Nautical Chaos

By JSRobertson


Seaview was preparing to shove-off from her home port in Santa Barbara.  She would be heading to Groton, Connecticut for dry dock where her engines and propellers would be rebuilt.   It had been sometime since her engines had a total overhaul so Admiral Harriman Nelson, the owner and builder of the submarine, and his Captain, Lee Crane decided it was a good time to have the work completed as they had no missions scheduled for the next two months.   Once Seaview arrived, it would take workers a month or more to complete the job.


Janet Crane, Lee’s wife, was working at her desk when the phone rang.   “Good morning, Janet Crane,” she answered.

“Hi Mrs. C,” Sharkey’s familiar voice answered back.   “The Skipper wanted to know when the new raft you ordered arrived.   We’re unloading it now.”

“Thanks Chief,” she replied.  “I’ll let him know.”

“Let me know what?” Lee asked as he stood in the doorway to Janet’s office.

“The raft we ordered is being unloaded and Sharkey said you wanted to know.”

“Yes, I was hoping to look it over.  I’ll go down to the sub pen when I’m finished here, but right now I need your help.

Janet looked at her husband and noticed he had several sheets of paper in his hand.  “What do you need me to do?”

“This was supposed to be scanned over to the shipyard yesterday, but it got buried on my desk,” he replied sheepishly.  “It’s the signed contract for the work to be done on the boat.  Could you please call them and let them know what happened and then scan it to them?”

“Yes, Lee, I’ll take care of it.  I even reminded you about it,” Janet retorted as she got up from her desk and took the papers from him.

“Thanks, sweetie,” Lee replied and gave her a kiss.   “We’ll have lunch when I return from the sub pen.”

“I’ll come with you so I can bring the cruise packet down to the boat.  Besides, I need to check out how many uniforms you have and what cold weather gear I have on the boat.   I know the temperature is always the same on Seaview but when we go under the Polar ice cap, it feels colder. Just let me tell Angie we’re leaving the office,” Janet said as she grabbed her sweater from the back of her chair and changed her shoes from the high heels into her flats.

She made her way to Angie’s office and told her where they would be.  By the time she returned to her office, Chip had found out about the trip to the sub pen and would join them.

Lee helped her with her sweater, she grabbed the cruise packet after putting in a copy of the signed contract in the folder and they headed for the elevators.


They ventured down to the sub pen and were met on the dock by Jonas and Alex, the guards on duty.

“Good afternoon, Captain, Mr. Morton, Mrs. Crane,” they said.

“Hi men,” Lee replied as he watched the dock hands load some of the supplies into the boat. 

They walked down the gangway to the service hatch where Lee went down the ladder first, followed by Janet and then Chip.

“We’ll meet you back here in the observation nose when we’re done in the missile room,” Lee told Janet as she put the clipboard with the roster on the charting table.

“Okay,” Janet replied and headed up the spiral staircase to her office and then their cabin.

Lee and Chip made their way out the aft hatch to the missile room.   When they arrived, Sharkey had the raft sitting in the middle of the room. 

They looked over the raft and were surprised how compact it was.  It was a self-contained raft that weighed only sixty-three pounds and held four people.

As Lee read over the directions on how to inflate and deflate it, Sharkey asked, “Skipper, where do you want me to store this?”

“Put it aboard the flying sub,” Lee replied.

“The flying sub, sir?” Sharkey asked.   “Are we going to be taking her out on this cruise.”

“No, not that I’m aware of but just in case we need to use her, I want her equipped with cold weather gear.  How many dry scuba suits do we have?”

“We have twelve, sir,” Sharkey responded.

“Put four on the flying sub along with six of the emergency Mylar survival blankets, MRE’s, water, and four parkas.  Make sure you include the one piece inter-liners for the scuba suits.”

“Yes, sir,” Sharkey answered knowing Lee liked to be prepared for anything.

“Chip, is there anything more we should have aboard?”

“No, I think you’ve covered it all,” Chip replied mentally going over the list Lee gave Sharkey.

“Chief, will we be ready to shove-off tomorrow morning?” Lee asked.

‘Yes, this is the last load to be stowed,” Sharkey replied as the crane set the last skid of supplies on the deck.

“Thanks, Chief,” Lee said as he and Chip left the missile room and headed forward to the control room.


Janet went to her office and put her cruise packet on the desk.  She kept her cold-weather gear in the drawers under the bunk as there wasn’t enough room for them in Lee’s cabin.   She noted she had a couple of fleece shirts, sweaters, and woolen socks.  She would bring some more sweaters, socks and pants.   She returned to their cabin and checked to see what Lee had and added the items he needed to her list.  She left the cabin and returned to the control room just as Lee and Chip were entering the aft hatch.

“Ready for lunch?” Lee asked.

“Yes,” Janet replied and put the list in her dress pocket and followed Chip up the ladder out of the control room.

The three of them headed to the cafeteria for lunch before returning to the office.


It was 1900 hours by the time Lee, Chip and Janet left for the day.  They would report back to the sub pen at 0800 hours to make sure Seaview was ready to depart at 1000 hours.  

After a quick dinner, Lee and Janet went upstairs to pack for the four weeks they would be on the East coast while the boat was under repairs.  She took the list out her pocket and started packing what she needed. She had filled her duffle bag and needed another suitcase for the rest of her gear.

“What are your packing?” Lee asked seeing her with an additional bag.

“Honey, I have to pack for a whole month, and winter clothes take up more space.


Chuckling Lee looked at the list Janet gave him showing what he had on the boat.  As he started to fill his duffle bag, he realized he too was running out of room.  When Janet went to the bathroom to get some items, he put some clothes in her extra suitcase.

“What are these?” Janet asked looking at a couple of pair of black and blue jeans, several turtlenecks and a denim shirt that Lee had put in her suitcase.

Lee was stooped down in the closet looking for a pair of boots, turned around and looked at her through his long lashes, “Sorry, I couldn’t fit those items in my duffle and I saw you had some room,” he replied guiltily.

She could never resist that look and answered, “No problem, I can fit these items in there too,” she replied as she squeezed her items between his.

Finally, they had everything packed, brought the bags downstairs and put them by the door.  They went back upstairs where they got ready for bed.  Janet pulled back the blankets and climbed in where Lee joined her a few minutes later but sleep was the last thing on their minds.  After making passionate love, Lee wrapped his arms around his wife and they both fell asleep.


Lee and Janet woke up early the next morning, ate breakfast and loaded the bags in the car for the short trip to the sub pen.  Lee parked their SUV and was unloading the bags and suitcase while Janet grabbed Lee’s briefcase and her purse.   Before they closed the hatch, Chip and Julie pulled up next to them.  As they got out of the car, Chip looked at all the gear Lee had sitting on the pavement.

“You moving to the East coast?” Chip teased hefting his duffle bag out of the back of his car.

“Remember, we’re going to be gone a month, and winter clothes take up more room,” Lee answered. 

Janet looked at Lee and groaned.   “Good morning, Julie, Chip,” Janet said shaking her head at Lee.

Lee picked up the two bags and started to carry them when Kowalski, Patterson and Riley came up behind them and took the duffle bags and suitcase from Lee and Chip.

“We’ll see that these get aboard,” Kowalski told them.

“Thanks, men,” Lee replied as he took the briefcase from Janet who was walking with Julie.  This would the first time Chip was going on a cruise since he and Julie got married and Janet could see she was unhappy.

“I didn’t think it would be this hard to say good bye,” she told Janet.  “He’s left before we were married but it’s different this time.   Did you ever have to say good bye to Lee and not go on the cruise?”

“Yes, just one time and I couldn’t even say good bye, as I had the flu and Jamie wouldn’t let me anywhere near the boat.  It was very hard not to be able to say good bye,” Janet replied. 

As they proceeded to the dock area, Lee asked, “Are you going to meet Julie in New York after we dock?”

“Yes, she found out she is going to the conference after all,” Chip responded.  “We’ll stay there for a few days before heading to Chicago to visit my parents.  You know, you and Janet can come with us to Chicago.”

“No, thanks for the offer, but we’ll stay on the East coast while the boat’s under-going the overhaul in case there’re any problems so I’ll be there to handle it.”

“If you change your mind, just let me know,” Chip replied as they made their way down to the dock platform.

Since Seaview’s engines would be overhauled on the East coast, the crew would scatter across the country taking advantage of their time off before returning to the Institute.  Each crew member would get three week’s shore leave but would have to work one week in another department at the Institute.   Harry would stay at his home in Boston for the first week and then accompany his sister, Edith, to Florida for the rest of his time off.   Lee and Janet would spend the first week with him as it had been some time since they had stayed with him and missed seeing Edith, Cora and Alfred, Harry’s housekeeper and her husband.   They would then go to Lee’s moms for the rest of the time. She had moved to a house by the ocean so Lee would be able to use FS-1 to fly to Groton if there was a problem with the overhaul. She would be there only one week before she left for an assignment in Europe.   Chip had volunteered to return to the institute to take care of things there since Julie had to report back to the police department after the conference and he didn’t want to be away from her for that long.  He would have the time off but would check in one day a week and if something came up he would handle it.   Once Seaview’s overhaul was completed, he would ride back on the charter flight with the rest of the crew and report to the boat.

Lee and Janet boarded the boat while Chip gave Julie a kiss and hug good bye.  “See you in a few days,” he told her as she gave him another hug.

He walked down the gangway and into the service hatch turning around one last time to wave good bye.  Julie waited until he entered the hatch before walking back to the parking lot.  


Lt’s. O’Brien and Jenkins were on the dock checking in the crew members as they reported in.  They saluted the admiral as he made his way to the gangway.

“Good morning, sir,” they said.

“Morning.  Are Captain Crane and Mr. Morton aboard?” he asked.

“Yes, sir,” O’Brien replied.  “They arrived a few minutes ago.”

“Thanks,” Harry answered and started down the gangway where one of the crew took his bag and briefcase from him.

Harry climbed down the ladder into the control room which was gearing up for their departure.  Consoles and stations were humming and beeping signaling they were ready to leave.

Lee and Chip were at the charting table, looking over the course they had plotted. If they didn’t run into any trouble, it would take them ten days to get to Groton.  

“Good morning, sir,” Lee said when he spotted Harry at the bottom of the ladder.

“Lee, Chip,” Harry acknowledged.   “Are we ready to leave?”

“Yes, sir,” Chip replied just as O’Brien and Jenkins came down the ladder and handed Chip the roster with all the crew checked off.

“Let’s get underway,” Harry said as he made his way to the observation nose where Janet was already sitting  waiting for them to leave the dock.

“Good morning, Admiral,” she said rising to get him a cup of coffee so he could sit in his ‘front porch’ and watch Lee and Chip maneuver the huge submarine out of the dock and into the channel.

Lee and Chip had made their way up the ladder and onto the flying bridge.  Lee gave maneuvering the orders as the boat left the berth and made her way into the channel.  Janet watched as the water flowed over the front of the sub as Seaview slowly crept through the water.  She would stay there until the boat submerged.  She heard footsteps on the ladder and the unmistakable sound of Lee jumping off the last two rungs.

He walked over to the charting table and picked up the mic, “Engine room.”

“Engine room, aye,” they replied.

“Bring her up to full,” Lee said and waited for them to reply before issuing orders to maneuvering.

He double clicked the mic, “Maneuvering take her down to two hundred feet.”

“Aye sir,” they quickly answered. 

O’Brien pressed the klaxon three times signaling they were diving.  The top hatch was secured and Patterson reported all lights were green to dive.

Harry and Janet watched the water cascade over the windows as Seaview slowly slipped beneath the water.

“I never get tired of watching her submerge,” Janet said. 

“Me either,” Harry responded as they both stood up and went into the control room.

“Nice work, men,” Harry said.   “I’ll be in my cabin if you need me.”

“Aye, sir,” Lee replied as Harry made his way to the staircase.  “Where will you be?” he asked Janet.

“In my office,” she replied and followed Harry up the stairs.

Chuckling, Lee looked at Chip, “I guess it’s just you and me.”

Chip grinned back at his best friend and returned to scanning the charts on the plotting table.


Seaview had been at sea for over seven days staying at two hundred feet to avoid any ice formations.  Lee knew most of the them were no more than sixty feet down but he didn’t want to take any chances on finding some that could be deeper.   They were getting close to entering Baffin Bay which would take them into the Atlantic Ocean.

Lee returned to the charting table after he had made his rounds around the control room checking on each station, console and crew.  He stopped to chat with each man at every station.  Everything was in order just as it should be.

“This is a pretty boring cruise,” Lee remarked to Chip as he tapped his pencil on the charting table.

“Were you expecting something to happen?” Chip asked.   “I thought this was a routine cruise and nothing more.”

“It is,” Lee responded, “but I wonder for how long.   When was the last time we had just a ‘routine’ mission?”

“Never,” Chip joked and continued, “but sometimes boring is nice, just think of all the work you’re getting done.”

Since nothing was happening Harry, Lee and Chip were getting plenty of work completed.  Janet was kept very busy trying to keep up with them.  

Lee looked at his watch and saw it was 1000 hours.  “Take over the conn, I’m going to check on Janet and see if she worked out the schedule for the crew and their time off.   We’ll meet you for lunch at 1300.”

“Okay, Lee,” Chip responded.

Lee ascended up the staircase and walked to Janet’s office where he found her grabbing a sweater out of the drawer under the bunk.

“If you’re cold, I have a fix for that,” he said mischievously.

She smiled at her husband, “I’m sure you do but since you, the admiral and Chip have so much time on your hands, I’ve got more than enough work to keep me busy so no time for that.”

Lee returned her smile, “Do you have the schedule worked out?”

“Yes, I finally finished it,” she replied and handed it over to Lee.    He looked it over, signed it and gave it back to her to post.

“Nice job, sweetie,” he said as he took her by the waist and gave her a hug and kiss.   “I have a few more proposals to go over.  I told Chip we’d meet him for lunch at 1300.”

“Okay, Lee,” Janet answered.  “I have a few reports from the admiral to type up, the duty rosters to give to Chip for approval, and inventory.   I’ll see you in a little while.”

Lee left the office and went to his cabin where he loosened his tie, sat down at his desk and opened the folder with the proposals he still had to look over.


Harry sat at his desk finishing up some budget reports that needed to be completed and sent to the Institute when Sparks called him on the intercom.

“Admiral, I have a call from a Dr. Kyle Moray.”

“Put the call through, Sparks,” Harry said as he sat back in his chair waiting for the call wondering why Kyle wanted to talk to him; he was a paleontologist friend based in Scotland.

“Hello, Kyle, what can I do for you?” Harry asked curiously.

“Hi Harry.  The reason for my call is I thought you might be interested in the Storr Lochs fossil ichthyosaur.”

“Storr Lochs?”* Harry responded sitting up straighter in his chair. 

“Yes, The National Museum of Scotland has finally figured out a way to extract the fossil from the stone it’s been encased in for the last 170 million years.”

“I remember reading it was found on the Isle of Skye close to the Storr Loch Power Station by a Norrie Gillies,”**  Harry added.   “You mean they’re just removing the fossil now?”

“Correct.  They used a vibrating needle made out of hardened steel to free the remains.  They’re presenting it to the National Museum of Scotland and I thought you might like to attend.”

“I’d love to attend and take a look at it.  If I recall, didn’t Mr. Gillies die.”

“Yes, Harry, he did so he’ll never be able to see his fossil in all its glory.”

“When will they be unveiling it?”

“Day after tomorrow,” Kyle answered.   “I know it’s short notice but I’m hoping you can take that flying sub you have and get here in time.  I’ve taken the liberty of making reservations at a nearby inn hoping you’d attend.”

“Could you add a room as I’d like to bring Captain Crane and his wife, Janet, with me on the trip,” Harry said.

“I’ll see to it.  I’m looking forward to seeing you and meeting your captain.  I’ve heard many nice stories about your submarine.”  Kyle gave Harry the information on the inn and assured him he would be able to secure another room for Lee and Janet.

“Thanks, Kyle,” Harry replied and severed the connection.

Harry was very excited about the trip to Scotland.   He wanted Lee to come along as co-pilot on the flying sub but also to give them a short vacation since Lee would be tied up with the overhaul and wouldn’t get much time off.

Harry pressed down the button on the intercom, “Control room.”

“Control room, aye,” Chip answered quickly recognizing Harry’s voice.

“Chip, could you have Lee report to my cabin?”

“Sir, I believe he’s in his cabin right now,” Chip replied.

“Thanks, I’ll look for him there.”

“Yes sir,” Chip responded wondering why the admiral wanted Lee and if it had anything to do with the call he received earlier.   He would find out at lunch.


Janet had finished up some reports and needed Lee to sign them.  She was walking to Lee’s cabin and before she entered, Harry came up behind her.

“Is Lee in there?” he asked.

“I think so,” Janet replied.  She opened the door and entered ahead of the admiral.

“Hi sweetie,” Lee said as he put down the proposal he was looking at.  Not seeing Harry behind her he continued.  “Change your mind about me keeping you warm?”

Janet moved out of the doorway and into the cabin followed by Harry.   Lee quickly stood up when he saw the admiral standing next to Janet.

“Sorry sir,” Lee replied slightly embarrassed.

“No worry,” he chuckled.  “Do you have a minute, I need to discuss something that just came up.”

“I’ll leave the two of you alone,” Janet said as she laid the reports on Lee’s desk and headed for the door.

“No, Janet, please stay as this affects you too.”

Lee pulled the two chairs away from the bulkhead and set them in front of his desk where Harry and Janet sat down.

“A palentologist friend of mine in Scotland just called and wants me to attend the unveiling of an ichthyosaur fossil. The remains were found on a beach on the Isle of Skye and has been encased in rock for 170 million years.  The National Museum of Scotland put the fossil in safe keeping for fifty years as scientists lacked the technology needed to free it from the dense rock. They now have the expertise to free it and realize that the skeleton is the most complete fossil of a sea reptile ever found in Scotland.” Harry explained.

“Sir, what is an ichthyosaur?” Janet asked as she had never heard of them before.  “Are they like dinosaurs?”

“No dinosaurs were on land, an ichthyosaur is a prehistoric marine mammal that ruled the seas 170 million years ago.  It looks like a dolphin with a pointed mouth and hundreds of cone-shaped teeth.  They’re about 13 feet long. “I’ll show you picture when we’re done here,” Harry explained. “Anyway, the unveiling is day after tomorrow and I’d like to attend, so I need you to fly over in FS-1.  After the unveiling, we can stay for a few days and relax then meet up with Seaview before she arrives in Groton.

“I have no reason not to go.  I’m sure Chip can handle getting her to Groton.”

“Good, then it’s settled,” Harry said as he stood up and looked at his watch.  “Can you be ready to leave in an hour?   We’ll grab some lunch first.”

Lee looked at Janet and shook her head.  “We’ll be ready in an hour.”

Harry left Lee’s cabin and returned to his where he would notify Angie and let her know about the excursion.

Lee got up from his desk and walked to the door, “I better inform Chip that’s he’s going to be taking over as captain and let him know what we’re doing.  I’ll meet you in ten minutes in the wardroom.”

“What do I take with me?” Janet asked.  “I’ve never been there.”

“Pack warm clothes and just take the one suitcase for both of us, and leave me some room for my skivvies,” Lee teased.

“Yes, sir,” Janet replied as Lee left the cabin headed for the control room.

She threw some things in a bag, leaving room for Lee’s clothes as well. She took one small bag and put her toiletries in there.   She was ready to go so she went down to the wardroom where Cookie had homemade chicken soup.


Chip looked up from the charting table as Lee entered the control room.

“Everything good?” Lee asked picking up a pencil from the table and rolled it between his fingers.

“On course and schedule.  I thought we weren’t meeting until 1300 hours,” Chip said noting it was only 1200 hours.

“The admiral received a call from a friend in Scotland regarding an unveiling of an ichthyosaur fossil,” Lee explained.  “He wants to attend the unveiling and wants me to pilot FS-1.   We’re going to stay a few days after the ceremony since I won’t get much time off once we get to Groton.   Janet will be coming with us.”

“Ichthyosaur unveiling?” Chip asked surprised as he heard of them before.  “That sure sounds like fun,” he deadpanned.

Grinning Lee replied, “It’s better than just sailing under the ice and doing nothing.   Let’s go to lunch now since the admiral wants to leave within the hour.”

Lee saw Chief Sharkey standing at the vertical plotter and approached him, “Chief, prepare the flying sub for launch, we’ll be leaving in an hour.”

“Aye, sir,” Sharkey replied and walked over to Kowalski and patted him on the shoulder so he could help him.

“Is all the cold weather equipment loaded on FS-1?” Lee asked before he left the control room.

“Yes, sir,” Sharkey answered then grabbed the check list clipboard and made his way down the hatch into the flying sub.

“Lt. O’Brien you have the conn,” Chip said and noted it in the log book.  


Lee and Chip left the control room via the aft hatch and made their way to the wardroom where Harry, Jamie and Janet were already eating lunch.  Lee and Chip grabbed their meal and sat down at the table. 

“Are you ready to go?” Harry asked Janet as he dunked his bread in his soup.

“Yes, sir,” Janet replied.   “Thanks for letting me tag along I’ve never been to Scotland before.”

