew began to search for all the materials they could find in order to float and stay alive. The situation was the perfect blend of every-man-for-himself- mixed with together-on-the-Flying-Marlin.
Doors. Furniture. Art Work. The crew began using their best imagination and building their life rafts for the chance of surviving this daunting situation.
The Captain was happy and wished he was able to smoke his pipe again because he thought it would be the perfect time. But again, the surrounding conditions weren’t allowing it. The Captain crossed his arms and smiled.
You’d think with the very few skills that The Crew had, it would take some time to build a raft. You’d be surprised at how quick an Old Man can build a life raft when he is facing death at sea. A little over an hour, all of The Crew members had built their own rafts.
Some of them had individual rafts with beautiful nautical furnishings and some men decide to work together and build a group raft to save each other’s lives. The men completed their projects just in time because the ship was sinking fast now and they were awaiting orders from The Captain.
“Captain! We have completed your orders to build ourselves a raft. To our own surprise, it worked out pretty well!” The First mate shouted.
“When shall we set sail!?” Cried the Second Mate.
“We shall set sail immediately! This old girl of a ship is about to guzzle all the water she can handle and I don’t want to be on board when she takes her last breath!” Proclaimed The Captain.
The Crew all looked puzzled at The Captain. The Crew knew why, but the Captain looked puzzled back because he had no idea what was happening.
“What in the hell are you looking at men!? Lets move!” Their Captain ordered.
The First mate removed his hat and brought it to his chest as if he was about to deliver bad news.
“Captain, while we were building our life rafts, we figured you were building one too. Did you not?” The First Mate replied.
“Are you fucking serious!?”
The Captain rarely cursed but he figured now was the perfect time.
The Second Mate took off his hat. The Captain had just seen this move from the First Mate so he braced himself for more bad news.
“Captain, we honestly thought you were going down with the ship once we noticed you just watching us and smiling. I mean, The Flying Marlin is your vessel and when you didn’t move a muscle to make a life raft, we wanted to honor your solitude because we figured you were about to die.” The Second Mate reported.
“I’m not suicidal! I want off of this drafty old ship! Please! One of you must have room for me!” The Captain cried out.
The Crew looked around at each other’s life rafts. Even though they all looked pretty solid, and were all floating quite well by this time- they had no room for a portly, old Captain. And The Captain knew this now.
The Captain removed his hat and placed it to his chest. The crew knew bad news was coming because it’s not like this was an original move or anything.
“My Crew, friends, and family, I wish you the best and hope you get back to land safely. Just be aware that there are quite a few sharks in these waters and that we are probably headed towards a recession of some kind, so maybe find a new profession when you hit dry land.”
Some of The Crew began to cry. At this point, The Captain was on the very last few feet of his ship and the rest of his crew was safely on their rickety rafts. The Captain gave his official hat to his First Mate and saluted him.
“May you all always remember what happened here on The Flying Marlin.”
The Captain whipped out his tobacco pipe and puffed away as he descended into the ocean with The Flying Marlin.
After the last bubble from The Captain’s breathe came to the surface, The Crew took a moment of silence and wiped their tears.
“Men! Lets get to safety!” The First Mate (now Captain) shouted.
The Men began to row their makeshift raft army to shore. It turns out they were not far at all from a rescue ship that was signaled by the first wave of young crew member that left the Flying Marlin earlier. When everyone was rescued, they all realized that they had been selfish not helping The Captain. But it was too late for that because the ugly sea took him under and his body was probably being eaten by the aforementioned sharks.
Years Gone By
Whenever The Crew (especially The First and Second Mate) thought of The Captain they smiled and were inspired by the courage The Captain had. They all told the tale about The Flying Marlin, especially when in the company of The Crew.
Fortunately, most of The Crew took The Captain’s advice and began new careers in carpentry. They realized the craftsmanship of their rafts and saw that they were actually pretty good with tools and wood, especially under pressure. They began a Carpenter’s Union and to this day, The Crew and their next generation of kin still operates out of Maine.
Recently, the local Historic Society holds a day in The Captain’s honor. The town builds tiny creative rafts and sets them all out to sea to sink. It’s terrible for the environment but brings a lot of joy to locals and tourists who heard the Tale of the Flying Marlin.
As far as The Captain? Some say that on a calm, warm summer night, if you salute the Atlantic Sea- you’ll smell the rich tobacco that The Captain puffed with his last breathe.