“You’ll enjoy it but make sure you take some warm clothes,” Harry told her and looked at Lee.

“I still have to pack but it’ll only take me a couple of minutes,” he responded. 

“Chip, we’ll meet up with you before you arrive in Groton.   If we’re late, just take her in and dismiss the crew,” Harry said.

“Yes sir,” he replied.   “Do they have all the information on what needs to be done?”

Harry looked at Lee who then looked at Janet.  She nodded her head letting him know she took care of sending the papers.  “Yes, they should have all the information on the overhaul and the signed contract.”

“Very well,” Harry said, “I’ll meet you in the observation nose in fifteen minutes.”

“Aye, sir,” Lee replied as he quickly finished his lunch and followed Harry out of the wardroom.

Grinning Jamie looked at Janet, “You actually want to see an unveiling of a fossil?”

“No, but I didn’t want to tell the admiral that and besides I get to see Scotland,” Janet smiled back.  “I better get going or they might leave without me.”  She quickly put her dishes in the bin and walked out the door.

“I think I’d rather count seals,” Chip chuckled as Jamie shook his head in agreement as they left the wardroom.


Lee quickly packed the items he would need for the trip.

“Did you get all your gear in there?” Janet asked.

“Yes, thanks for leaving me some room,” Lee replied as he took his service jacket out of the closet.  “Here you better take this too,” he said as he handed her the leather jacket she wore when she was in the flying sub.  He helped her put it on and then donned his. 

“Thanks,” she replied as she took her purse, Lee’s service jacket and the toiletry bag while Lee grabbed the suitcase.  

They went down the staircase where Harry was waiting.   Sharkey took the bags and handed them down to Kowalski. 

Sharkey handed Lee the clipboard with the completed check list for him to initial.  Lee signed it and gave it back to him as Kowalski climbed out of the sub.

“Everything stowed?” Lee asked.

“Yes sir.  All your items are in the lockers and your service coats are laid on the bunk.  It’s pretty crowded in there with all the cold weather gear aboard.”

“Chip, we’ll call you as soon as we land in Scotland,” Harry told him as he helped him with his leather jacket.  “If you have any problems, let us know.  We can come back early if needed.”  He handed Chip the information for the inn where they were staying.

“Aye sir,” Chip replied, “Have a safe trip.”

“Thanks, Chip,” Lee answered as he descended into the flying sub.  Janet went next followed by Harry.

They strapped on their harnesses as Lee prepared the little sub for take-off.   He attached the throat mic and checked to make sure Sparks could hear him as he warmed up the engines.

“Ready to launch,” Lee said over the mic.

“All green,” Chip replied as he flipped the switch to open the docking bay doors.

“Launch,” Lee told Chip as they felt the clamps release the sub from her bay.  He slowly lowered her out of the docking area.  Since the area they were in was covered in ice, they would stay submerged until they reached Baffin Bay where Lee would then take to the sky.

Chip and Sharkey watched from the observation nose as the little sub passed in front of the windows.  Once she was out of sight, they returned to their stations.


It would be early morning when Harry, Lee and Janet arrived in Scotland so Janet decided to take a nap.  Lee and Harry chatted about the Storr Lochs monster and how it compared to the Loch Ness monster.

They had just reached Baffin Bay but still couldn’t take to the air as the area was covered in ice.  They would have to stay submerged for a while longer before they could go airborne. As they made their way further south, the sub was suddenly hit by a heavy jolt knocking them off course and waking up Janet.   Lee looked at the instruments and noted none of them indicated a problem.  He flipped some switches but nothing showed why they were jolted.  

“Sir, can you explain that jolt?” Lee asked as both men looked out the windows and saw nothing in their way.

“No, I can’t,” Harry responded as Lee directed the sub back to its original course.

They didn’t get much further when they again were jarred off course only this time the jolt was harder causing the sub to nose dive to the bottom.   As flames engulfed the right control panel in the sub, Lee quickly shed his harness and managed to put out the fire but not before the smoke filled the cabin causing them to cough and take in the foul air. Harry removed his harness and lowered down the panel which was still hot from the fire causing him to slightly burn his fingers. 

“Sir, let me bandage your fingers,” Janet said as she went for the first aid kit.

“No, let it be, they’re not that bad,” Harry replied as he used his sleeve to lower the panel.  

They were looking over the panel trying to fix it so they could get FS-1 off the bottom when Janet whispered, “Lee, you better look at what’s outside.”

The two men looked up and saw a huge creature very similar to a sword fish with its long mouth only this fish had a lot more teeth and was at least twenty feet long.  It was blue in color, had a large dorsal fin, tail fins resembling a dolphin’s, huge flat eyes at least ten inches across and weighed over two tons.  “Sir, I’ve never seen a fish like that before.  It’s very similar to the ichthyosaur,” Lee said as they stared at the huge fish.

“Me either,” Harry replied as he looked over the fish.  “I’m guessing it’s a mutant species of the ichthyosaur that swims in deeper waters.”

The fish continued to swim in front of the sub.  “Let us know if he moves,” Lee told Janet as she moved closer to the viewports.  

Lee and Harry continued to work on the panels, when they were jolted once again knocking Janet to the deck.   “Janet, you were supposed to tell us if that fish moved,” Lee yelled as he helped her up.

“Lee, it’s still swimming in front of the sub,” Janet replied still seeing him out the viewports.  “He must have a buddy.”

They were once again jostled just as Harry finished repairing the panel.   “Get us out here,” he said to Lee as they quickly returned to their seats and strapped on their harnesses.   Lee fired up the engines and after checking the gauges knew they had only enough power to get them to surface.   Lee checked the radar and saw there was open water above them.

“FS-1 to Seaview,” Lee called trying to raise the sub hoping they would be able to pick them up but all he heard was static on the radio.   He flipped some switches trying to make the radio work but only static came across the radio.

“Damn,” he said.  “The radio is out and we’re going to need to surface.  We can’t stay down here long, we’ll run out of air.  We’ll have to use our SAT phones to try and contact Seaview.”

Harry looked at the gauge noting they only had enough fresh air for another thirty minutes.  Even using the air from the scuba tanks would only buy them another hour and he knew that if Seaview ran at flank speed she would never get there in time.

“Okay, Lee, you better take us up,” Harry acknowledged.

Lee pulled back on the joy sticks and slowly brought the little sub to the surface.  Lee cracked the top hatch to let some fresh air in so they could clear their lungs of the foul air from the fire and air out the cabin.

Lee took his SAT phone from his pocket, “FS-1 to Seaview.  Come in Seaview.” Lee called.   Seaview this is FS-1 do you copy?”

Lee looked at his phone, it was charged but for some reason not sending out the signal.

“Admiral, try your phone,” Lee said as Harry took his phone from his jacket pocket and tried to hail the boat but got nothing; not even static, just dead air.

As they bobbed on the surface of the ocean, Lee calculated they were near the tip of Greenland nowhere near the course Seaview was taking and very far from land.  After trying their SAT phones again and not getting any response, Lee pondered what their next move should be.  

“Admiral, look outside,” Lee said as he caught sight of the huge sail fin on the fish.   “We better strap in as I don’t think he’s going to just let us sit here.”

They donned the harnesses as Lee and Harry continued to watch the giant fish circle in front of the sub.  Before long he was joined by two more.  They lost sight of one of the fish and were jolted again as the huge fish rammed into the side of the little sub. 

“I wonder what we did to piss them off?” Lee asked as he tried to keep the sub from crashing under the waves.  They had little power and could do nothing but sit there.

“Lee, we have another problem,” Harry said.  “Look at the reactor gauge…the radiation level is rising.  They must have knocked something loose in the reactor.”

Lee unstrapped himself from his seat and walked over to the reactor panel and flipped the switches trying to get the reactor back under control.

“Admiral, it’s no use the controls aren’t responding.   We can’t stay in here much longer,” Lee said desperately.

Harry looked at the gauge and it was approaching the danger zone.

“We’re going to have to abandon the sub,” Lee reported.   “I’ll inflate the raft and tie it to the escape hatch wheel until we can get aboard.”

“I agree,” Harry responded as he unstrapped and helped Lee pull the raft from the locker.   He slowly opened the aft hatch as Lee pushed the raft through the hatch and inflated it.  As it inflated it got caught on the hatch door and Lee almost fell into the ocean but Harry grabbed his arm.

“Whoa, that was close.  Thanks Admiral.” Lee said as he secured the rope the hatch wheel.

“No problem, Lee.  I would’ve had to take a dip and save you,” Harry replied with a grin trying to lighten up their situation.

After the rope was secured Lee asked, “Janet, do you have anything red?”

“Just a red sweater,” she told him with a confused look on her face but went to her suitcase and pulled out her red sweater.

“Give it to me and then start handing me the MRE’s, water, flashlights, first aid kit, and the emergency survival blankets.   We’re going to put on the scuba dry suits and then don the parkas.   The sea isn’t too rough right now but the water is cold and so is the air temperature.”

Janet and Harry handed Lee all the supplies they could fit in the raft and still have room for them.  He took the red sweater and tied it to the wheel hatch.

“Why did you do that?” Janet asked.

“I’m hoping if anyone finds FS-1, they’ll know there’s a problem and not enter the sub unprotected,” Lee told her.

“Let’s suit up,” Lee said as he took out the scuba suits and parkas from the other locker.  “Janet, I know the scuba suit is going to be very big on you so I want you to put on as many items of clothes as you can.  Put on whatever wool or fleece shirts and pants you have along with socks.  Stay away from cotton because if it gets wet you’ll get cold faster.”

“Yes, Lee but what are you and the admiral going to put under your suit, you can’t put as many clothes on as I can,” Janet replied worriedly.

Taking her hand, “We’ll put on what we can but don’t worry we still have the under-liners…we’ll be fine,” he tried to reassure her.

Janet was able to get quite a few pieces of clothing on under the liner.   Harry and Lee managed to get an extra pair of pants and shirts under the liner in the scuba suit.  Before they put the parkas over their scuba suits, Lee went to the arms locker and handed each of them a gun. 

“Put these under the parkas, so they don’t get wet,” Lee told them.  “We might need them.”  

They strapped on the weapons and Lee grabbed some extra ammunition.  Lee handed Janet one more item, her PFD (personal flotation device). 

After he finished strapping the PFD on her, Janet complained, “Lee, I feel like a little kid in my snowsuit, as I can hardly move.”

Lee managed a weak smile.  “I know sweetie but all I care about is that you’re warm and safe should you fall in.”

He and the admiral put on their PFD’s.  Before heading for the hatch, Harry went over the control panel and pushed the homing beacon.  “It might be working,” he said hopefully.

Harry was first out the hatch and then he helped Janet aboard while Lee secured the hatch making sure the sweater was tied tightly on the exterior wheel.  He pushed them away from the sub and hoped she would stay afloat so she could be found later. The sweater would let who ever found her know they had abandoned ship and they should search for them.

Janet and Harry huddle together on one side of the raft as Lee handed them the Mylar survival blankets to wrap around themselves.  He then took one and wrapped it around himself the best he could as he rowed away from the little sub.  They all kept watch for the large fish hoping they wouldn’t follow them and attack the raft.

The giant fish stayed with the flying sub.   “Admiral, why do you think they attacked us?” Janet asked.

“I’m not sure.  Maybe the color or the shape of the sub made them think we were food.  I think this type of fish is normally very deep in the ocean but something must have drawn them closer to the surface.”

Once they were far enough away from FS-1, Lee took out his SAT phone again, “Seaview, this is Crane, come in Seaview.”  He received no response just dead air.   Harry took out his phone and tried to contact the boat and the Institute but also had no luck.

“Damn, have all the satellites left their orbits?” Lee said angrily as he put the phone back in his pocket.

“Something is definitely wrong,” Harry admitted when his phone didn’t work too.

“It’s going to be dark soon,” Lee said as he looked at the horizon.  The raft had a light on it and was water activated so he knew if there were any boats out there, they would hopefully see the light and check it out.  The sky was heavily overcast so he couldn’t even see the stars to find out which direction they were heading.  Damn,” he thought as he checked his watch mentally chastising himself for not wearing his watch with the compass. 

 “There’s nothing we can do until morning, so let’s get as comfortable as we can so we can keep each other warm,” he told them.  

He took one of the Mylar blankets and placed it on one of the seats to act as a pillow and placed two more on the bottom of the raft to insulate the bottom.  They stretched out lying on their sides as deep in the raft as possible after Lee removed two of the seats.  He took the remaining blankets and wrapped them around Harry and Janet securing them the best he could.    None of them were very comfortable but hopefully they would stay warm.  Janet and Harry fell asleep shortly after they laid down but Lee was worried being out in the middle of the ocean with no way to contact anyone. He’d been in many predicaments before during his ONI missions but he had never felt so stranded than now in the middle of the ocean, with no one around, and no way to communicate.   He finally fell asleep after laying there for a couple of hours. 


Chip looked at his watch and noticed it was 1730 hours.  He was off duty at 1800 hours and was worried that he hadn’t heard from Lee that they had made it to Scotland.   He wandered over to the radio shack where Sparks was getting ready to turn over the radio to Jones, who would man it overnight.

“Sparks, is the radio working?” Chip asked.

“Yes, sir.  There’s no problem with it,” he replied cautiously.

“Try and raise the flying sub.  Captain Crane should have landed in Scotland by now and he hasn’t reported in.”

“Aye, sir,” Sparks responded as he sat back down.   Seaview to FS-1, come in FS-1.”

All they heard was silence.   Seaview to FS-1, come in FS-1,” he said more urgently.   He then flipped some switches making sure their communication was being sent.

“Sir, I’m sending it out but they’re not receiving or can’t respond.”

“Try their SAT phones,” Chip ordered standing next to the radio as he tried both phones.

“Sorry, sir, no answer on their SAT phones either.  Just dead air,” Sparks replied.  “That’s very strange as there are satellites in the area.”

Reaching into his pocket, Chip pulled out the information Harry gave him as to where they were staying.  “Sparks, here’s the number for the inn they’re staying at, try calling it.”

Sparks tried the number and talked to the receptionist.  “Sorry sir, I talked to the receptionist and she said no one has registered since early this morning.”

“Damn,” Chip mumbled under his breath.

“Keep trying to contact the flying sub every fifteen minutes,” Chip told Jones.   “I want to be notified immediately if so much as a breath is heard.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Jones responded and sat down in the seat vacated by Sparks.

Chip returned to the plotting table, took a deep breath and let it out.   He knew Harry, Lee and Janet must have run into trouble but couldn’t understand why they didn’t try to contact the boat using their SAT phones or activate FS-1’s emergency beacon.  He also realized that if they did run into a problem and couldn’t get in contact with them, they might not be found.

As Chip stood at the plotting table, Jamie entered the control room through the aft hatch.  He saw the worried look on Chip’s face.

“Did we hear from the admiral?” he asked.

“No, I just tried to contact the flying sub and didn’t get a reply.   No calls from the SAT phones either,” Chip responded unhappily.

Jamie ran his hand through what hair he had, “That’s not good.  Do we know where they are?”

“No, we’re not receiving any beacon from them but we may be too far away,” Chip said worriedly.

“Jones,” Chip yelled over to the radio shack, “Do you have Captain Crane’s flight plan?”

“Yes sir,” he answered quickly.

Chief Sharkey was stationed at the vertical plotter and heard Chip’s call.  He ran over to the radio shack and took the flight plan from Jones and brought it to Chip.

“Sharkey, plot the flight plan on the vertical plotter,” Chip ordered as he picked up the mic.

“Yes, sir,” Sharkey said as he laid out the flight plan Lee had filed and marked their position on the plotter showing where they were in relation to FS-1’s flight.   Right now, their positions were almost identical.

“Maneuvering,” Chip said as he looked over at the plotter.

“Maneuvering, aye,” they replied as Chip gave them a new course following the one Lee would have taken with FS-1.

Double clicking the mic, “Engine room,” Chip continued.

“Engine room, aye,” Ron answered.

“Bring her up to flank,” Chip ordered as he stowed the mic.

“Aye, aye, sir,” Ron replied.

Chip looked at their position and they would be close to exiting Baffin Bay by morning.  He hoped they would hear from Lee by then.

“Keep me posted,” Jamie asked before he left the control room.

“Sure, Jamie,” Chip responded as Lt. Jenkins entered the control room reporting for duty.

Chip explained the situation to him.   “Call me no matter what time of the night, if you hear from Captain Crane,” Chip told him.

“Yes, sir,” Jenkins answered as he wrote in the log book that he had assumed command of the boat.

Chip slowly made his way up the spiral staircase and headed for his cabin.   He sat down at his desk and ran his hand through his hair.   He undid his tie and threw it on the desk frustrated that he hadn’t heard from Lee.  He had a very bad feeling that the admiral, his best friend and his wife were in deep trouble.


Lee woke up in the middle of the night and felt Janet shivering.  He undid her emergency blanket, pulled her close to him and covered the two of them with both their blankets.  He hoped that his body heat would help warm her up.  He noticed that the temperature had dropped and the water was becoming rougher. Before he fell back to sleep, he saw that Janet had stopped shivering.

Lee woke a few hours later and knew it should be getting light shortly but the sky was so overcast it still looked dark.  He slowly eased away from Janet hoping not to wake her and covered her with both the blankets.   As he tried to stretch out his cramped muscles, Harry woke up and then Janet.   They moved carefully and sat on the bench facing Lee.   Lee and Harry both tried their SAT phones but got nothing; not even static.

“We must be in a dead zone,” Harry surmised when the phones didn’t work.  He then checked out the sky.  “Hard to tell where we’re heading with all these clouds,” he remarked his voice quavering in the cold.   He was chilled to the bone.   “I don’t suppose there’s any hot coffee in those supplies,” Harry quipped. 

“Sorry sir, only cold water and instant coffee,” Lee replied.   “Sweetie, are you okay?” he asked Janet as she looked a little ill.

“My stomach’s a little queasy this morning and I’m really cold,” she replied.

“I don’t know if there’s a storm brewing out there but the waves are a little rougher now than they were yesterday and the temperature has definitely dropped.   Maybe if you eat, you’ll feel better,” Lee answered as he pulled out three of the MRE’s and two bottles of water from the front of the boat.  He wrapped another blanket around her, handed Harry another blanket as he looked cold too, but Lee knew he wouldn’t admit it.  He took a blanket and wrapped it around himself.      

“Do you think Seaview knows we’re missing and found the flying sub,” she wondered her teeth chattering as she took a sip of water from the bottle she and Lee were sharing and picked at her MRE.

“They probably know we aren’t in Scotland but our flight plan took us away from the course Seaview would’ve taken so I don’t know if they’ll find her but I’m sure Chip will follow our flight plan once he realizes we’re not in Scotland.”

They continued to eat their breakfast wrapped in their survival blankets which were helping to stave off the cold but the wind was picking up and the waves were starting to crash against the raft.  Lee wanted to make a sail out of one of the oars but needed a shirt.  He started to undo his PFD, parka and scuba suit when Janet said, “Let me give you one of mine.   I have on four shirts and I’m sure you’re only wearing one extra.”

Lee smiled as she undid her gear and removed a white shirt quickly zipping up her outer gear and handed it to Lee.  He managed to tie it to one of the oars and used one of the cup holders to secure it to the boat.  They had been sailing for a few hours huddled next to each other for warmth when Lee spotted a boat on the horizon.

“Admiral, Janet, do you see a boat just over the front of the raft or am I seeing things?” Lee asked.

“No, I see a boat,” Harry replied as Janet nodded her head in agreement.

The older red and white boat looked to be ninety feet long and had a crane mounted on the front. Lee recognized it as a fishing trawler

What is that boat doing so far away from the fishing lanes,” Lee wondered he turned the make-shift sail away from the wind and steered the raft towards the boat.  The wind had picked up even more and strong gust of wind ripped the sail in half.  As Lee and Harry tried to keep the raft from capsizing, Janet looked at the boat and saw a man on deck.  He was just standing on the side of the boat not making any attempt to bring his boat closer to them.

“Lee,” Janet yelled over the wind.  “There’s a man on the deck.”

Lee looked up and then looked at Janet.   “There’s no man.”

Janet turned back to look at the boat and the man was gone.  “Lee, I swear I saw someone standing there.”

“It’s okay, maybe you thought you saw someone,” Lee replied as they continued to fight their way to the boat.  Janet helped the best she could but would glance up at the boat looking for the man.

Finally, they were near enough to the boat where Lee could toss the rope over the railing and pull them close to the boat so he could tie up the raft at the stern of the boat.  It would be tricky to climb up from the raft so Lee went up first and just barely made it to the main deck almost falling into the water.   He looked around and found another piece of rope and threw it down to Harry who managed to tie it around the small cleats which helped steady the raft.   With Lee’s help, Janet pulled herself onto the deck of the boat.  Before Harry left the raft, he tossed them the rest of MRE’s, water, blankets, first aid kit and flashlight before Lee helped him climb aboard.  

Once on board, Lee told them.  “I think we better keep the raft just in case we need it.  Do you think you could help me hoist it onto the back of the boat?”

The three of them pulled the raft out of the water and placed it on the back deck of the trawler.  Lee deflated the raft and secured it to the railings. 

Once on the boat, they removed the PFD’s and buried them inside the raft.  Lee was puzzled that no one came to help them aboard.  “Stay here,” he told Harry and Janet as he removed his gun from his belt.   “Let me check it out before we go any further.”  Harry and Janet also took out their guns.  Lee walked along the main deck of the trawler to the forecastle deck and back before making his way to the poop deck.  He searched the whole boat and found no one.  When he returned to Harry and Janet, he had holstered his gun.  The two of them put their weapons away too.

“There’s no one on board and it doesn’t look like anyone’s been on board for some time.”

“But Lee, I saw a man on deck,” Janet insisted.

Lee put his arm around his wife, “Sweetie, maybe you thought you saw someone but there’s no one on this boat.”

“If she’s deserted, how the hell did she get out here?” Harry asked surprised. 

“I don’t think this vessel was out trawling for fish as I didn’t see any equipment on board for catching fish. Maybe she broke away from her moorings and even if there’s someone searching for her, it’s an awfully big ocean.”

“Did you notice the boat’s name,” Harry wondered.  “I forgot to look when I came aboard.”

“She’s named The Lorybova,” Lee replied.  

“What type of name is that?” Janet asked.

“I have no idea…maybe a combination of a company or someone’s name,” Lee responded and continued, “After searching the trawler, I found a day room, two cabins, and a galley on the main deck,” Lee reported.

Before Lee could finished, Janet piped up, “A head?”

Smiling Lee replied, “Yes.  The wheelhouse and another small cabin, I assume to be the captain’s quarters, are on the poop deck.   I didn’t check below but I’m guessing the electrical systems, desalinization and sewage equipment is down there along with the engines.”

As they stood outside it started to snow, “Let’s get inside and out of the weather,” Harry said as he rubbed his hands together. “Hopefully there’s a radio on board and we can get a message to Seaview.”

Before they left for the wheelhouse, they took the supplies they brought aboard and stowed them in the passageway.  The three of them headed to the poop deck, even though there was no one on the trawler, Janet felt they were being watched and shivered.


Chip tossed and turned all night worried about his commanding officer and friends.  At 0500 hours, he knew going back to sleep wasn’t going to happen so he got out of his bunk and attended to his morning ablutions.  He was just finishing up when he heard the phone ring.  He threw down the towel and quickly went over to his desk. 

“Lee?” he said quickly.

“Sorry Mr. Morton,” Jones answered.  “I have a Dr. Moray on the line.”

“Thanks, Jones, put him through,” Chip replied and heard Jones make the connection.   “Dr. Moray, I’m Commander Morton.  Did the admiral and Captain Crane arrive?”

“No sir, that’s why I’m calling.  I’m here at the inn, and they haven’t checked in.  Did they leave?”

Sighing deeply, “Yes, they left yesterday afternoon.   I was hoping you’re were calling to tell me they arrived.  We haven’t heard from them since they left.  We tried to call them but get no answer from the flying sub or their SAT phones.”

“Sorry to hear that, sir.  If I can be of any assistance, please let me know,” Dr. Moray responded.   “I’d appreciate it you would contact me when you hear from them.”

“Yes Doctor, please do the same,” Chip answered as hung up the phone.

“Shit,” he mumbled as he finished getting ready and left for the wardroom hoping Cookie had some coffee.


Once in the wheelhouse, the two men looked over the control panels on the boat, while not state of the art, the controls fit the type and age of the boat.   Lee spotted a compass which showed they were heading in a westerly direction. That’s a good sign, he thought. For as old as this boat is, she’s in good shape.  He then searched the control panel looking for a GPS module but wasn’t surprise when he didn’t find one.  He found current maps and charts and also did a quick look for a sextant which he could use to calculate their latitude but didn’t find one. Harry also looked around and was excited to find a small radio shack outside the wheelhouse and a radio, but his excitement was short-lived when he discovered the radio didn’t work not even the emergency radio would turn on.  

 Lee found the controls for the engines.  “Keep your fingers crossed that they’ll start,” Lee said as he attempted to start the engines.  They sputtered briefly and ran for a short while before shutting down.  He saw the boat had a full tank of diesel fuel.  He tried to start the engines again but they didn’t catch.

“I’ll go below and find the engine room and see if I can fix them,” Lee told Harry and Janet.

“We’ll all go,” Harry stated as he didn’t want Lee to venture in the bowels of the boat alone. 

They returned to the main deck where Lee found the door to the engine room and opened it up revealing the heavy smell of diesel fuel.  He had grabbed a flashlight from the supplies they brought aboard and cautiously headed down the stairs with his gun drawn.

“Stay there,” Lee said to Harry and Janet as he scanned the area with his flashlight and yelled to them, “Nothing down here but the mechanicals and the engines.”   He noticed a light bulb overhead and pulled the chain.  Surprised it worked, he looked over the engines.  

He returned to the deck where Harry and Janet were waiting.  “The engines look in good shape and they show signs that they’ve been run recently so I’m a little surprised they won’t work.”  

“Before you try and see what’s wrong with the engines, let’s go back to the radio shack and see if we can get the radio working,” Harry suggested. 

“Okay,” Lee conceded knowing if they got the radio working, he might not need to repair the engines as they could wait for Seaview to rescue them.

None of them wanted to removed their gear as the boat was ice cold.  Before they went upstairs Janet asked, “Lee, where’s the head.  I really have to go.”

“Follow me,” Lee replied and showed her where it was and waited for her before they went up to the wheelhouse.  It took her a little while as she had to remove all her clothing but didn’t want to take any of them off as the boat was so cold. 

The three of them climbed the stairs back to the radio shack.  The two men headed over to the radio, removed their gloves and managed to take off the cover and check out the wiring.

“Where’s Sparks when you need him,” Harry muttered.  Both men knew something about radios but Sparks was a genius with them.

They took turns working on the wires as their fingers would get cold without their gloves. Hoping they found the problem, Harry finally put the cover back on and turned on the radio.   They both grinned when they heard static on the radio.  Harry tried to dial Seaview’s frequency but all they heard was more static.  He continued to turn the dial hoping to catch a band without static.  “Damn,’ Harry said as he hit the top of the radio.  “Nothing but static.  Let’s look at the wiring again.”

While Harry worked on the main radio, Lee checked out the emergency one.  It looked like it hadn’t been checked over in quite a few years.  Lee couldn’t even get static on it.  The two men continued to work on the radios but all they heard was static.  

Frustrated, “Let’s try our SAT phones again,” Lee told them.  “There have to be satellites in this area by now.”

The two men pulled out their phones and tried to call Seaview, the institute and any other number they had but got nothing but dead air.   “My phone’s battery is almost out.” Lee said.  “I have the charger but unless we can get some electric, I don’t know how I can charge it.”

“I’ve still have battery life but it’s just not working,” Harry replied. 

“I’ll go below and look at the engines,” Lee said as they made their way down the stairs.   “Janet, why don’t you check the galley and see if you can make something hot to drink.”

“Okay, Lee, I’ll see what I can find.  We can always heat up the water we brought aboard.”

Harry and Lee continued below to the engine room.  She was surprised that the boat wasn’t too dirty with no one on board and subjected to the weather.  She checked out the galley and found it larger than she expected.   She looked through the cabinets and found coffee, tea, canned goods and water all with current dates.  Lee told her that most boats use propane for cooking. She hoped the stove would warm up the boat as she was too cold to remove her parka.  Janet looked beneath the stove, found a tank, checked to see if it had gas and the gauge registered half full.  She hunted around looking for a coffee pot and found one in another cabinet.  She smiled when she saw the pot, it was the old-fashioned kind that had to be placed on the stove to perk.  Not trusting the water in the faucets, she took a couple of bottles of water, opened the new can of coffee and put some in the strainer.  She cautiously turned on the burner hoping she wouldn’t blow up the galley or the boat.  The burner turned on with no problem, so she put the coffee on to perk.  The stove had gimbals around the sides to keep the pots from crashing to the floor as the boat moved with the waves.  The galley had a small porthole which Janet looked out and could see it had stopped snowing and the waves weren’t as rough as they were before. 

When the coffee started perking, Janet removed it from the burner and went into the passageway to bring the supplies into the galley.  As she gathered them, she noticed the first aid kit was missing.   I could’ve sworn we brought that aboard, Janet thought as she returned with the water, MRE’s, flashlights and emergency blankets. Maybe Lee took it with him.

By the time she returned to the galley, the coffee was finished.  She found some mugs and poured three cups of the hot brew.  She made her way to the engine room where Harry was sitting at the top of the stairs while Lee was trying to get the engines to work.

“Lee,” Harry yelled, “Stop what you’re doing and come up here.   Janet has some coffee.”

Before Lee started to work on the engines, he looked over the other mechanical components.  The batteries were charged so he knew they would have electricity and he flipped the switch on the small desalinization unit and it also worked so they would also have fresh water.  It might take a while to make some but they wouldn’t have to worry about rationing their drinking water.  He stopped working on the engines when Harry called to him.  As he made his way back to the stairs, he saw another small room, he checked it out and found a generator and a small heating unit.  He checked the generator and it had full tank of fuel.  He turned it on and then the heating unit. He wiped his hands on a towel he found and made his way up the stairs.  He stood at the top of the stairs and Janet handed him the mug of coffee.

Smiling, “Not bad,” he said, “Not as good as Cookie’s but it’ll do.”

“How are those engines?” Harry asked as he sipped his coffee trying to fight off the chill.

“Admiral, I can’t find anything wrong with them,” Lee stated.  “I did find a room with a generator with a heating unit attached so we should get some heat shortly. Whoever owned this boat, took care of it and made sure they had the amenities for working in cold weather. ”

“But why would they just leave the boat to float on the ocean?” Janet wondered.

“Maybe the rescue boat wasn’t able to tow the boat or the crew just decided to abandon it,” Harry answered.

Lee closed the door to the engine room and they walked back to the galley where Janet poured them more coffee.  

“How are we going to get to land if we don’t get the engines to work?” Janet asked.

Sighing, Lee replied, “Hopefully we’ll run across another boat but since we’re not near any shipping or fishing lanes, we might have to depend on the wind pushing us to the fishing lanes or to shore.  “I’ll try working on those engines again tomorrow.”

“Are you hungry, there are some canned goods on hand, I could whip up a bowl of soup or stew?” Janet asked.

“Sure, why not,” Harry replied.  “I’m hungry and tired.  We’ll eat and get some rest before we do any more work on those engines and radio.”

Janet heated up a couple of cans of stew while Lee and Harry washed their hands.  It may have been salt water but it was better than nothing.  They washed the dishes and returned to the day room.  While Harry and Janet sat on the couches, Lee checked out the cabins.  The boat was already warming up so Harry and Lee removed their parkas and scuba suits.  Janet removed her scuba suit and most of her other clothes but put her parka back on as she was still cold.

“Admiral, why don’t you take the cabin on left and we’ll take the one on the right.  They’re not very big but the beds look clean and it’ll be a lot better than sleeping on the raft.”

“Sounds good but first, please no more sir or admiral since we’re going to be here for a few days, it’s Harry,” Harry responded picking up his scuba suit and an emergency blanket.  Before Harry went to the cabin, he started for the stairs.

“Where are you going?” Lee asked.

 “Since we have power, I’m going to turn on the running lights.  Maybe a boat will stop when they see were not moving and offer to help us.”

“Good idea,” Lee responded as he and Janet headed for their cabin after picking up their gear.   She also grabbed a couple of emergency blankets.  There was a light on the small chest which Janet turned on so she could check out the cabin.  The cabin had two twin beds. 

“Sorry sweetie, you’ll have to sleep alone,” Lee commented when he saw the look on Janet’s face at the twin beds.   “These cabins were probably for the cook and first mate.”

“It’s okay,” Janet replied.  She put down one of the emergency blankets on the bed, climbed in fully dressed and covered herself with the other one. Lee did the same thing to his bunk before settling in for the night.

Lee fell asleep rather quickly as he didn’t get much sleep the night before.  Janet laid there for a while.  She shivered even though she wasn’t cold…she felt that someone was watching them.   She got up from her bed and gently laid next to Lee.   She laid there for a little while before finally dozing off.


When Chip arrived in the wardroom, Cookie had just put out the urn of coffee.  He quickly poured a mug for the XO and handed it to him.  “Sorry, sir, I’m just starting to prepare breakfast.”

“No problem,” Chip replied as he sat down in his usual spot and sipped his coffee.

He hadn’t been sitting there too long when Jamie wandered in.  He got some coffee and sat down across from Chip in his usual space.   “Hear anything…did they make it?”

Chip sighed deeply, “Nothing that I’m aware of.  I left orders to let me know if they heard anything from them.”

“That can’t be good,” Jamie answered as he drank his coffee.

Cookie brought over a couple of plate of pancakes for Chip and Jamie.   Chip picked at his while Jamie ate his and noticed Chip not eating.

“Problem with breakfast?” Jamie asked.

“Not hungry,” Chip responded and got up from the table, put his cup in the bin and walked out the door.

Jamie knew how he felt, as he wasn’t that hungry and worried about Harry, Lee and Janet.  He finished up his coffee and left for sick bay.


Chip walked through the aft hatch and looked at the vertical plotter noting where Seaview was located in relation to Lee’s flight plan...they were right on track.   He headed over to the radio shack and saw that Jones was still on duty.   “Any word?”

“Sorry sir, nothing at all.  I’ve been trying every fifteen minutes,” Jones responded.

“Thanks,” Chip replied and walked over to the plotting table were Jenkins and Taper were noting the time and position into the log book.   They both looked at their watches noticing Chip was thirty minutes early for his watch but understood he was worried about the admiral, skipper and his wife.

“We’re on course and should be out of Baffin Bay in fifteen minutes,” Jenkins reported. 

“No sightings on either sonar or radar,” Taper added.

“Thanks.   I’ll take over,” he told the men as O’Brien entered the control room.  He was always early for his watch especially when there was a problem on the boat.

“Yes, sir,” they replied and signed off on the log book and handed it over to O’Brien to note the change in command.

“Morning, sir,” Bobby said to Chip.   “Any news?”

“Morning, Bobby,” Chip replied noticing the crew reporting for duty stopped to listen for his reply. “No nothing.”

He went to the observation nose and stared out the huge windows as he waited for the new watch to settle in at their stations and consoles.   Cookie came in with a fresh pot of coffee, poured Chip a mug, handed it to him and hesitated.

“Thanks, Cookie,” Chip responded, “No news.”

“Thanks sir.   The men were wondering.”  Cookie left the nose and Chip returned to the control room.

Chip saw that Kowalski was on sonar, Patterson on radar, and Riley manned the hydrophone.  He knew if there was anything out there, these men would find it.   He walked over to the radio shack where Sparks was already trying to raise the flying sub.  

“I’ll continue to radio the flying sub and contact their SAT phones,” Sparks said.

“Mr. Morton,” Bobby called from the plotting table, “We’ve just exited Baffin Bay.”

Chip hurried over to the vertical planner and would make the course change to follow Lee’s flight path.   He returned to the plotting table and gave maneuvering the new course.   He continued to pace the control room stopping at each console and station several times.  It had been two hours since they left Baffin Bay and still no sign of the flying sub.   He would give it one more hour before he called the Navy and Coast Guard to help them in the search and hopefully rescue.

As he stood at the plotting table with Bobby, Patterson called out, “Mr. Morton, contact with an object on the surface 5,000 yards off the port bow.”

Chip ran over to the radar and looked at the object on the screen.  “That sure looks like FS-1,” Chip replied with a small grin.   “Sing out when we’re at 2,000 yards.”

“Aye, sir,” Patterson answered crisply.

“Mr. Morton, maybe our luck has changed,” Bobby said as they waited for Patterson.

Chip was at the plotting table making a note on the chart as to where FS-1 was found…just below the tip of Greenland.

“Mr. Morton, we’re 2,000 yards from the object,” Patterson yelled out.

Picking up the mic on the plotting table, “Engine room, all stop,” Chip ordered.

“Engine room, aye,” they repeated.

The huge submarine slowly came to a halt. 

“Surface the boat, Mr. O’Brien.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Bobby answered and picked up the mic.  “Prepare to surface. Maneuvering, blow all ballast tanks, ten degrees up bubble.”   Bobby pressed the klaxon three times.

“Aye, aye, sir,” came their reply as Seaview slowly rose to the surface.

“All green across the board,” Phil reported to Bobby.

“Crack the hatches,” Chip ordered.

When Chief Sharkey, who was at the vertical plotter, heard the order to surface, he went to the nearby closet and removed three parkas and three sets of binoculars.   He handed a parka to O’Brien and helped Chip put on his before donning the other one.  The three men climbed up the ladder to the flying bridge where Sharkey handed them the binoculars.

“There she is,” Chip said smiling as they spotted the little yellow sub bobbing on the surface.   They were too far away to see if there was anything wrong with her.

“Mr. Morton,” Sharkey called as he looked at the small sub.   “There’s something red tied to the aft wheel hatch.”

“Yes, I saw that.   That’s the skipper’s signal to show there’s a problem with her,” Chip replied his smile fading.  “Chief, prepare a zodiac to take me, you, Kowalski and Patterson over to her.   I want full personal protective equipment issued.”

“Aye, sir,” Sharkey replied as he returned to the control room picked up the mic and ordered the deck crew to prepare the zodiac and then stopped at Kowalski’s and Patterson’s consoles.

“You two, you’re coming with me.  We’re going to take a zodiac over to the flying sub but I need help getting the PPE.   The skipper signaled something maybe wrong with her.”

The two men quickly vacated the stations and two other men sat down.  They gathered up the gear they would need along with some jackets to put underneath.   Chip and Bobby had returned to the control room while the men retrieved the gear. Chip went to the radio shack and got a two-way radio from Sparks so they would be in contact with boat since more than likely the radio wasn’t working.  They donned the jackets, protective gear and headed up the ladder to the deck where the deck crew was waiting to help them board the zodiac.  It was a little more difficult with the PPE but Chip wasn’t taking any chances on what they would find on the little sub.  

Once on board, Kowalski steered the zodiac around the sub so they could check out the outside.  As they got closer to her, they noticed she was scratched and had a few gouges on her port and starboard sides.

“What did they run into,” Sharkey asked as they looked over the sub.

“Chief, you know Captain Crane would do anything to protect his ‘baby’.  I think it’s more like what ran into them.” Chip replied as they continued to the aft section and notice her fins were also scratch and gouged but also had some dents.

Kowalski maneuvered the zodiac up to the aft hatch. 

“Put on your gloves and face shields,” Chip ordered before he opened up the hatch.  He removed the red object which they now saw was Janet’s sweater.

Chip was the first one to board followed by Sharkey, then Patterson.   Once he was inside, Kowalski handed him a rope so they could secure the zodiac to the sub and he joined the rest of the men in the sub.

“Chief, check out the reactor,” Chip said.  “Patterson, check out the radio.”

“Mr. Morton, there’s a problem with the reactor.   It’s not in the danger zone yet but in a hour we wouldn’t be able to stay here and it’s not responding to the controls.”

“Thanks Chief, we’ll make our stay here short.  Patterson any luck with the radio?”

“No sir, it’s dead.”

Chip looked over at the right control panel and could see the singe marks from a fire.   “Looks like they had a problem here too.”

Kowalski checked the lockers to see if anything had been removed.   “Sir, the raft is gone…so are the scuba suits, parkas, supplies and weapons.”

“Shit,” Chip muttered softly.   “That means they’re out on the ocean in a four-person raft and with no means of communication as their SAT phones must not be working either.”

“Chief, Kowalski, stay on board and keep your PPE on at all times. Patterson and I will return to Seaview and send a repair crew back in the zodiac to help you repair the reactor.   Once she’s repaired, radio the boat.  We’ll have the magnetic retrieval system ready if you can’t get her there on her own,” Chip ordered leaving them the radio.

A couple of hours later, Sharkey radioed Seaview and reported they would not need the retrieval system as they would be able to bring her back.   Once she was docked, the repair crew would complete the rest of the repairs.


When Chip and Patterson descended down the ladder into the control room, Jamie and a corpsman were there waiting for them.

“Where are they?” Jamie asked looking up the ladder hoping to see them bringing down the Harry, Lee and Janet.

“Sorry Doc, there was no one on board,” Chip replied unhappily.

“What do you mean…where could they go…are they dressed properly…food?” Jamie said frustrated.

“The three of them are out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a four-person raft with no radio,” Chip answered angrily.   “They couldn’t stay on board FS-1 as the radiation levels were rising.   They have parkas, dry scuba suits, emergency survival blankets, MRE’s and water.   It looks like Janet took some of her clothes as the suitcase contained most of Lee’s.   She probably was able to put more clothes under the scuba suit for insulation since the suit would have been huge on her.  The suits have under liners but they’re exposed to all weather conditions.”

“Now what?” Jamie asked wondering if they were even still alive.  He knew the weather and water were very cold and even with the gear they had it wasn’t warm enough to ward off the weather conditions indefinitely.

“I’m going to contact the Navy and Coast Guard to send out search and rescue boats and aircraft to try and find them.   Jamie, I don’t know if we’ll even find them since I have no idea which way they’re heading.   I don’t know if they have a compass and the sky is very overcast so they can’t even navigate using the stars.”

“Chip, you know Lee…so you have to think like Lee.   You’ve done it before,” Jamie said urgently.

“I’m sure he’ll head west and south hoping to run into the shipping lanes where maybe a boat will spot them,” Chip replied.  “Thanks Jamie.”

Chip ran over to the radio shack and had Sparks place a called to the Navy.  He explained the situation and they assured him they would send out all the aircraft and boats they could spare.   There was a storm on the east coast and they were already tied up with rescues in the area but would do the best they could.  They would also send out a bulletin to any ships in the area to be on the look-out for the raft.   He told them Seaview would be heading in a southeasterly direction to look for them also.

Chip returned to the plotting table where he and O’Brien charted a new course.   Chip gave the course to maneuvering and brought the boat up to flank speed.

Hang on guys, Chip thought, we’ll find you.

Chip then place a call to the Institute to let them know what had taken place and to alert communications for any SOS or mayday calls that may come in to pinpoint their location and let him know.  He’d done everything he could to find Harry, Lee and Janet so he stood in the observation nose and watched as Seaview plowed through the water.


When Lee woke up the next morning he was pressed up against the bulkhead.  He felt Janet climb in bed with him last night and figured she must have been cold.  He tried to get out of the bed without waking her but she sat up as soon as he moved.

 “I felt you slip in the bed with me…are you okay…were you cold?”

“No, I’m sorry I had a feeling that someone was watching me so I wanted to be close to you,” Janet admitted as she got out of the bed.

“You think someone’s watching you.  Sweetie, I checked out the boat, there’s no one on board except us,” he said trying to reassure her.

“I know but it’s just a feeling,” she replied with a shiver.

Lee gave her a quick kiss, “If it’ll make you feel better, we’ll check out the boat again.  I want to take a closer look up at what’s up front.”

Once out of bed, Lee made his way out the cabin door and checked the weather outside.  It was cold, overcast and looked like it would start snowing any minute.   He then went up to the wheelhouse to check the direction of wind direction and compass. The winds weren’t very strong but the compass showed they were still heading west.

Lee then made his way to the head.  “Hopefully we have some hot water so we can take a shower,” he stated as Janet looked in the chest to see if there were any towels.  She found some clean towels and handed one to Lee as he turned on the water glad to feel it was warm.  He took a quick shower and returned to the cabin where Janet gathered her clothes and took a shower.

While Janet was in the shower, Harry came out of his room as Lee was making coffee.

“Sleep okay?” Harry asked as he rubbed his hand through his hair.

“Not too good,” Lee replied and told him about Janet’s feeling of being watched.

Chuckling Harry said, “It’s a good thing she’s never been on some of our previous cruises or she’d never step foot on the boat again.”

Smiling, Lee nodded his head in agreement.

“What’s the weather like?” Harry asked knowing Lee would check it out.

“Still overcast, cold and not much wind but we’re still heading west.   I think it might snow.”

Janet came out of the shower and went into the cabin to hang up the towels on the rack. 

She found the two men in the galley talking as they waited for the coffee to finish perking.   “Here’s a towel for you,” Janet said as she handed Harry the towel.

“Thanks.  I’ll be back shortly and we can decide what we’re going to do today over breakfast,” Harry told them as he walked to the head.

“Breakfast?” Janet asked.  “I didn’t find anything for breakfast unless you want soup, beans, chili or MRE’s.  I don’t think there’re any breakfast MRE’s unless you want peanut butter and jelly.”

“I’ll take that,” Lee replied with a grin.  He’d never did like MRE’s but they had gotten a lot better lately.

Harry finished his shower and returned to the galley as Lee opened up the MRE.  

“Sorry admiral, only PB & J for breakfast,” Janet told him as she handed him the MRE and kept one for herself.

As she opened it up, she managed to cut her finger on the package.   She needed a bandage and went looking for the first aid kit.   “Lee, did you take the first aid kit with you when you were in the engine room yesterday?” she asked as she didn’t find it in the day room where they left their gear.

“No, I didn’t take it,” Lee answered when she returned to the galley.

“Hmm, I know we brought it on board with us,” Janet responded thinking it was strange that it was missing.  “I’ll be fine, I’ll look for it later.”  She sucked the blood off her finger.

As they were ‘enjoying’ their breakfast, Lee suggested, “I would like to check out the front of the boat again.  Maybe there’s something up there we can use to fix the radio and engines.”

“I wouldn’t mind seeing the rest of this trawler,” Harry agreed.

They finished up and made their way to the front of the boat.  In the center of the main deck were several holds where they would store the fish when they caught them.  As they neared the bow of the boat, Janet felt as though someone was walking behind her, but when she turned around there was no one there.   When they were almost to the front of the boat, Lee and Harry spotted a storage room.  As they checked it out, Janet continued all the way to the bow where she found a couple more heads and a room full of bunks she assumed were for the crew.  She went into the room making sure the door was propped open.   As she looked around she heard the door slam close.   She quickly went to the door and tried to open it but it was locked from the outside.   The boat was not rolling that much that the door would be wedged closed.  She suddenly got a whiff of a man’s cologne.  She looked around the room to see if someone had entered it while she was looking around but the room was empty. 

“Lee, Lee,” she yelled as she pounded on the door still trying to get it open.

Harry and Lee had finished checking out the storage room and found some tools they hoped would help them with the repairs.  They were looking at some equipment on the deck when Lee notice Janet wasn’t with them.

“Where’s Janet?” Lee asked worriedly.

“She was right here a minute ago,” Harry replied as he looked around the area.

As they proceeded towards the front of the boat, they heard her yelling for help.   Lee quickly found the bunk area, and unlocked the door where Janet fell into his arms.

“Why did you lock the door?” she asked angrily.

“We didn’t lock the door,” Lee replied surprised she would accuse them of doing that. “We were nowhere near this area.   It must have a locked on its own.”

“Lee, I put a wedge under the door so it wouldn’t close,” Janet insisted.  “Someone purposely locked me in here.”

“Sweetie, take it easy,” Lee said calmly trying to soothe her.  He took her hand, “Come on, let’s head back to the wheelhouse and see if we can repair the radio.”

Harry led the way with Lee and Janet following.  As they walked, Janet kept turning around looking for someone.  They passed a couple more storage closets but didn’t take the time to look in them.


Once back at the wheelhouse, Lee and Harry took apart the radio while Janet checked out the captain’s cabin.   As she looked through the items on the small desk, she found his log book and discovered the captain’s name was Alton Bakova and his last entry was dated two weeks ago.  As she continued to search the desk, she also found another log book with the name Lyobulova stenciled on the front.  She opened the book and found that name of the captain to be Borok Chulpan.   She stretched out on the Captain’s bunk and started reading the first entry when the trawler, The Lorybova left Newfoundland five weeks ago.

Captain’s Log

Sunday morning - Just left Newfoundland for Baffin Island.  Hopefully this trip will be more profitable than the last one-just barely made expenses.

Monday morning – Slow going as there’s a lot of ice.   Men so far are in a good mood.   

Tuesday evening – Weather not too bad.   Looking forward to arriving at Baffin Bay.  Men are getting antsy but will calm down once we start fishing.

Wednesday morning – Finally reached Baffin Bay and will throw out the nets first thing in the morning.  Cold, windy, and snowing. 

Thursday morning – Got the nets out at daybreak.   Slow going as the water is very rough and the winds are almost at gale force.  

Friday afternoon – Pulled in our first catch…not too many fish…hopefully it will be better tomorrow.  According to the radio, the weather should be better.

Janet tried to read more of Bakova’s entries but before long she was yawning and fell asleep.


Harry and Lee had been working on the radio for an hour when Harry asked, “Where’d Janet disappear to?   I haven’t seen her in a while.”

“I think she’s in the captain’s cabin,” Lee replied as he stopped working on the radio and entered the cabin where he found her sound asleep.   He picked up the log book that had fallen out of her hand and put it back on the desk and went back to the wheelhouse.

“She’s sleeping in the captain’s bunk.  She was reading his log book and fell asleep.”

“It must be pretty boring,” Harry quipped.

Smiling, Lee replied, “I wonder if whoever reads our log books would fall asleep?”

“No, they would probably think they were reading a science fiction novel, as no one would ever believe some of the entries,” Harry snorted.

They returned to working on the radio having found some wire when they searched the storage room and totally rewired it.  Harry put the cover back on, turned it on but still got static.

“Admiral, did you hear voices over the static,” Lee asked as he tried to hear what they were saying.

“Just faintly,” Harry replied and turned the tuning knob trying to dial in the band but nothing would come through. 

They continued to try and dial in the voices or any band that didn’t have static.  Nothing they tried would get rid of the annoying noise and they no longer heard the voices. 


As Janet laid there sleeping, a man’s hand reached out and rubbed her cheek.  Janet felt someone touch her cheek and squeeze her hand and figured Lee was trying to wake her up.  She opened her eyes and no one was in the cabin but she smelled the same cologne from the bunk area earlier.

 “Lee,” she shouted and quickly jumped off the bunk and ran into the wheelhouse.   “Were you just in the captain’s cabin…please tell me you were?”

Lee looked at her and had no idea what she was talking about.   “No, Harry and I have been working on the radio.   I went in there about an hour ago but you were sound asleep.”

“Someone touched me…rubbed my check and squeezed my hand,” she replied terrified. 

“Sweetie, you were dreaming, that’s all,” Lee answered worriedly. 

“No…I smelled the cologne again…someone is on this boat,” she insisted.

She grabbed Lee’s hand and dragged him into the cabin with Harry following behind.   “Don’t you smell it?”

“I don’t smell any cologne,” Harry said furrowing his brow.

“Lee, Harry, you have to believe me,” Janet cried.  

“We’ve searched the boat from top to bottom,” Lee stressed, “there’s no one on board except the three of us.”

Janet looked at Lee and Harry and she could see they thought she was losing control.  She took a deep breath, “Okay, there’s no one else on board,” she replied unconvincingly.

She went back to the cabin, grabbed the log book and sat down in the captain’s chair in the wheelhouse near the radio shack as she didn’t want to be alone.  She continued reading the book.

Saturday Morning – Weather is perfect.   Nets are out and we’ve already got quite a catch of fish.    Filled up two of the holds.   Hopefully we’ll fill the other two tomorrow.  

Sunday Morning – Weather not as good as yesterday.   Got a late start on getting the nets out as the men decided to sleep in.   I’m going to have to replace them.  They’re getting lazier.  

Sunday Evening – Only filled one hold.  We’re heading to Baffin Island to sell the fish.   Tired of this shit. 

Monday morning – Should make Baffin Island by tomorrow afternoon.   Having trouble with the men and engines.   Can’t wait for this trip to be over.

Tuesday afternoon – Finally pulled into the harbor in one of the small towns.   Made barely enough money to pay the men, repair the engines and refill the fuel tanks for the trip back home.   Men aren’t happy with their pay so they decided not to come back with me and hitched up with another bigger boat.   Can’t stay here so I’ll head back by myself. 

Wednesday morning – Left Baffin Island at dawn.  Going to be long trip back with no one to talk to.   Lucky for me this boat is easy to handle.

Wednesday evening – Boy I’m exhausted.  She may be easy to handle but gets real tiring doing it yourself.   Turned off the engines and dropped anchor for a few hours to get some shut eye.   Taking a few belts of whiskey to help me sleep.

As Janet continued reading the log she could see that the captain’s handwriting was getting harder to read. Maybe too much whiskey, Janet wondered.

Thursday morning – Got an early start but the weather has taken a turn for the worse.  Huge waves crashing over the bow of the boat.  Have to cover the holds before they fill with water.  Wind so strong you can barely stand…not going anywhere without my life jacket.    Should have brought more whiskey…need it to keep warm.

Thursday afternoon – Need to tie down the hook on the crane as it has come lose and is crashing into the side of the boat.  Need to take care of it before it puts a hole in the side.  I hate this boat…should have never bought it from the old man.   Shouldn’t have changed the name…the old man was right…it is cursed…so am I and anyone who comes aboard.

Janet turned the page looking for the next entry and it was blank.   There was nothing more written in the log.

I wonder what happened to Anton and if he fell overboard, Janet thought. She closed the log book and returned it to the captain’s cabin.  I’ll have to ask Lee about a boat being cursed if you change its name.


She looked outside and was surprised to see how black the sky was out in front of the boat.  She went into the radio shack where Harry and Lee were still trying to tune in the radio but weren’t having any luck.  They had been at it for over three hours and it still didn’t work. 

She heard Harry remark, “If I didn’t know any better, I’d think someone was purposely keeping this radio from working. Let’s take a break and get some dinner.”

“Before we eat dinner, you better take a look outside.  It looks like a bad storm is heading our way,” Janet added.

Both men left the radio shack and returned to the wheelhouse.  

“It sure does look like a bad storm brewing,” Lee commented.  “I better make sure everything is secure outside.  I’ll be right back.”

Lee returned to his cabin and grabbed his parka.  As he donned the parka, he stopped at the engine room door where two fuel cans used for the generator were stored and checked to make sure they were full.  He continued out the passageway door and over to the raft where he pulled out the life jackets.  He put one on and put the other two in the passageway so they would be safe from the storm. He could feel the wind was getting stronger and the temperature dropping.  He double checked the raft making sure it was secured to the railings.   He found another coil of rope and tied it around the raft and the railings just to make sure it didn’t blow away.  As he made his way around the boat, he secured whatever was lying about making sure it wouldn’t fly around during the storm.  He worked his way to the front of the boat and to the crane on the forecastle deck.   He secured the crane and the hook that was used to pull the nets from the ocean.   He then made his way to the front of the boat, securing all the doors.  When he got to the bunk area, the doors were already closed, and locked from the outside.   As he returned to the wheelhouse, he stopped at each of the four holds and made sure they were covered.  The bilge pumps would take care of the water that came across the deck in the storm but wouldn’t be able to handle it if the holds filled up with water.  Once he felt everything was tied down and secure, he returned to the wheelhouse where Harry and Janet were waiting for him.

“Everything is secure and tied down,” he told them as he removed his PFD and parka and set it on the floor.   We’re going to be in for a rough night so we better grab a quick dinner.

Harry agreed with Lee and they proceeded to the galley where they decided on soup.  While they ate, Janet started to tell them what was in the log book but stopped when they heard a huge crash outside.  They ran up to the wheelhouse and looked out the windows and saw crane’s hook had come loose in the wind and was crashing against the boat.

“If we don’t tie that down, it’ll put a hole in the side of the boat,” Lee remarked.   “I’ll go out and secure it.”

“No,” Janet yelled grabbing his hand.   “You can’t…you’ll die just like him.”

Harry and Lee looked at Janet.   “What do you mean he’ll die just like him,” Harry asked cautiously.

“The captain of the boat went out to tie down the hook and never came back,” Janet warned.

“I’ll put on a life vest and tie myself to one of the post,” Lee stated firmly.   “We’ll sink if that hook caves in the side of the boat.”

“Please don’t go,” Janet implored.  “Please.”

Taking her hand, “I have to go out there.  We don’t have a choice if we want to stay alive.”

Knowing Lee was right, Janet begged, “Okay but please, please be careful.”

Lee went to the wheelhouse, put on his parka, PFD and headed out the door. He could barely shut the door the wind was so strong.   Damn, he thought, the winds blowing in the wrong direction.   We’re losing a lot of ground by heading east.   He continued to the forecastle deck, where he found some rope and tie himself to a post on the deck.  He snagged the crane’s large hook that had broken free with a grappling hook he found hanging on the wall and secured it.   As he was returning to the wheelhouse, Lee felt his rope go slack and a gust of wind blew him overboard.  As he was falling, he used the grappling hook still in his hand and caught it on the side of the boat before he fell into the raging frigid waters. 

Harry and Janet watched in horror as Lee was blown over the side of the boat.

“Lee,” Janet screamed and started out the door before Harry grabbed her by the waist and threw her back in the wheelhouse.  

“Stay here and don’t move,” he ordered in a voice Janet had only heard once before.  “You can’t help him now.  You’ll be tossed overboard just like him and I won’t let that happen,” Harry said softly as he gathered Janet into his arms looking over at the deck where Lee had just been.

“How could his rope come undone?” Janet asked as she sobbed into his shoulder. 

As Harry gently stroked her back he replied, “I don’t know as he can tie those knots in his sleep and he’d never take a chance on one coming unfastened.”


Lee clung to the side of the boat holding on for dear life using every ounce of strength he had to pull himself up the side of the boat and onto the deck.   He almost lost his grip on the handle of the hook when a large wave washed over him.   He was finally able to get a leg over the top of the boat and hoisted the rest of his body onto the deck where he laid for a few seconds catching his breath before making his way back to the wheelhouse.  He would have to crawl along the deck as the wind was too strong for him to stand.  He slowly inched his way to the wheelhouse where he reached the door handle and yanked it open. 

He fell into the wheelhouse where he laid shivering.  Harry and Janet were surprised to see him. Harry quickly removed his PFD while Janet unzipped the water laden parka.  His clothes were soaking wet.

“Lee, we saw you go overboard,” Harry said quietly grateful to be looking into the eyes of the man he considered his son.

Lee sat up as Janet grabbed a blanket from the captain’s cabin and wrapped it around him.

“The grappling hook caught the side of the boat as I went over.   Someone untied my line,” Lee stated.

“Who would’ve untied your line?” Harry asked.  “We’re the only ones on board.”

“He did it.  Captain Bakova,” Janet insisted her voice shaking.

Lee and Harry looked at Janet.  “Who’s Captain Bakova?” Lee asked.

“He’s the captain of the boat.  You’ll have to read the log book,” Janet said but first let’s get you out of these wet clothes before you catch pneumonia,” she said as Lee stood up with the blanket still wrapped around him. “I thought I had lost you forever,” she whispered as she gave him a hug and a kiss.

“I’ll take a shower, change and then you better let us read the log book,” Lee said. 

Before they left the wheelhouse, Janet went into the captain’s cabin so she could get the log book for Lee and Harry to read but it wasn’t there.  She looked in the chest, in the bunk and under the bunk.  She searched the whole cabin and couldn’t find it. She even searched the wheelhouse and it was nowhere to be found.   I know I put it back here, Janet thought, but maybe I left it in the day room.

“What’s wrong?” Lee asked seeing a puzzled look on Janet’s face when she came out of the cabin.

“I could have sworn I left the log book in here,” she replied, “but maybe it’s in the day room.”

“Don’t worry about, we’ll find it or you can tell us what you read,” Harry said as they left the wheelhouse.

The three of them returned to the main deck. Lee went to the cabin where he grabbed his only set of extra clothes; black pants and black turtleneck and headed for the shower.  Hoping to take away the chill he felt down to his bones, he took a long hot shower.

While he showered, Janet took his shoes and put them by the heater hoping they would dry out.  She gave him a couple of pairs of her socks, which she knew would be too small but at least his feet would be warm.  

The wind had picked up considerably and even though the boat was pitching and rocking more than before, Janet was able to make a pot of coffee watching it carefully so it wouldn’t fall off the stove.   When Lee finished his shower, he came out of the head rubbing his hair dry. He hung up the towel in the cabin and returned to the day room where Janet had poured three cups of coffee.  Lee sat down on the couch next to Janet and across from Harry.

After taking a gulp of coffee he said, “You better let me see that log book.” 

“It isn’t here either,” Janet replied still wondering where the book went.

“Tell us what he wrote,” Harry told her taking a drink a of coffee.

Janet went on to tell them about how they didn’t have a good catch and that the men deserted him because of what they got paid and he was returning back to Newfoundland all alone on the boat.   She hesitated slightly when she got to the part about the curse.

“Lee, what happens when you change the name of a boat…can the boat be cursed?”

Lee looked at Harry and then back at Janet, “How do you know he changed the name of the boat?”

Janet saw the look Lee gave Harry and continued, “The captain wrote that the boat is cursed because he changed the name but he wrote he’d been drinking whiskey to help him sleep and keep warm so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it but I did find another log book with Lyobulova stenciled on the front.  The captain’s name was Borok Chulpan.  I found it in the desk with the one from Captain Bakova.”

Lee let out a deep sigh, “Sweetie, sailors can be a very superstitious lot.  There’s a very specific ceremony most will go through when they rename a boat.  I’ve read of boats being struck by lightning, their engines ruined by seawater, damaged in a collision and some even sank because they didn’t follow the ceremony.  If Bakova didn’t do the ceremony, maybe the boat is cursed.”

“Do you really believe that?” Janet asked totally surprised that Lee and Harry would believe in curses but then with what she’s seen on Seaview she guessed anything’s possible.

“Let me get us some more coffee and I’ll explain,” Lee said.

As he walked into the galley, a large pot crashed to the floor missing his head but smashed into his shoulder.

“What the hell,” Lee shouted as he rubbed his shoulder where a nice bruise was already forming.

Harry and Janet ran into the galley.  “Janet, you should have put that pot away,” Lee said curtly.  

“Lee, I put every pot and pan in the cabinets when we were finished with dinner.  I even made sure the cabinet doors were secured,” Janet snapped back.

“Then where did this pot come from?”

“That’s what I’m trying to tell you,” Janet declared.  “He’s going to kill us.”

“Or make us turn on each other,” Harry remarked.

Lee and Janet looked at Harry.   Lee spoke up, “Maybe he’s hoping we’ll turn on each other.  We know none of us will do anything to hurt the others.  We’ll just have to be more careful of what we’re doing and where we’re going.”


Chip stood at the charting table looking over the course he’d set.  Seaview was running in a zig-zag pattern heading south and east hoping to find the raft.  He knew Lee would head for the nearest land area. Jamie walked in the aft hatch and noticed how worried and tired Chip looked.

“How about some dinner?” Jamie asked.  “I know you didn’t eat lunch.”

“Did Cookie tell on me…not really hungry,” Chip replied trying to suppress a yawn.   He’d been on duty for over eighteen hours and didn’t get much sleep the night before.

“Yes, and you know, you’re not going to be able to help them if and when they’re found if you’re exhausted,” Jamie remarked.

Chip looked at Jamie, “You’re right,” he answered, “but I feel I should be doing something more.”

“Chip, you’re doing everything you can.  We’ll find them,” Jamie assured him with a pat on the shoulder.

“Mr. O’Brien, I’ll be in the wardroom, if anything turns up,” Chip said and left with Jamie.


When the two men finished dinner, Chip returned to the control room where Bobby had gone off duty and was replaced with Jenkins and Taper.   He gave them orders to continue following a zig-zag course and to let him know if they spotted anything.   He ascended the staircase and went to his quarters.  He removed his tie and sat down at his desk and rubbed his forehead as he was starting to get a headache.   He looked at his watch and knew he was due to place a call to the institute.

He picked up the phone, “Jones, connect me to the institute.”

“Yes sir,” Jones replied and made the connection.

“Chip…any news?” Angie asked her voice quivering.

“Hi Angie,” he said wearily.   “Nothing since we found the flying sub.   We’re doing everything we can to find them but it’s a big ocean.  I’m going to check in with the Navy tomorrow.”

“Please keep us informed, with any news,” Angie begged as tears ran down her cheeks.

“I’ll make sure you know.   Keep in touch with communications in case they report in.”

“I’ve told them to call you no matter what time it is.”

“Thanks Angie.   I’ll talk to you when I have more information.”

Chip severed the connection and then asked Jones to place a call to Julie…he needed to talk to her.  

“Hi honey,” he said glad to hear her voice.

“You sound tired,” she replied.   “I take it you haven’t found them.”

“No,” Chip said unhappily.   “It’s like they just disappeared.”

“You’ll find them.  If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know,” Julie answered with concern.

“I will, love you and talk to you soon.”

“Love you too,” Julie responded and heard Chip disconnect the call.

Chip laid down on his bunk fully dressed and fell asleep.  


The storm was intensifying outside as the boat was pitching and rocking more than before and they heard the rain and sleet pelting the outside of the cabin.

“I better check the generator and make sure it has gas so we don’t freeze tonight,” Lee said and made his way to the engine room.   The generator was almost out of gas so Lee filled up the tank.  He emptied the can and went to engine room door where the other two cans were stored.   He picked up one of them and it was empty; same with the second one.   I know those cans were full when I checked them earlier, Lee thought knowing someone had purposely emptied the cans.

“We have a problem,” he said when he returned to the day room.   “We’re almost out of gas for the generator. I know the two extra can were full when I made my rounds.  I don’t know what happened to the gas so we’re going to have to turn off the generator for a while to make the gas last.”

Once Lee turned off the generator, they would not only lose their heat but the hot water for showers.

“How could two cans of gas be emptied,” Janet asked.  After seeing the look on Lee’s face, “Never mind,” she said before he could reply.  “I guess we better bundle up for the night. Can I take my shower now while there’s still warm water and the boat is warm?” 

The two men smiled, “Of course,” Lee replied.  “Once Harry takes his, I’ll shut off the generator until morning.”

Janet quickly got her things for the shower.  She would need to put on her extra clothes tonight and would definitely climb in bed with Lee to keep warm. 

She entered the head with her clothes and towel.  The head was a little larger than the one on Seaview as it had a larger shower and a bigger sink.   She turned the water on and waited for it to get warm.   She knew it would have to be a quick one so Harry would have enough hot water.

 As she showered, she closed her eyes as she rinsed out her hair and felt a hand around her wrist.

“Lee, what do you want?” she laughed assuming he had come in to shower with her.

Before she could push his hand away, it was around her throat choking her and holding her face under the water.  She couldn’t breath as the water ran into her nose and mouth and down her throat.  She struggled to remove the hands from her throat but the grip was too tight.  She lost consciousness and fell to the floor of the shower as the water continued to run in her face.

Lee and Harry were in the day room talking about the incoming storm when Lee noticed that Janet was still in the shower.

“I wonder what’s taking her so long,” Lee commented. “She knows there’s not a lot of hot water.”

“It’s okay, Lee,” Harry replied as he didn’t need to shower if the hot water ran out.

After a couple more minutes, Lee stood up and went to the head door where he found it was locked from the inside.  

“Janet,” Lee yelled as he pounded on the door, “Janet…open the door.”

When she didn’t open the door, he wasted no time kicking in it and pushed aside the curtain where he found her unconscious on the shower floor.  He shut off the water, grabbed the towel wrapping her up in it the best he could, picked her, carried her to the cabin and laid her on the cot.

She started to come to as Lee was checking her out but she was fighting and pushing his hand away from her.  “No, stop,” she pleaded in a raspy voice.

“Sweetie, it’s okay, it’s me,” Lee said gently and noticed thumbprint shaped bruises on her neck.  Lee was worried as strange things were taking place on the boat but whoever or whatever was aboard had gone too far when they tried to kill his wife; he was seething mad but had no one to take out his frustrations on as he knew there was no one aboard and it could only be one thing…a ghost or the spirit of the captain but which one.

Janet finally realized it was Lee who was sitting next to her, “Someone tried to choke and drown me…he put his hand around my throat,” she cried hysterically coughing as her throat hurt to talk.   “We have to get off this boat, it’s cursed just like log said…please before he succeeds in killing one of us.”

“Sweetheart, please try and calm down,” Lee said as he pushed her wet hair from her face.  “We can’t leave the boat…we’ve no other place to go…we can’t take the raft, we’d die out there in this storm.”

Once Harry knew Janet was okay, he returned to the day room leaving them alone but saw the look on Lee’s face and knew he was angry. 

“Janet, let’s get you dressed,” Lee suggested trying to remain calm so she would calm down.   He looked around the room at her clothes.  

Still unnerved by what had taken place in the shower, “Give me the grey pants and black sweater,” she said as she finished drying her hair with the towel.

“Sweetie, there are no grey pants or black sweater,” Lee told her.

“They were here this morning,” she replied.   “He must have taken them.”  

She went over to the cot and picked up the black woolen pants and black turtleneck.   Lee watched her as she slipped into the pants, turtleneck, socks and shoes.  She grabbed her fleece jacket and was having trouble zipping up the zipper as her hands were still shaking.  Lee helped her with the zipper, took her into his arms and held her close. 

“Lee, I’m scared,” Janet said as she rested her head on his chest.

“We’ll be alright,” he replied and kissed the top of her head. 

They went out to the day room where Harry was waiting.  Lee and Janet sat down on the couch opposite Harry.   The storm had gotten worse, rocking and rolling more than before so it made it difficult to sit on the couches without falling off.

Harry looked at Lee then Janet.   “’I’m sorry I got you both into this mess.”

Janet looked at Harry, “It’s not your fault.  How did we know some large creatures of the deep would take out the flying sub?”

Harry patted her hand, “Thanks,” he replied, “but there’s a huge storm raging out there and I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse as the night goes on.  We’re safer here than anywhere,” Harry reassured her. “It’s going to get cold once Lee turns off the generator.   We’ll grab the mattresses from the cots, our emergency blankets, parkas, whatever clothes you want to put on and we’ll sleep on the floor.  It’ll be warmer than the raft,” Harry quipped trying to help Janet relax.

Janet looked at Lee and then Harry and nodded her head; she didn’t want to be alone.   While Harry took his shower, Lee and Janet grabbed all the bedding, blankets and the two parkas.   Lee’s was still soaking wet so he would wear Janet’s as she had a few more layers of clothing on along with her shoes.   Lee’s shoes were not quite dry and he would have to continue to wear her socks if he wanted warm feet.  They laid out the bedding the opposite way the boat was rocking.   As soon as Harry finished his shower, Lee turned off the generator and hoped it would start in the morning.   The three of them climbed in the makeshift bed and huddled under the covers leaving the light on in the galley.


As the storm intensified the rocking of the boat finally got to Janet and she was sea sick.  She woke up not too long after they had retired and ran to the bathroom.  Lee quickly followed her in and sat next to her while she threw up.   When she was finished, he wet a cloth and wiped her face.

“I’m sorry,” she croaked out as her throat was sore and sat on the floor shivering as the temperature on the boat had dropped considerably with the generator off.

“It’s okay sweetie,” Lee replied as he wasn’t feeling that good either another reason why he preferred submarines.   “Do you think you can come back to bed?”

“I think so,” she said and slowly stood up and got her bearings before returning to the day room.

Harry woke up and was waiting for them to return as he too was barely holding on.  

Once settle back under the blankets, Harry remarked, “You lasted longer than I thought you would.”

Janet managed a weak grin, laid down next to Lee who wrapped his arm around her.   She laid there for a while and knew she wouldn’t go back to sleep as the rocking of the boat got worse. 

“Lee,” she said softly, “are you awake?”

He turned to face her, “Yes, you okay?”

“Still feel sick…can’t sleep.   Tell me how you change the name of a boat so it won’t be cursed…maybe it’ll take my mind off the rocking.”

“According to legend, all boats are recorded by name in the ‘Ledger of the Deep’ and is known to Poseidon, or Neptune.  So, if you want to change the name of the boat, you must purge its name from the ‘Ledger of the Deep’ and Poseidon’s memory.   You have to remove every trace of the boat’s current identity.  This must be done thoroughly so you have to remove everything with the old boat’s name on it from the boat.   Most will remove all the log books, engine and maintenance records and whatever else has the name on it and start with new records.  It’s very important you don’t bring any items with your boat’s new name on board until you’ve purged the old name and the renaming ceremonies have been completed.”

“Once you have removed all traces of her old name, you make a metal tag with the old name written in water-soluble ink.  You also need a good bottle of Champagne.”

“Champagne?” Janet asked quietly not wanting to wake Harry.

Harry was awake as he didn’t feel very well either and was listening to Lee explain the renaming process.

“Yes, you then recite a specific passage to the ruler of the deep. When you finish the first part of the passage, you drop the metal tag in the water.  You then finish reciting the rest of the passage and you pour at least half the bottle of Champagne into the sea from East to West.”

“What do you do with the rest of the Champagne?”

“You drink it and share it with your guests if you’ve invited some.”

“What do you do to get the new name on the boat?”

“Normally it’s done right after the purging ceremony and you need more Champagne,” Lee told her and continued.  “You still have a few more gods to appease so you begin the renaming by calling Poseidon and recite another passage asking him to record the new name of the boat and ask him to keep her safe through her journeys.   You take the bottle of champagne and pour the whole bottle into the sea from East to West except for one glass for the master and first mate of the boat.”

“Wow there’s sure a lot involved in renaming a boat,” Janet said as she closed her eyes hoping the nausea would subside.

“You okay…do you want me to continue?” Lee asked gently rubbing her arm as he waited for her to open her eyes.

“Please,” Janet replied as she opened her eyes and took a deep breath causing her to cough.

“We’re not done yet,” Lee replied.   “You now have to appease the gods of the winds.  This will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas.  Because the four winds are brothers you can invoke them all at the same time but during the ceremony you have to address each one by name.  There’s another passage you recite to the winds and fling Champagne into each of the winds while facing that direction.”

“The winds have names?”  Janet asked seriously.

“Yes, Great Boereas is the North Wind, Great Zephyrus is the West Wind, Great Eurus is the East Wind and Great Notus is the South Wind,” Lee told her.   “Once you’re finished with the winds any Champagne that is left over you can drink celebrating the new name of the boat.   You can then bring aboard all your items bearing the new name of the boat.   Usually the name is painted on the transom before the ceremony and is covered up so no one can see it prior to the renaming ceremony but once that’s finished you can remove the covering revealing the new name.”***

“Lee, would you rename a boat or just keep the name it has?”

“No, I don’t think I’d rename a boat, I’m too superstitious.” Lee chuckled, “If I found a boat and didn’t like the name, I probably wouldn’t buy it.”

“Good,” Janet replied with a yawn and snuggled closer to Lee as she fell asleep.

Harry had his back to Lee and Janet so when Lee finished he turned to face him, “Smart man,” Harry said with a grin which Lee returned. 


Chip woke up the next morning and realized he was still in his uniform from yesterday.   He quickly showered, changed and went to the wardroom for breakfast.   After he checked the weather topside, he would call the Navy and see they were able to send out any planes or boats to look for the raft.  He finished his breakfast, entered the control room and made his way over to the radio shack where Sparks was just coming on duty.

“Sparks, get me the weather topside and for the East coast,” Chip ordered.

“Aye sir,” Sparks replied and flipped some switches so he could check on the weather.

Chip went over to the vertical planner and noted where they were.  They were pretty far south of Greenland.  Jenkins and Taper were charting the course as he walked over to them.

“Good morning, sir,” the men said.

“Morning.  Any news?” Chip asked knowing if they had spotted anything they would have called him.

“No sir,” Taper replied.   “We’re still on a zig zag course.”

“Thanks, men,” Chip answered.  “You’re relieved of duty.”

“Aye, sir,” Jenkins responded and noted the change in the log book before leaving the control room.

Bobby O’Brien was just walking in as they were leaving.  He noticed they didn’t look very happy so he figured they hadn’t found them.

“Mr. Morton,” Sparks called out and walked over to him at the charting table and handed him the weather reports.  “Not looking too good topside. The winds are at gale force level and the seas are at twenty foot swells.”

“Damn,” Chip mumbled under his breath.

Everyone in the control room heard the weather report and knew the admiral, skipper and his wife on a raft were no match for the storm.

“Thanks, Sparks,” Chip replied, “keep monitoring the weather and SAT phones.”

“Yes, sir,” he answered and returned to the radio shack.

Chip ran his hand over his hair.   He needed help to find them.   He had a friend that worked for Admiral Perry Dickinson.  He decided to call him and ask him to get Admiral Dickinson for help.  

Chip walked over to Sparks.   “Get me Gary Easton in Admiral Dickinson’s office in Norfolk.  I’ll take it in the observation nose.”

“Aye, sir,” Sparks answered and placed the call.

Chip walked into the observation nose and stared out the huge windows in the Admiral’s ‘front porch’ hoping he would see him, Lee and Janet sitting there soon.

“Sir, I have your call,” Sparks said over the intercom.

Taking a deep breath Chip picked up the mic, “Hi Gary.”

“Chip Morton, have you decided to return to the ‘real Navy’ and get off that research vessel?” Gary joked.

“No, I need your help.   Admiral Nelson, Captain Crane and Mrs. Crane have been missing at sea for over two days and I requested the Navy’s help in locating them but haven’t gotten any word back. Could you please ask Admiral Dickinson to intervene?”

“Chip, I don’t know what I can do but I’ll talk to him about getting help in locating…”

Before Gary could finish his sentence, Admiral Jiggs Starke walked out of Admiral Dickinson’s office and heard him talking.

“Is that Chip Morton…what help does he need?” Starke asked as he snatched the phone out of Gary’s hand.

“Commander, this Admiral Starke.  What and who needs help?”

Chip was surprised at who was on the phone.   “Admiral, sir, Admiral Nelson, Captain Crane and Janet left for Scotland two days ago to see an unveiling of a fossil.  They ran into trouble with FS-1 and are on a raft in the middle of the ocean with no means of communication.  For some reason, their SAT phones aren’t working.   I called the Navy yesterday for help but they said because of the storm they wouldn’t be able to offer assistance.   Sir, that storm is now in the area where we are just south of Greenland.   I’m on a zig-zag course heading south and east figuring Captain Crane would head for the nearest land mass.  I’m calling looking for any help the Navy can offer.”

“Scotland…fossils…what the hell was Harry thinking,” Starke answered.   “I’ll see what I can do but most of the ships were sent south to get out of the way of the Nor’easter but should be returning to port now that the storm has moved out to sea.  The planes couldn’t take off because of the weather near the coast.”

“Sir, we’re experiencing that storm right now.   There’s gale force winds and twenty foot swells,” Chip told Starke.

“I’ll divert a couple of ships to head north and meet up with you.  By the time they get into your area, the storm should be over.  What are your coordinates?”

Chip gave him the coordinates where they were located and the course he had plotted.

“The planes will still be grounded until the storm passes by you.  As soon as I can get those planes airborne, I’ll let you know. Keep in touch, Commander,” Starke ordered.

“Yes sir, thank you sir,” Chip replied but all he heard was the disconnect of the phone.

Chip stowed the mic and stood there looking out the windows.   The crew in the control room looked at him as he returned, “They’re going to send out some help,” Chip said slightly encouraged.   He knew as well as the crew that the raft was no match for the magnitude of the storm raging topside.   He checked the course they were on, gave maneuvering a slight adjustment and noted the change on the chart.  All they could do was continue to search and wait hoping the Navy would spot something.


Lee woke up at dawn and could still hear the wind howling and sleet hitting the side of the boat.   He could tell by their breathing that Harry and Janet were still asleep.   The boat’s rocking and rolling worsened through the night as the storm continued to rage outside so they didn’t get much sleep as Janet was up most of the night.  He felt her shivering as she slept next to him.  He opened up his parka and drew her closer hoping it would help warm her up.  He checked to see that Harry was covered…he was but he was probably as cold as he was.  No need to get up this early, he thought yawning and fell back to sleep.

After sleeping a couple more hours, Lee laid there listening for the storm.   He didn’t hear the wind or sleet pounding against the boat.  Shivering he tried to get up without waking Janet or Harry.   Janet sat up when Lee moved.  

“You okay?” she whispered not wanting to disturb Harry.

“Yes, just fine.  Stay here, I’m going to start the generator.   We need to warm up the boat if we’re going to survive.   I think the storm may have abated but the temperature has fallen,” Lee said as he grabbed his shoes from the vent where they had put them to dry.  He didn’t want to venture into the engine in his stocking feet, so he removed the two pair of socks Janet had given and slipped on his shoes.  They were still damp and freezing cold.  Lee went to the engine room hoping that the generator would start.  They wouldn’t be able to run it very long but just enough to take the chill out of the boat.   Keeping his fingers crossed he pressed the button on the generator, it sputtered and died.  Come on baby,” Lee said as he tried the button again and the generator turned on.   Whew, Lee thought as he returned to the day room where Harry had woken up and sat on the couch with his parka on and wrapped in a couple of blankets.  Janet also sat on the couch wrapped in several blankets.  She handed Lee one to wrap up in as he took the blanket, he looked at her and noticed she still looked ill and even with all the layers of clothing she had on was shivering.

“I’ll make some coffee,” she said as she gathered up her blankets and headed to the galley where she would get some heat from the stove.  As she made the coffee she dropped the scooper on the floor and when she stood up, she bumped her head on the bar attached to the stove that kept the cook from running into the stove in rough weather. Damn, that hurt, she thought as she rubbed her head.  While she waited for the coffee, she looked over at their food supply.  She had been keeping track of what they were using and noticed that all but a couple of MRE’s were gone.

When the coffee was finished, she brought out two mugs.  “Where’s your cup?” Lee asked.

“I can’t drink it,” she replied.  “I’m still not feeling very well and my throat hurts. I think there’s tea in the cupboard, I’ll make a cup of that. Unless you two got up during the night to eat, most of the MRE’s are gone,” she said and returned to the galley, made a cup of tea and when it was ready went back to the day room and sat down. 

They could finally feel the heat radiating through the boat.  It would take a while for it to get warm but they would have to turn off the generator at some point during the day to conserve fuel and restart it at night.

Lee finished his coffee and looked out the small porthole in the day room.   “I’m going to take a look around the boat and see how it faired from the storm.  I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

“Be careful,” Harry said as he watched Lee zip up his parka, put up the hood and pull on his gloves.

He would start in the wheelhouse where he would get his PFD, then check the weather and compass.  The weather had cleared out but is was still overcast and he could see the storm was well east of them.  They were still heading in a northeasterly direction.

He went out the wheelhouse door and over to the port side of the boat where he checked the holds and found that the covers had blown open and snapped off the hinges.  They weren’t too full of water, so Lee knew the bilge pump would take care of the water.   As he made his way to the forecastle deck, the crane and hook were still tied down.   He went to the bow area, checked on the heads and bunk rooms.  Everything was tight and dry there, he grabbed the blankets that were on the bunks figuring they would help ward off the cold.  He made his way to the starboard side of the boat and found everything was still secure.  Before he went to the aft section, he dropped off the extra blankets.  Janet grabbed one and put it on top of the ones she already had on.  Harry was unwrapping himself as he was getting warm.   Lee went out the aft door and was surprised to find the raft gone.   When he examined the ropes, he saw that they hadn’t come undone, someone had deliberately cut the ropes as the knots were still on some of the pieces.

“Damn,” Lee said as Harry walked out the door.

“Where’s the raft?” he asked noticing it was missing.  “Did you move it inside?”

“No,” Lee responded.   “Someone cut the ropes during the storm.”

Harry sighed deeply, “I guess this guy mean business.”


The two men returned to the day room, where Janet was finally warm enough to remove a couple of the blankets.  She brought them the last two MRE’s to eat for breakfast, along with more coffee and tea.  Since the boat had stopped rocking and rolling, she was feeling better but only ate a little of the MRE Lee shared with her.

After the quick breakfast, Lee said, “Harry, why don’t you continue to work on the radio as there’s no sense both of us working on the radio. While you’re doing that, I’ll see what I can do with the engines. If we get the engines running, we won’t have to worry about fuel for the generator as I saw another heater unit attached to the engines. Do you want Janet to stay with you?”

“No Lee, take her with you and the tools.  I’ll keep what I need.  She can help you by handing you the tools you need so you aren’t scurrying back and forth.”

“Okay,” Lee responded as he and Janet headed for the door to the engine room and Harry went back up to the radio shack.

Lee proceeded down the staircase while Janet sat at the top.   He turned on the light and looked over the engines.

“This engine is nothing like the Cobra’s,” Lee said referring to his red Cobra Mustang.  “But engines need fuel and a spark so I’ll check that out first.”

“Please be careful,” Janet implored.

He checked the fuel line and made sure it was connected to the engine.   He then noticed a small generator next to the engine and it wasn’t connected.  

“I might have found the problem,” he said excitedly.   “I have to connect the generator.”    He took the line and found where it should be attached, pressed it in and hit the start switch on the generator.  

Janet saw a large flash of light and heard Lee yell in pain.   She quickly scooted down the ladder and found Lee laying on the floor with a huge burn on the palm of his hand.

“Lee, your hand,” she said as she helped him up.   “Is there anything else hurt?”

“No, just my hand,” Lee answered looking at the angry red mark where a blister was already forming.

“Let’s get some cold water on it.”   Janet helped him up the stairs and into the galley where she took a bottle of water and poured it over the burn.   

Lee gritted his teeth when the water hit the burn.  “I’ll be fine,” he replied as Janet gently patted it dry.

“You need a bandage put on that.   I hope Jamie has some burn cream in the first aid kit,” Janet said as she walked to the day room and looked for the kit.   Damn, she thought, where is that kit?   I know we brought it aboard.   She looked under the couch and then picked up the cushions and looked under them but it wasn’t there.   She went into Harry’s cabin and looked around to no avail.  She checked their cabin and didn’t find the kit. 

“Sweetie, it’s fine,” Lee insisted when she returned to the galley.   “I’ll wrap a piece of paper towel around it.”

“Lee, I know we brought that kit aboard, so where did it go,” Janet wondered, “it just doesn’t disappear…I guess it did just like everything else.”

Lee took a couple of pieces of paper toweling and made a make shift bandage.  I’ve had to use worse things for bandages,” he told her.  “Let’s get back to those engines.  Maybe they’ll start now that I’ve connected the generator.”

Janet didn’t want Lee to go back down there but knew their only chance of getting back to shore and heat were the engines.   “Okay,” she reluctantly agreed.

They proceeded back to the engine room where Lee looked over the engines and saw that the generator and line to the engines had been totally burned and would no way start the engines.   As he looked over the burnt mess, he could have sworn it looked like someone had purposely sabotaged the generator.   He headed back to the bottom of the stairs where Janet was waiting.

“No luck getting those engines started.   The wiring is completely burned and the generator is shorted out.  Let’s go tell Harry.”

Janet ascended the stairs followed by Lee.  The two of them made their way to the radio shack but discovered Harry wasn’t there.

“Did Harry tell you he was leaving the radio shack?”

“No, I haven’t seen or heard from him since we left for the engine room.  Where could he be?” Janet asked frantically.


Seaview continued her zig-zag course staying at two hundred feet because of the storm topside.  Chip had Sparks check the weather and he reported the storm was abating and moving east.  Patterson, on radar, was still having a difficult time scanning the ocean even with the storm subsiding.  Chip stood near the radar with another set of headphones to one ear helping him scan not that he doubted his ability but because he needed something to do.

 Sparks called to him from the radio shack.   “Mr. Morton, I have Admiral Starke on the intercom.”

Chip removed the headphones and quickly made his way over to Sparks.   Picking up the mic Chip answered, “Yes, Admiral?”

“Commander, I’ve managed to get a few planes out to your area plus there should be two destroyers near you shortly.   I’ve made arrangement for them to contact you directly,” Starke said.   “I’ll be in contact.”

“Yes, sir,” Chip replied and handed the mic back to Sparks.

He returned to the plotting table where O’Brien made note of their position so they could relay the information to the planes and boats.  It wasn’t too long before they checked in and Chip give them their current position and the areas they had already checked.  The planes would fly over the previous areas as the boats would continue to follow Seaview’s course only a couple of hundred miles west of them and east of them.

It was late afternoon when Sparks received a call from one of the planes.  He called Chip over to the radio shack where he handed Chip the mic.

“This is Commander Morton, on Seaview what do you have?” Chip asked urgently.

“Commander, I’m Harris Ripley, a pilot on one of the planes assigned to fly over the area north of your position.  I’ve spotted a raft…sorry sir, it’s deflated and empty…it shows no signs of anything or anybody on board.  I’ve also spotted some scuba gear, a brown parka, and what looks like some woman’s clothing near the raft.”

Chip took a deep breath and let it out before he responded, “Thanks for the information.”  He threw down the mic and walked over to the plotting table.  The control room was silent except for the sounds of the equipment.

“Damn,” Chip mumbled under his breath barely holding back his emotions.   He closed his eyes for a minute, reopened them as he saw the crew carefully watching him.

“All right men, back to work,” Chip said, “We still have a boat to run.”

The men returned to their consoles and stations without uttering a sound.  

“Bobby, plot a course for Groton,” Chip told him.  “I’m heading to Sick Bay and then my cabin.”  He walked pass the men and Chief Sharkey at the vertical plotter.   

“Sir, you’re not going to continue to look for them?” Sharkey asked quietly. 

“No Chief, unless another boat has picked them up, what am I going to look for?”

“What if a boat did pick them up?”

“Don’t you think I’ve thought of that.  You know Captain Crane would call and let us know they were safe,” Chip said harsher than he intended.  “The admiral and skipper would want us to continue to Groton.”

“Aye, sir,” Sharkey responded softly.

“Carry on,” Chip ordered, looked at Sharkey, patted his shoulder and exited the control room and made his way to sick bay.


When he arrived in sick bay, Jamie wasn’t in his office so Chip looked in the examination room and found him putting a couple of stitches in Ron’s hand he injured in the missile room.  

“Frank, finish up,” Jamie said when he saw Chip enter sick bay.   He looked him over and could tell something was wrong so he closed the pleated divider separating his office from the rest of sick bay.

“Chip, what’s up?”

“Jamie, an aircraft spotted the raft…it was empty and deflated…along with some gear and woman’s clothing,” Chip explained to him.

“Are they sure…nothing at all?” Jamie asked dejectedly.

“They’re sure,” Chip responded grimly.   “I can’t believe they’re gone.”

“You’re going to have to inform the institute and their families.”

“Yes, I know but not today,” Chip replied adamantly.   “First thing tomorrow…just maybe…”

“I’m very sorry, Chip, I know how close you were to all of them.  If you need me to do anything, let me know,” Jamie answered patting him on his shoulder knowing how devastated he was.

After Chip left sick bay, Jamie sat down at his desk and rubbed his hand through his hair.   “Damn.”


Chip went up the ladder to officer’s country and stopped briefly as Lee’s cabin door.   He put his hand on the door to enter the cabin but changed his mind and continued on to his.

Once in his cabin, he undid his tie, sat down at the desk and crossed his arms resting his head on them.  He couldn’t face the fact the he’d lost his commanding officer and his best friend and his wife.  He sat there for a few minutes before he would make a call to Admiral Starke.   He dreaded making the call to the institute tomorrow along with calling the admiral’s sister, Edith and Lee’s mom, Helen.

He picked up the phone, “Sparks, get me Admiral Starke.”

“Yes, sir,” he replied solemnly.

Chip hung up the phone and waited while Sparks contacted the admiral.    It wasn’t too long before Sparks called him back.

“Commander, what have you found out?” Starke asked anxiously.

“One of the planes found the raft and some gear north of our position.   It was empty,”  Chip answered.

“No,” Starke responded refusing to believe his best friend was gone.   “It can’t be…they’re on another boat…someone must have picked them up.”

“Sir, I’m sure the Admiral or Captain Crane would have contacted us if that was true.”

“Yes, yes, of course they would have.  Have you contacted the institute…their families?”

“No sir, I’m going to take care of that tomorrow.”

“Good idea, Commander.   I’ll call off the search,” Starke offered.

“Thank you, sir,” Chip replied.   “I’ll be in touch.”

Chip severed the connection before Starke did.   He just sat there trying to figure out what he was going to do after he made his phone calls tomorrow.  He knew Lee and Harry both had instructions in place if something happened to them but he wasn’t sure about Janet.  He stood up, fixed his tie and headed back to the control room, he still had a boat to get to port.   He descended down the staircase, stopped and stared out the windows when he turned around, he noticed the control room crew staring at him…they were depending on him to see them through this and he wasn’t going to let them down.  He walked over to the plotting table and checked on their course and speed.


Harry continued working on the radio but wasn’t making much headway and he needed some of the tools he had given Lee.   He remembered the two storage rooms that they walked by but didn’t look into. Before he left, he checked the compass in the wheelhouse and saw they were still heading in a northeasterly direction. Damn, he thought, wrong direction.  He looked for his parka as he knew he left it in the wheelhouse but it wasn’t there.  I’ll only be gone a few minutes, he thought as he left the radio shack and headed for the storage rooms hoping to find more tools and maybe something to fix the radio.  He continued to the first storage room where he found some more tools.   He got lucky when he entered the second one as he found tubes and parts for the radio.   Maybe our luck is going to change, he thought as he picked up the items, threw them in a sack he found and headed back to the radio shack.   As he passed by one of the holds, he lost his balance and fell into the holds hitting his head on the side as he went down.  He landed on his back with his arm bent underneath him and laid there for a few minutes.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think someone pushed me, he thought as he slipped into unconsciousness.


Lee and Janet returned to the day room where Lee checked the head and Janet looked in his cabin to see if he had stopped in there.

“Maybe he headed to the front of the boat.   There were two storage room we didn’t check on our first trip up there so he might have ventured there to look for some more tools or something,” Lee said.   He checked his parka which was drying on the heater.  It was finally dry and warm so he handed it to Janet with a smile.

“Thanks for the warm parka,” Janet remarked as Lee took hers from the couch. 

They continued on to the front of the boat stopping at the two storage rooms and didn’t find Harry.  They went all the way to the forecastle deck and bunk room but he wasn’t anywhere around. 

As they made their way back to the poop deck where the wheelhouse and radio shack were located, Janet piped up, “Lee, I’ve got a bad feeling something terrible has happened to him.  I know you say that there’s no one on this boat but…”

Janet didn’t finish her sentence as Lee stopped near one of the holds.   “Did you hear that?”

“No what,” Janet asked.

“I know I heard someone moan,” Lee answered as he checked the first of four holds on the boat. 

Janet looked into the second hold, “Lee,” she yelled frantically.  “He’s down here.”

Lee quickly made his way over to where Janet stood and looked for a way down into the hold.   He would have to use the nets hanging on the side of the hold to work his way down.  As he put his foot on one of the ropes, it broke causing him to lose his balance and fall the rest of the way down.

Janet saw Lee fall and started to go down the netting.

“Stop, don’t come down, I’m okay,” Lee shouted, “All the netting has been cut, so if you come down, you’ll fall too.”

“How are we going to get Harry up?” Janet asked looking around for something to throw down into the hold.  “Hold on Lee, I see some rope.  It’s on the other side of the deck.”

“Go get it and be careful,” Lee instructed.  Even though the boating wasn’t rocking as bad as before, the sea was still rough and Janet didn’t have her PFD on.  He prayed she didn’t fall overboard.  As he waited, he checked out Harry. He had a nice gash on his head, a bump had formed from hitting the side of the hold and his arm was broken.

Janet carefully went over to the other side of the deck holding on to whatever was available as the boat rocked.   She managed to get the coil of rope but almost lost her footing and fell into the other hold.  She grabbed onto a net that was tacked on the wall. 

“Janet,” Lee shouted anxiously, “where the hell are you?”   Lee started up the netting but just fell back down as it broke away.

“Sorry, but it’s hard to walk up here,” Janet replied.  “This is worse than Seaview’s rock and roll.” 

Lee managed a weak grin as she threw down the rope.   “Sweetie, I’m going to tie the rope around Harry and you’re going to have to pull him up.   I’ll push him as far as I can but you’ll have to do the rest.”

Harry moaned as Lee gently tucked his arm in his shirt and carefully tied the rope around his waist.  Lee threw up the end of the rope to Janet.   She caught it on the first throw. 

“Okay Lee,” Janet answered looking for something to tie the rope too.  She’d seen movies where they did that and it helped bring someone out of a pit.   She saw a post not too far from the hold and wrapped the rope around it.   “I’ve wrapped the rope around a post,” she yelled down to Lee.  

Lee looked at her and couldn’t help but grin.  She’s turning into a real sailor, he thought.  “Take it nice and slow as he has a broken arm and I’m pretty sure a concussion.  As Lee was hoisting Harry up, the burn on his hand broke open and oozed all over the bandage.

“Damn,” Lee muttered.   “That hurt.”

“What’s wrong…what hurt…are you okay?” Janet shouted.

I forgot about my blister and it broke open.   I’ll worry about it later…let’s get Harry out of here.”

Janet took up the slack and slowly pulled him from the hold.   Her arms were getting tired and she almost lost her grip on the rope but managed to get a new hold and finally pulled Harry onto the deck.   She sat down on the deck next to him.  She could tell he was badly injured.  He didn’t have his parka on so she removed hers and threw over him.

“Janet,” Lee yelled, “How’s Harry…are you okay?”

“Lee, he’s okay for now…I’m fine.”

“Janet, tie the rope to the post securing it the best you can so I can climb up,” Lee said.  He knew she didn’t know how to tie a sailor’s knot but was confident she would make sure the rope was tightly knotted.  Lee slowly climbed up the rope; with the blister on his hand, it was more difficult.  Finally, he was close enough to reach the edge of the deck and hoisted himself up the rest of the way.

“Great job,” Lee said as he took off his parka, wrapped around her and gently rubbed her arms. 

“We need to get Harry back to the day room,” Janet remarked as she stood up and tried to help Lee pick up Harry but her arms gave out.

“I can take him,” Lee assured her. Harry moaned as he gently picked him up and put him over his shoulders.  They carefully walked to the day room where Lee laid him down gingerly on the couch.  He was still unconscious.

Janet grabbed a cloth from the galley, ran it under the cold water and put on his head.  The gash was bleeding heavily and she knew that head wounds bled a lot but with no first aid kit, she would have to improvise and make a bandage for Harry’s head and Lee’s hand.  Since their first aid kit had disappeared, Janet checked out the head, galley and day room cabinets to see there was any first aid kit on board.  

“You’d think on a boat this size, they’d have a first kit,” Janet remarked angrily. 

She found a few more towels, tore them apart and made bandages of them.  After thoroughly washing out both their wounds she put on the bandages.  She also made a sling out of a towel to support Harry’s arm.

“Lee, I’m sure he has a concussion or maybe something worse,” Janet said when Harry hadn’t woken up after a few minutes.   We need to get him to a hospital.”

“I know, let me go to the wheelhouse and see what I can find.  I know there are maps and charts but with no way to check to see where we are, I wouldn’t even know where to look for a place to land plus you can’t steer this boat without an engine,” Lee explained.

“Please try,” Janet pleaded as she looked down at Harry.   She needed to get another towel as the gash had bled through the bandage just had just put on.

“Don’t worry, I’ll figure out something,” Lee answered giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze.

He made his way to the wheelhouse where he found the maps and charts.  He checked the compass and they were still heading in a northeasterly direction.   As he studied the maps, he realized if the storm hadn’t pushed them too far east, they might run into southern tip of Greenland.  Even though they had searched the wheelhouse before, Lee was searching again looking for a sextant or anything he could use to check to figure out their position.   Most ships didn’t leave port without one, he thought. When he didn’t find one in the wheelhouse, he went to the captain’s cabin.   He searched every nook and cranny in the cabin. He ran his hand through his hair, he was just about to give up when he tripped over a throw rug on the floor by the captain’s bunk.  As he bent down to straighten it out, he noticed a small trap door.   He needed something to pry it open as it had no handle.   He went to the radio shack and grabbed a screwdriver.   He pried open the door revealing a small cubby hole.  As he checked it out, he found some money, the Captain’s ID and a case.  He removed the case and opened it revealing an old sextant.  Why would he put it in there? Lee wondered.

He knew sextants were very delicate instruments and could be easily damaged if mishandled.  He hoped because it was in a case, the weather hadn’t gotten to it as it would warp if exposed to the weather.  If it was dropped, it would be useless.   He examined it with care and it looked to be in good shape; now all he needed was a glimpse of the sun or moon and he might be able to determine their location.   He repacked the sextant and headed back to the day room.

By the time he returned to the day room, Harry had woken up and was sitting up on the couch. 

“Harry, welcome back,” Lee said relieved to see him awake and knew he had a concussion when he noticed the pan by the couch.

“Nice to be back but have I got a whopper of a headache, very nauseated and my arm hurts like hell,” he replied gruffly.

“Lee, what do you have in your hand?” Janet asked when she saw the case in his hand.

“This could be our way home,” Lee stated as he opened up the case and revealed the sextant.

Harry smiled but Janet had no idea what it was as she hadn’t seen Lee use it on Seaview.   “What is it?”

“It’s a sextant and it could give us our position provided we get some sun or even the moon,” he told her and explained how it worked.  “I’m going to be in the wheelhouse waiting for the sun.   Janet, make sure you wake Harry up every half hour.”

“Okay Lee,” she replied as he had dozed off while Lee was explaining the sextant.


Just as Lee was heading for the wheelhouse, he heard the generator sputter and shut off.  “Damn,” he said and went down to the engine room.   He checked on the generator and it was out of gas. He also noticed that the desalinization system had also shut down.  He went up the ladder and slammed the door shut. He returned to the day room where Janet was sitting on the couch next to Harry.   She heard him swear and slam the door and knew that wasn’t a good sign.

“Problem?” she asked quietly.

“The generator is out of gas so it’s going to get cold in here.   It’ll stay warm for a little while but we’re going to have to bundle up. Also, we’re going to run out of water as that system has also shut down.  Let’s hope the sun comes out so I can figure out where we’re heading.  Make sure you keep Harry warm.”

“I’ll make sure,” Janet replied as she stood up and gave Lee a kiss.   “Take the parka and gloves I’ve got my jacket plus all the blankets.  I’ll help Harry get into the other parka when he wakes up.”

“Thanks,” Lee answered and left for the wheelhouse.


Lee had been sitting in the wheelhouse for a few hours and it was starting to get dark.  The boat had already cooled off and he was cold.  He removed the blankets and quilt from the captain’s bunk and wrapped it around himself.   Janet had just brought him some hot coffee.   He smiled when she arrived all wrapped up in as many blankets as she could wear without tripping.

“How’s Harry?” he asked sipping the coffee.

“He’s sleeping and warm but still not feeling well.  He ordered me to give him something for his headache but I didn’t since I’m not sure what is wrong with him.   He wasn’t too happy with me either when I wouldn’t give him any coffee…just some warm water.   Also, I checked out the propane tank and it’s almost empty.”

“How come that doesn’t surprise me,” Lee chuckled but noticed Janet wasn’t paying any attention to him.  She was looking outside.

“Lee, look the sun is coming through that small hole in the clouds.”

Lee quickly stood up and almost spilled his coffee as he handed it to Janet.  He ran outside and stood on the deck with the sextant and took his readings.   The sun was gone by the time he returned to the wheelhouse.  He wrote down his findings, grabbed one of the charts and did some calculations. 

“I don’t know how accurate the sextant is,” Lee said, “but according to my calculations, if we stay on this course, we just might catch the southern tip of Greenland by tomorrow afternoon.”

“And if you’re wrong,” Janet asked softly.

“Unless we’re spotted by a plane or another ship…,” Lee didn’t need to finish his sentence as Janet just nodded her head as she knew what would happen.

The two of them left the wheelhouse and made their way to the day room where Harry was just waking up. Lee told him what he had found out.

“Let’s hope we’ll have some luck,” Harry stated weakly and vomited in the pan.


The night watch was reporting for duty on Seaview.   There was very little talking only relaying what information needed to be passed on to the next watch.   When Jenkins and Taper reported for duty, O’Brien instructed them on what the orders were for the night and went to the observation nose where Chip had spent most of the afternoon. 

“Mr. Morton, why don’t you get something to eat,” Bobby suggested as Chip had eaten since breakfast. 

“Not hungry, Bobby.  Go ahead and take off.  I’ll be going up soon,” Chip said wearily.

“Aye, sir,” he replied and went out the aft hatch.

Chip sat in the observation nose for another hour before he checked on Jenkins and Taper.  He ascended the stairs, entered his cabin where he sat down at his desk and let go of his emotions.


The boat had gotten very chilly but not nearly as cold as the night before when the storm was in full force.   Janet made some soup and found some crackers.   Harry wasn’t hungry just tired and in a lot of pain not from his head wound but his arm.  Janet had been putting cold compresses on it she made from more towels but it was still very swollen.

“Lee, can I see you in the cabin,” Janet asked as Harry dozed on the couch.   Lee followed her into the cabin they had been using.

“What’s wrong?”

“I know we don’t have any idea if Harry definitely has a concussion or more serious head wound but he’s miserable, can I please give him something for his arm.  He’s getting weaker and sleeping more but I think it’s from the pain in his arm rather than his head.”

“I noticed that too,” Lee replied.   “If Jamie heard me tell you this, he’d have my hide but give him something if you have it.   He’s going to need all his strength to get off this boat if and when we land.”

“Thanks, honey,” Janet answered and gave him a quick kiss.   She went to her purse where she pulled out a small bottle of acetaminophen and shook out four pills.   Two for her as her throat was still sore and two for Harry.

“Why four pills,” Lee wondered.   “Are you okay?”

“My throat is still sore,” Janet answered.   Lee tried to pull her close to him but with all the blankets she had on it was almost impossible to get close.   They left the cabin just as Harry was waking up. 

Janet went to the galley where she grabbed a bottle of water.   They had better find a place to land soon as they were down to their last four bottles.   She handed Harry the two pills.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“Lee said I could give you some acetaminophen.  We can see you’re in pain from your arm,” Janet replied and opened the water.

“I won’t tell Jamie on you,” Harry replied gratefully.

Janet sat down on the couch next to Harry while Lee went to get their scuba suits as he knew they would keep them a little warmer during the night but after searching the passageway where he stowed them, the cabins and wheelhouse, he couldn’t find them anywhere.

He returned to the day room empty handed.   “The scuba suits are gone,” Lee told them.  “We’ll have to bundle up.”  Harry needed to use the head so while Lee helped him get there, Janet took a couple of the blankets and spread them over the couch so when he returned she could tuck them around him.

“I’ll lay on the floor with you so we all we’ll be warm,” Harry said.

“No,” Lee and Janet both said adamantly.

“I’m going to help you into the parka and gloves,” Lee said as he put Harry’s good arm in the sleeve and wrapped the parka around his him and zipped it up.  He put the gloves on his hands careful not to disturb his arm.   Once he was bundled up, he laid down on the couch where Janet took the blankets and wrapped it around him.

“See you look just like a mummy,” Janet said which got her a smirk from both Lee and Harry and she knew better than to ask why the smirk, she didn’t want to know.

Lee put on the parka and gloves as Janet had put another sweater on underneath her fleece jacket and another pair of pants.

“You sure got a lot of clothes under that scuba suit,” Lee said noticing she had on two pairs of pants and three jackets.”

“I know those suits were huge,” Janet replied softly.

Janet had put down blankets on the floor and when they laid down, Lee covered them up.  He was lying next to the couch so he could wake Harry every thirty minutes.   

After he had woken Harry up four times to check on him, Harry finally hissed, “Stop waking me up.  I’m fine, please Lee just let me sleep.”

“Okay, Harry,” Lee replied knowing his friend and man he considered a father was going to be okay. 

After a few minutes, Lee heard the even breathing of Harry and Janet and knew they had both fallen back to sleep.  Even though he was tired, he was worried that they wouldn’t hit land tomorrow.  He was cold, so he snuggled closer to Janet where he finally fell asleep.


After tossing and turning most of the night, Chip finally fell asleep about 0300 hours.   He woke up at 0500 hours and felt like shit.   He didn’t want to get out of his bunk but knew the men were counting on him to keep it together.   He showered, shaved and left his cabin for the ward room.   He wasn’t hungry but needed coffee to keep going.   He was the only one in there except for Cookie and the mess specialists.   Cookie set down a plate of food in front of him along with the coffee.   He pushed the food away, drank the coffee and left the ward room just as Jamie was entering.

“Chip,” Jamie said, “You okay?”

“No, Jamie, but I have to hold it together for the men.   I’ll talk to you later,” he replied and left for the control room.

He walked through the aft hatch just as the night watch was being replace by the day watch.  Kowalski and Patterson were already at their consoles when he walked in.

“He looks terrible,” Patterson whispered to Kowalski noticing the dark circles under his eyes and sagging shoulders.   “I’ve never seen him like that.”

“I don’t envy him today,” Ski replied.  “He’s going to inform the institute, the admiral’s family and the skipper’s family about them.”

Chip made his way over to the plotting table where Jenkins was making some final notes in the log.

“Mr. Taper, how soon until we get to Groton?” Chip asked.

“Two days, sir,” he replied.

“Thanks, you’re relieved,” Chip responded as he noted the change in command in the log book as O’Brien entered the control room.

“Sir,” Bobby said and looked at the course and schedule.

“Morning, Bobby,” Chip answered and called maneuvering to adjust their course. 


It was light by the time Lee woke the next morning.  He managed to get up without waking Janet and carefully removed one of the blankets off her.  It was cold on the boat so he walked into the galley wrapped in a blanket and started the coffee.  After this pot, they were out of luck as the coffee had just run out.  He looked out the porthole and noticed the wind had picked up.

“Damn,” he said hoping that they didn’t miss their only chance at hitting land.

By the time the coffee was finished, Janet and Harry were up and still huddled in their blankets.  Lee brought out mugs of coffee.   “Enjoy it as that is the last cup we’re going to have.”

The three of the savored the coffee, while Lee scrounged up breakfast.  They only had two choices, stew or beans.  They opted for stew.

After breakfast was finished, Janet poured the rest of the coffee in Harry’s and Lee’s cups.   She knew they would appreciate it more the she would. 

Before Lee headed for the wheelhouse he told them, “I noticed the wind has picked up and I’m afraid we’ll miss our landing.  If we don’t hit land but are close enough to it, we may have to swim for it.   Without the scuba suits, it’s going to be cold but right now it’s our only alternative.   Harry, Janet and I will help you the best we can.”

“Lee, don’t worry about me, you and Janet just get to shore.  Once you get ashore, you can send help,” Harry suggested.

Shaking her head at Harry’s suggestion, “No, I’ll stay with you,” Janet replied hoarsely.  “Lee will make it to shore and he can send help for us.  You won’t make it alone, not with your arm.”

“No one will be staying behind,” Lee snapped.   “We’ll make it.”

Lee grabbed a few blankets and made his way to the wheelhouse.  He checked his calculations again and came up with the same information.   Now if the wind would only die down just a little, Lee thought as he sat down in the captain’s chair and wrapped the blankets around him.   Damn, it’s cold.

He’d been in the wheelhouse all morning hoping to spot some land and it was early afternoon when Janet came up to the wheelhouse to stay with Lee while Harry was dozing.  She’d given him some more acetaminophen for his arm.  

“Anything?” she asked as she looked out the windows wrapped in three blankets.

“Nothing so far,” Lee replied disappointed.  “My calculations showed we should’ve seen land by now.”

“We’ll find land,” Janet said reassuring him.  

“You sure have a lot of faith in me,” Lee responded.

“Lee, I’ll never ever doubt you,” Janet answered and gave him a hug and kiss.

They sat there together huddled in the blankets for a while before Janet left to check on Harry.


Chip looked at his watch.   He had a couple of hours left before he would make his dreaded phone calls.   Gosh, I wish Julie was here, he thought not that it would make it any easier but she would be there for support.

Jamie walked through the aft hatch and saw Chip at the plotting table checking his watch.   He walked over to him.   “You okay,” he asked noting how terrible he looked.   He’d never seen Chip Morton looking so disheartened.

“Yes, Jamie,” he replied with dread in his voice.   “Only a couple more hours until I make the hardest phone calls of my life.”

Jamie didn’t have anything to say to him.  He patted him on the shoulder and returned to sick bay.  He too was having a hard time dealing with his emotions.

Chip left the control room and sat down in the observation nose and stared out the windows as Seaview continued her journey to Groton.


Even though Harry and Janet had at least four blankets wrapped around them they were freezing and knew if they didn’t see land soon they were going to freeze to death.  Janet sat next to Harry on the couch to help keep him warm and had fallen asleep.  Harry woke up and noticed she’d put her head on his shoulder. He was happy she had put it there but upset that he’d gotten both of them in this situation.    Sorry, honey, he whispered and kissed the side of her head and fell back to sleep.

“Harry, Janet, land,” Lee yelled when he spotted a small town at the tip of Greenland.  

Both Harry and Janet woke up. Janet helped Harry up and made sure he was still wrapped in his blanket as they made their way into the wheelhouse.   In front of them was a small town but the boat was going to pass it by.

“I’m hoping that we catch that small area at the tip of the beach,” Lee said excitedly.   “Sit down and brace yourself as the water is going get shallow and catch the bottom of the boat and slow us down enough to beach itself on that sand bar.”

Janet made sure Harry was secure against the bulkhead and sat next to him as Lee sat down in front of them holding them in place.  He knew it would be a rough landing.   Before long they could hear the boat scrapping the bottom of the sand bar and come to an abrupt stop.  They all lurched forward but no one was hurt.   Once the boat wasn’t moving, Lee quickly jumped up and saw that they had caught the very edge of the sand bar.  If they had missed the sand bar, they’d been in open sea with no more land around them.

Janet helped up Harry as Lee scurried out of the wheelhouse to check over how the boat was sitting on the bar.   He saw that part of the bow was in the water, the middle stuck on the sand bar and most of the aft section of the boat was still in the water listing to the port side.   He wanted to get them off the boat as soon as possible before the tide or waves pushed them out to sea.  They would have to leave through the main deck but it was still too high for them to jump down.   They would need a ladder to get off the boat.   The only ladder they came across was the one to the engine room.   Lee quickly looked to see how it was attached and found it just hooked into some brackets.   He pulled the ladder out of the brackets and brought it to the center of the boat and placed it over the side.  It was a little shaky as the hooks didn’t fit the side of the boat and there was a two foot drop once they got to the last rung as the ladder wasn’t long enough to go all the way to the sand.

“Janet, take only what you need, nothing else,” Lee told her when he returned to the wheelhouse.  

She quickly went to their cabin, grabbed her purse and put it arm through the strap. This was all she needed as she had put all their phones and papers in there and returned to the wheelhouse.

“Got it,” she stated causing Lee to smile when he saw only her purse.

“I’m going to help you down the ladder first and then you will help Harry down,” Lee said.  

“Yes, Lee,” Janet answered as they made their way over ladder.

“Take it slow as the ladder isn’t sitting very well on the side of the boat,” Lee instructed.

Janet put her foot on the first rung and the boat lurched causing her to lose her balance but she managed to catch herself before she fell off.   She continued down the ladder, stopped at the last rung and jumped down to the sand.

“I’m down, Lee, help Harry onto the ladder and I’ll guide him down,” Janet shouted up to Lee.

Lee helped Harry put his leg over the side of the boat, trying to keep from moving his arm.  He slowly made his way down the ladder.   The hard part was jumping off the last rung.  With Janet’s help he made the jump but jarred his arm causing him to scream out in pain and fall to the sand.   Janet quickly helped him stand up.   Lee scrambled down the ladder jumping off the last rung just like he did on Seaview.

“Harry, are you okay?” Lee asked once he was down.  

“That wasn’t very pleasant but we made it to land and that’s all I care about,” he said grimacing in pain.

“I never thought I’d enjoy the sand as much as I do now,” Janet said with a grin.

Both men agreed and smiled.


“First order of business is to try and raise Seaview,” Lee commented.  “I’m sure they have no idea what’s happened to us.   Janet, hand me the phones.”

Janet took the phones out of her purse.   As Lee looked them over, he saw his SAT phone was totally dead but Harry’s had a couple of bars left.   Janet’s had more bars but Lee didn’t know if there was a cell phone tower nearby as she only carried a regular cell phone and didn’t know if it would work.

Lee turned on the phone, “Crane to Seaview, come in Seaview.   I think it worked,” Lee reported as he heard some noise over the line.


Chip sat at the desk in the observation nose and checked his watch once again.   He knew Angie would be at work by now.   He stood up and walked over to the plotting table.

“O’Brien take over the conn,” Chip ordered.  “I’ll be back shortly.”

“Aye sir,” O’Brien replied noticing how tired and haggard he looked.

Just as Chip headed for the stairs, he heard a crackle over the radio and Sparks yelling at him to come over to the radio shack.   “I was scanning the SAT phones when I heard this,” he told Chip who had sprinted through the control room.

“Crane to Seaview.  Come in Seaview.”

The whole control room stopped what it was doing and turned their attention to the radio shack.

Chip picked up the mic, “This is Seaview.  Is that you Lee?” Chip asked forgetting proper decorum.

“Yes, Chip, it’s me,” Lee replied with a grin.   

The control room erupted into claps, whoops and hollers.   “Quiet down, men,” Chip said.

“Chip, what the hell is going on with my boat,” Lee asked hearing all the noise.

Pausing slightly trying to regain his composure, “We thought you were dead,” Chip stated.  “An airplane sent out to try and find the raft found it deflated and empty.  There was also gear floating nearby.  Are the admiral and Janet with you?”

“Yes, they are and Chip we’re very much alive and have a whopping story to tell.”

“Where are you?”

“I’m not sure, as we’ve landed on a sand bar near the tip of Greenland.   I’ll get back to you when I find out.  I don’t have much power left on the phone.   I’ll be in touch.   Crane out.”

“We’ll be waiting for your call.  Lee, we’re glad you’re all safe,” Chip replied as he heard Lee severe the connection.

Chip ran back to the plotting table, pulled the charts from underneath, drew some lines, used his slide rule and plotted a new course for Greenland.   

Picking up the mic, “Maneuvering,” Chip called.

“Maneuvering, aye,” they replied.

“Turn this boat around,” Chip said and gave them the new heading for Greenland.  Double clicking the mic, he called the engine room ordering them to run at flank.  Even running at flank, it would take them twenty-four hours to get to Greenland.

It didn’t take long for word to get through the boat that the Skipper, Admiral and Janet were alive.   Jamie heard the news and ran into the control room.

“Is it true,” Jamie asked out of breath as he had never run so fast.

“Yes, I talked to Lee,” Chip said excitedly.

“Are they hurt?”

“Jamie, I don’t know.  All I know is that they are somewhere in Greenland.   He doesn’t know where they are and will contact us with more information.”

“Greenland…it sounds like they have a nice story to tell,” Jamie replied.  “You didn’t make…”

“No, I was just heading up to my cabin to make those calls.  Now I can make them with good news,” Chip answered with a grin and patted Jamie on shoulder.


“I got in touch with Seaview,” Lee told Harry and Janet.  “They seemed to think we were dead.  Something about an airplane spotting the raft and gear nearby.”

“I can’t imagine what they were going through,” Janet said softly.   “They must have been devastated.  Do you think they let our families know?”

“I’m not sure sweetie, let’s get Harry to town and see if we can’t find a doctor.  We’ll worry about that later.  It looks like a mile walk to the town,” Lee stated as he looked down the beach.  “Do you think you can make it?”

“Let’s start walking,” Harry commanded.  “If I get tired you can go on ahead and I’ll wait here for you.”

They didn’t have to walk to far before two men on a small cart met them as they walked along the beach. 

“What do you want here?” one of the men asked as they stopped in front of Lee suspicious of the three people who just left the boat on the sand bar.

“I’m Lee Crane, this Harriman Nelson and my wife, Janet.  We’ve been stuck on that boat for the last three days after our craft ran into some trouble.   We just want to get some help for Ad…Harry here as he as a broken arm,” Lee explained.

“I’m Hugo Elston, the chief of police.  Do you have any ID to prove who you are?”

Janet took Lee’s wallet and Harry’s out of her purse.  The only ID they had were the ones issued by the Institute and both men were in uniform.  Lee took out his ID and Harry’s and handed it to Elston.   Janet removed hers and handed it to him too.

“Admiral Nelson and Commander Crane from The Nelson Institute of Marine Research in Santa Barbara, California,” Elston remarked. “You’re a long way from home. 

“Yes sir,” Lee replied.   

“Where’s Captain Bakova?”

“He wasn’t on board,” Lee answered.

“Well, they’ve been looking for that boat…seems it ran into some trouble in Canada.   We were told to detain it if stopped here.”

“I understand,” Lee answered.   “Can I please explain to you how we got on the boat once we get some help for Harry.  I promise we’re not going anywhere.”

“Okay, the lady does look a little cold too,” the other man said. 

Since there was only room for four people on the cart, Lee volunteered to walk to town.  Chief Elston gave him directions to the clinic once he arrived in town.  Lee helped Harry into the cart and then Janet.   She started to remove her parka so he could wear it.

“I’ll be fine,” Lee told her and helped her put it back on.   “It’s not that long of a walk and I’ll get warm when I walk.”

With the sun setting deep in the sky, Lee dressed in his black pants, turtleneck, and shoes, walked down the beach his shoes sinking in the sand leaving a set of foot prints behind him.  He had a worried look on his face as the red and white fishing trawler sat on the sand bar behind him.   He wondered what kind of trouble the boat was in and now them.


After Chip finished talking to Lee, he looked around the control room as saw the men were still milling around happy that their Skipper was alive as well as the Admiral and Janet.

“Okay men, back to your stations.  We still have a boat to run and an important pick up to make,” Chip ordered with a smile.

He walked over to the plotting table where O’Brien was standing.   “Take the conn,” Chip said, “I have a few phone calls to make.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” O’Brien replied with a grin.

Chip climbed the stairs and headed for his cabin, he took a deep breath relieved he didn’t need to make his original calls.  

Picking up the phone, “Sparks, get me the institute,” Chip asked.

“Yes, sir,” Sparks answered as he flipped a few switches to make the connection and rang Chip back.

“Sir, I have the Institute,” Sparks called.

“Chip, did you find them…are they okay…where are they?” Angie asked cautiously afraid of what Chip might say.

“Angie, they’re alive.  I don’t have all the details but they’re in Greenland.  We’re heading there now.”

“Thanks goodness,” Angie replied sobbing.  “I was afraid to answer the phone because I thought you had bad news.”

“Could you call Groton, explain the situation and tell them we’re going to be a little late getting there?”

“Yes, Chip, I’ll do that.  Give them our love,” she asked breathing a sigh of relief.

“I’ll make sure they know,” Chip answered.   “I’ll keep in touch.”

“Thanks, Chip.”   She heard Chip disconnect the call and told Wanda what she had just found out.  Both women were overjoyed at the news.

Chip’s next call was to Admiral Starke.  He asked Sparks to place that call and as he was waiting for the call to go through, he sat back in his chair and shook his head wondering how they managed to get to Greenland.

His phone rang and before he could say hello, he heard Starke’s voice, “Commander, you better have good news.”

“Yes sir, I do,” Chip replied.   “They’re in Greenland and we’re heading there now and should be there in twenty-four hours.  I don’t have any details since their phone was running out of power.  I’ll have the Admiral call you when he comes aboard.”

There was dead silence on the line before Starke answered, “Thanks Commander for letting me know.  Tell Nelson I’ll be waiting for his call.”

“Yes, sir,” Chip responded and heard Starke hang up.

Chip had one last call to make…to his wife.

It took while for Sparks to get her on the phone as she was in a meeting but he persuaded them to put him through.

“Hi honey,” Chip said once she was on the line.

She could tell by the tone in his voice he had good news.   “I take it you found them?”

“No, they called us and they’re in Greenland.   We’re on our way there now so I’m not going to be able to meet up with you in New York.  I’m sorry about that but I’ll catch up with you in Chicago if that’s okay.”

“No problem,” she responded quietly.  “Chip, I’m so happy they’re alive.   I don’t know how we’d manage without them.”

“I know,” Chip said his voice cracking slightly.   “I’ll call you later.”

He sat there alone in his cabin wondering how he would have managed without them.   He quickly pushed those thoughts out of his mind and made his way to the control room.


When Harry and Janet arrived at the clinic, a doctor and nurse came out to meet them and helped Harry out of the cart.   As the nurse escorted Harry into the clinic, the doctor was talking to Chief Elston and Janet noticed he didn’t look to happy as he left in his cart.   The doctor quickly followed them in.

The older man walked over to Janet, “Hello, I’m Doctor Atkins and I’ll be taking care of Admiral Nelson,” he said warmly.  “Mrs. Crane, you can wait here.   I promise we’ll take good care of him.  We’ll get him cleaned up, take some x-rays of his arm and head.   I’ll let you know when you can see him.”

Coughing, “Thank you,” Janet replied figuring Chief Elston told them their names as she sat down to wait for Lee.


She didn’t have to wait too long before Lee walked into the clinic and saw her sitting in the waiting room.

“Where’s Harry,” he asked worriedly.

“They’re cleaning him up and taking x-rays,” Janet said as Lee sat down beside her.  She patted his arm and he felt cold.

“You okay?” she asked.  

“Better now,” he replied with a grin and squeezed her hand.   He wouldn’t admit it but he was cold and exhausted.  He needed a shower, clean clothes and a bed.

“Did you find out where we are?”

“Yes, the town of Nanortalik. It’s not very large but does have a hotel where we can stay until Seaview arrives.”

After they had been sitting there for an hour, “What’s taking so long?” Lee asked as he stood up and started pacing the waiting room.

“Honey, it takes a while for them to examine him and take x-rays,” Janet stated.  “So just relax.”

Running his hand through his hair, he replied, “You’re right,” and went to sit down when the door opened.

Doctor Atkins walked over to Lee and introduced himself.  “Captain Crane, I’m Doctor Atkins.”  As he stretched out his hand to shake Lee’s, he noticed the burn.   “That’s a nasty looking burn,” he told Lee as he took his hand and looked it over.   “And it’s infected.  When I’m finished with the Admiral, I’ll take care of that.”

Before Lee could protest, Janet answered, “Thank you Doctor.”

“As I’m sure you know he has a broken arm and a concussion.   I understand you were on a boat for a few days with no heat.   He’s still a little cold and dehydrated but he’ll be fine in a couple of days.”

“Will he need to stay overnight?” Janet inquired.

“Yes, just for one night.  He should be okay to travel as he mentioned you are going to be picked up.  I’m guessing the Seaview is coming to get you.”

Lee stared at the doctor wondering how he knew about the Seaview.

Doctor. Atkins noticed Lee’s stare.  “Maybe I better explain, I’m a former Navy doctor and was stationed on a few subs back in the day and have been following Admiral Nelson and the Seaview for years.  I recognized him immediately when they brought him in.  When they told me your wife’s name and that another member of your group was walking here, I assumed it was you.   Even though I live here, I still have a few friends in the Navy that send me clippings about the Admiral and his submarine.”

Lee smiled, “Yes, she’ll be here to pick us up but I need to let her know where we are and find out how soon she’ll be arriving.

“Come with me so I can take care of your hand and then you can see the Admiral.”

They followed him into an examination room where he cleaned the burn, put some burn ointment on it and bandaged it up.   He also gave Lee a shot of antibiotics and a week’s supply of pills to take.

As they left the room, Janet started coughing again and her throat still hurt.  

“Are you okay Mrs. Crane…you have a nasty cough.”

“I’m fine, maybe just caught a cold from being on the boat with no heat,” she said in a raspy voice.

Lee looked at her and was going to say something to the doctor but she put her hand on his arm.   Doctor Atkins took them to Harry’s room. When they entered the room, his arm was in a cast, they had put a new bandage on his head, he was wrapped in warm blankets and the nurse was asking what he would like for dinner. 

“Lee, Janet there you are,” he said when they walked into the room.   “They’re making me stay overnight…where are you staying?” he asked with concern.

“Yes sir, we know that,” Janet answered as she could see he was upset that he had to stay.

“Don’t worry about them, Admiral,” Doctor Atkins said.  “There’s a hotel right down the street where they can stay.”  He then turned to Lee and Janet, “I’ve given him some pain medication so he’ll probably fall asleep in a little while.  Stay as long as you like but you both look like you good use a good meal and some sleep.”

“Thank you Doctor, you’ve been very kind,” Janet replied warmly.  

Before he left, he said, “I know Hugo wants to talk to you but I’ve put him off until 10:00 tomorrow, that’s the best I could do.  He noticed when he brought the Admiral to the clinic that I recognized him so I told him about the Institute and Seaview.” 

“Thank you, Doctor,” Lee responded.

Lee and Janet stayed for an hour before Harry started nodding off.   The nurse assured them when he woke up he would have some dinner.

Lee patted Harry’s good arm and Janet gave him a kiss on the cheek and they quietly left the room and the clinic.

As they walked to the hotel, Janet remarked, “I can’t wait to take a long, hot shower, but we better find a store first, I can’t stand these clothes any longer and you don’t look so hot either.”

Lee smiled at her as they walked into the town wondering how he got so lucky as most wives probably would’ve have been pissed at what she’d been through.  They found a store where they bought what they needed and checked in at the hotel.   They had a room that faced the ocean.

Lee wanted to check in with Seaview and let them know where they were and find out how soon they could get there.  

“Janet, do you have Harry’s phone?”

She went to her purse and removed Harry’s phone and his phone along with hers.   He turned on Harry’s on found it didn’t have any more power.  “I don’t suppose you have a charger in your purse,” Lee teased.

Janet dug to the bottom of her purse and pulled out a charger for the SAT phone.

“What else do you have in there?” Lee wondered.

“When you told me to take what I needed off FS-1, I took my larger purse and put everything in there.  Here’s your wallet, I think you can take care of it now,” she replied back and tossed it to him.  

He plugged in the SAT phone and knew it would take a couple of hours to charge.  

“Do you want to use my cell phone?” Janet asked.  “It’s still charged as I turned it off when we got on The Lorybova.”

Lee took her phone, placed the call to the Institute’s communication center where Trish answered the phone, “Janet, it’s so good to hear your voice.”

“Hi Trish, it’s Lee.  Can you patch me over to Seaview?”

“Sorry Lee, but the phone came up as Janet.  We’re all so happy you’re all okay.  Hang on,” Trish replied and Lee heard her flipping switches.  “Go ahead Lee, we’ll see you soon.”

Seaview,” Sparks answered when Trish connected them.

“Hi Sparks, is Mr. Morton in the control room?”

“Yes, sir.  Hold on while I get him, Skipper.”

Sparks radioed the plotting table where Chip was standing with O’Brien.   “Mr. Morton, I have Captain Crane on the radio.”

“Patch him over,” Chip said and clicked the mic.

“Lee, where are you?”

“We’re in the town of Nanortalik,” Lee replied as Chip looked at the map of Greenland and found the town.

“Okay, got it.   We’re already heading on a course to Greenland.   We should be there by this time tomorrow.   Is the Admiral okay, you and Janet?”

“The Admiral has a concussion and a broken arm and is resting in a clinic here.  He’ll be able to leave when you arrive.   Janet and I are fine.”

“I’ll let Jamie know as he was worried about you.   How can I get in contact with you?”

“My SAT phone should be charged by morning.   I’ll check in with you.  Right now, I need a shower and some sleep.   I’ll be in touch.  Crane out.”

“Okay Lee,” Chip replied and clicked off.   Chip looked at his watch and saw he still had a couple of more hours on duty but needed a break.   “Bobby, I’ll be in the wardroom for a few minutes.”

“Aye sir,” he responded as Chip walked out the aft hatch.  He met up with Jamie where they had dinner together and Chip told him about the Admiral and where they were. 

After dinner, he returned to the Control Room where he checked on their progress and waited until the next watch reported for duty.   He made sure Taper and Jenkins understood the orders and returned to his cabin where he would finally get a good night’s sleep.


While Lee was talking to Chip on the phone, Janet started the shower.   She couldn’t wait to have the hot water cascading over her.  Lee finished his phone call and undressed so he could shower with her. 

“Janet, is it okay to come in the shower with you?” he asked not wanting to scare her after what had taken place on the boat.

Smiling she replied, “Of course, it’s okay.”

He stepped into the shower and relished the hot water as it ran over him.   Before long one thing led to another and both of them were catching their breaths. He held on to her a little longer after noticing she still had some  bruises on her neck.  She finished showering leaving Lee to linger in there by himself.  Lee had to remove the bandage from his hand to take a shower but Doctor Atkins had given them some burn cream and bandages so he could keep it clean.  

Once Lee finished his shower, they dressed in the only clothes the store had that would fit them.  Lee in a pair of jeans and blue dress shirt.  Janet found a pair of jeans, a black turtleneck and a plaid shirt.  She didn’t normally wear turtlenecks but didn’t want Doctor Atkins to see the fading thumbprints on her neck and ask where she got them.   Lee had taken Harry’s parka when they left the clinic but he would need it when he checked out of the clinic so Janet bought herself a down jacket to wear.

The clerk at the hotel had recommended a small café down the street.  When they arrived, the place was crowded with towns people who stared at them when they sat down in a booth near the window.  The café wasn’t very large and was decorated in soft brown tones and had candles on the table.  It wasn’t what you’d expect from a seaside restaurant.

“I’m not sure if we’re welcome here,” Janet said softly to Lee.

The waitress had come over to their table and heard her comment as she handed them menus.   “Don’t worry about them. It’s a small town and everyone knows you came in on the red and white trawler out there so they’re just a little curious.  I’m Bella and welcome to our town.”

“Thanks,” Janet answered as she watched Bella check out her husband.

“What do you recommend?” Lee asked as he perused the menu noting they served alcohol.

“The stuffed flounder with crab is fantastic as is the haddock,” she replied.   “I’ll let you look over the menu…do you want something drink?”

“I’ll have a vodka tonic,” Janet said as she too saw they had alcohol.

“Same for me,” Lee answered with a smile.

They were ready to order when Bella returned with their drinks.   Lee ordered the flounder and Janet the haddock.

The two of them sat there quietly for a few minutes savoring their drinks.   Janet could see the outline of the trawler from her seat as it was dark by the time they got to the café.

“Lee, what kind of trouble to you think Captain Bakova is in?” she inquired as she sipped her drink.

“I don’t know but I guess they must think we know something about it.  We’ll get is straightened out so don’t worry about it,” Lee told her as finished his drink.

When Bella brought their soup, he ordered another drink for both of them. “Thanks,” Janet whispered.

“Is this soup that delicious,” Lee asked, “or am I that hungry that anything would taste great.”

“No, it’s very good,” Janet agreed.

Bella brought their dinners and drinks.   Lee gave Janet some of his and he took some of hers.  They both agreed that the meal was fantastic.   They decided to splurge and split a piece of coconut cream pie that Bella had recommended.  Both were full and happy when they had to walk back to the hotel.  

“Thank you,” Bella said when Lee paid the bill.

“The food was great,” Janet answered. 

They left the restaurant and Janet linked her arm through Lee’s as they walked back to the hotel.  Once in their room, they got ready for bed and climbed in the soft bed and fell sound asleep.


It was a bright sunny day when Lee and Janet woke up.   They enjoyed the luxury of sleeping late and made love in the comfortable warm bed before deciding it was time to get up.   After they took a quick shower, they dressed in the clothes they bought yesterday and walked down to the clinic.  Even though they weren’t hungry, they stopped at the café for some coffee to go.  They bought an extra cup for Harry…if he couldn’t have it, Lee, of course, would drink it.   The temperature had dropped considerably since last night and they were glad to have their jackets.  Lee had finished his cup of coffee by the time they reached the clinic.

It was 9:30 when they arrived at the clinic and Doctor Atkins was in the waiting room talking with Chief Elston.  

“Good morning, Doctor, Chief,” Lee said.   “How’s the Admiral this morning?”

“He’s doing just fine and was asking about you.   You can go down and see him.”

“Thank you,” Janet answered as they walked to Harry’s room.

They entered his room and saw he was just finishing up his breakfast leaving a couple of pieces of toast on the plate.   “Good morning, Lee, Janet,” Harry greeted them.   “Have you eaten…here finish this toast,” he insisted so they each took a piece.  Lee saw Harry had some coffee, so he drank the extra cup.

“How are you feeling this morning?” Janet asked as she took his hand as she stood alongside his bed.

“Much better.  My headache is gone and my arm only aches slightly.   I’m anxious to get aboard the boat and head home.  When will she be here?”

“Late this afternoon.  I haven’t talked to Chip this morning but I’ll check in with him when we’re done meeting with Chief Elston.


Doctor Atkins and Chief Elston walked into Harry’s room, “I’m glad you ate all your breakfast as you didn’t eat much dinner last night,” he said to Harry. “I’ll be back to check on you and Captain Crane’s hand when you’re finished with Hugo,” he said to them as he left the room.   Lee and Janet both stared at him, no wonder he wanted them to eat his toast.

“I’m happy to see you’re doing better Admiral,” Elston said as he stood at the foot of the bed.   “My deputy and I went down to the trawler earlier this morning and had a look around.  Now, I need you to tell me how you happened to be on the boat.”

Lee stood on one side of Harry’s bed and spoke up, “We were on our way to Scotland when our craft was incapacitated.  We had a raft on board and used that to escape as our craft was going to sink.    We spotted the trawler and managed to maneuver our way over to her and climbed on board.   After searching the boat, we found it deserted.  We discovered the neither the engines or radio worked.  We tried to repair them so we could make contact with our submarine so they could pick us up.”

“How did you burn your hand, Captain?”

“I was trying to connect the generator to the engine when it short circuited and caught on fire.   It destroyed the generator and connection so I knew the engines wouldn’t start.”

After Lee finished, Hugo look at Harry, “Admiral, how did you get injured?”

“I was in the radio shack trying to fix the radio and needed some tools.  When we checked out the boat, there were two storage rooms we hadn’t look in so I checked them out and found some more tools and tubes for the radio.   There was a huge storm approaching and the boat was rocking, I lost my balance and fell into one of the holds.   Captain Crane and Janet pulled me out.”

“Hmm,” Hugo said and looked at Janet.

“Mrs. Crane, it doesn’t look like you were injured in any way.”

Janet not missing a beat replied, “I bumped my head on the rail of the stove when the boat was rocking during the storm but it wasn’t anything serious.”

Hugo looked at the three of them, “I’m going to believe what you’ve told me that you had nothing to do with Captain Bakova and the boat.”

“Thank you,” Lee answered.

Hugo continued, “We found Captain Bakova’s log in his cabin…did any of you read it?”

Janet quickly glanced at Lee and responded, “Yes sir, I did and I told Captain Crane and the Admiral what was in it.”

 “Well, some of what he wrote was incorrect,” Hugo stated.

“Incorrect?” Lee asked surprised that Bakova would falsify his log book.

“Yes.  According to bulletin we received regarding the boat and why we were to detain it if it stopped in our port.  The Lorybova was impounded by the city where it docked after unloading its fish.  It seems, Captain Bakova didn’t pay the docking fees and he removed the boat illegally.   He had given his crew shore leave and told them to report back to the boat the next morning but when they returned, they found the boat had left.  He left them stranded with no way back home and very little money.  After the authorities talked to the crew, they believed the boat to be cursed just like he wrote in the log.  Men would get injured, their things would be missing and machinery would stop working and the work again.  Did you run into any problems other than the engines and radio not working?”

“No sir,” Lee replied calmly.

“Well, I’m going to report to the Canadian authorities that he must have fallen overboard since the entries ended after he went to secure the hook.”

“What will happen to the trawler?” Harry asked curiously.

“I’m not sure but it can’t stay there.  Probably sell it for scrap.” Hugo said.  “Why do you want it?”

“No thank you,” Harry chuckled.  “I’ve had enough of her.”

“You’ll be able to leave when your sub arrives.  We noticed some of your personal belongings were still on the boat, do you want any of the them?”

“No sir,” Janet responded as the only items on board where hers and she didn’t want them afraid who or whatever was on that boat touched them.

“Thank you for your cooperation and have a safe trip back,” Hugo said as he shook Harry’s and Janet’s hand and nodded to Lee as he left the room.

Janet sat down on the chair next to Harry’s bed.   “How did that log book get back to the Captain’s cabin…I searched that cabin and so did you Lee…can you explain any of what took place on that boat to me?  If didn’t know better, I’d say there was a ghost on board.”

Lee quickly glanced at Harry before looking at her.  A look that didn’t get by Janet.   “Okay, you two are the sanest men I know…surely you don’t believe in ghosts.”

“Sweetie, let’s just say that we’ve experienced many things that we couldn’t explain,” Lee responded honestly.

Janet looked at Lee and then Harry and realized there were a lot of things that must have taken place before she started working on Seaview and decided she didn’t want to know what they were.

Lee looked at his watch, “I’m going to check with Chip and check on their progress.  I’ll be right back.”

He walked out of the room leaving Harry and Janet alone.

“You all right?” Harry asked as he took her hand in his.

“Yes, I guess so,” she answered thinking back to what had happened in the shower and shivered.

Doctor Atkins entered the room and checked out Harry.  He was happy with his vitals.  “I’m sure you have a doctor on board, so when you leave I’ll make sure you get a copy of your x-rays and treatment we’ve given you and Captain Crane.”

“Thank you,” Harry replied.   

“I saw Captain Crane in the lobby and I’ll check out his hand when he returns.”

“Doctor Jamieson will appreciate your notes,” Janet said as he left the room.

“I’m a little tired,” Harry told Janet.  “I’m just going to close my eyes for a few minutes.”

“Okay,” Janet answered and left the room to go find Lee.


Chip woke up the next morning, took care of his morning duties and made his way to the wardroom for breakfast.   He grabbed some eggs, bacon, toast and coffee.  He was just finishing his meal when Jamie arrived.   He saw that Chip had eaten breakfast and was looking a lot better.  

“Good morning, Chip,” Jamie said.   “Have you heard from Lee?”

“No, not yet but I’m sure he’ll be calling soon.   I’ll find out how the Admiral is doing so you don’t have to worry.”

“Thanks, I’ll check in with you later,” he replied as Chip walked out and headed to the control room.

He entered the aft hatch and saw all the men were at their stations.  He sensed the mood in the control room was definitely better than the past few days.   He walked over to the plotting table where Bobby was checking their position and speed.

“Good morning, Mr. Morton,” he said.   “We’re on course and a little ahead of schedule.”

“Thanks, Bobby,” Chip replied and walked over to the radio shack.

“Sparks, has the Skipper checked in?”

“No sir, not yet.”

“When he does, pipe it over to the plotting table,” Chip told him.

“Aye, sir,” Sparks replied.

No sooner had Chip returned to the plotting table when Sparks called him to let him know Lee was calling. 

Chip picked up the mic, “Good morning Lee, is everything okay?”

“Yes, Chip, just fine.  How long before you arrive?”

“About six hours, we’ve managed to shave off about thirty minutes.   It seems your ‘grey lady’ misses you,” he teased.

“I’m looking forward to seeing her and the rest of you,” Lee chuckled.   “I don’t think you’re going to be able to get into the dock.   None of the slips look large enough to accommodate her.   Leave her two hundred yards off shore and send a zodiac for us.”

“Aye sir,” Chip replied.   “I’ll contact you as soon as we’re in place.”

“Thanks, Chip.  Crane out.”

Chip clicked off Lee’s call and double clicked the mic.  “Chief Sharkey report to the control room.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sharkey replied a few seconds later.

Sharkey made his way to the control room and went over to the plotting table where Chip was standing.

“Sir, you wanted to see me?”

“Yes, Chief, when we arrive, I want you and Kowalski to take a zodiac out to pick up the Admiral, the Skipper and Mrs. Crane.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sharkey answered enthusiastically.   “We’ll make sure they get safely aboard.”

Chip had a special surprised planned for their arrival or he would have been on the zodiac.

He picked up a pencil and started tapping it on the plotting table just like Lee would when he was nervous.


Lee turned off his SAT phone and entered the clinic where he was stopped by Doctor Atkins.   “Let’s check out your hand and I’ll leave you alone until you’re ready to leave.   I’d like to accompany the Admiral to the dock and get a look at the Seaview,” he told Lee as he led him into an exam room.

“You can accompany him but I’m afraid there isn’t a slip large enough for her.  She’ll be two hundred yards off shore so you can see her,” Lee said as the doctor looked at his hand.

“That’ll be just fine,” he remarked.   “Your hand looks a lot better.   I told your wife that I’ll make sure you get copies of the treatment for you and the Admiral to give to your doctor.”

Atkins re-bandaged Lee’s hand and left him to go back to Harry’s room as he had another patient to attend to.


Before Lee could return to Harry’s room, he met Janet in the hall. 

“He’s napping,” Janet said when she saw the worried look on Lee’s face.   “How soon will Seaview be here?”

“About six hours,” Lee replied.  “How about we go for a walk.   I don’t think Harry will miss us.”

“Sounds good,” Janet answered and Lee helped her with her jacket.

Even though it was cold out the fresh air felt good.   They walked down to the docks and looked out over the ocean. 

“It’s really pretty here,” Janet said turning around and looking back at the town.  “Lee, thanks for not saying anything about me being strangled.   I’m sure Doctor Atkins would have said something to Chief Elston.  I don’t think he would have accepted that there was no one on the boat and assumed that you or Harry tried to strangle me. I was afraid he wouldn’t let us leave if you told him,” Janet commented and put her arm around Lee’s waist and gave him a hug.

Smiling he returned her hug, “You catch on fast but I’m worried about you.”

“I’ll be fine once I get aboard Seaview.”

They walked hand in hand in silence back to the clinic.   Harry was still dozing but they sat down and waited for him to wake up.


Seaview had arrived at the coordinates and was stationed at two hundred feet facing west when Chip told the engine room to stop all engines.

 “Lt. O’Brien, surface the boat,” Chip ordered.

“Aye, sir,” he replied and pressed the klaxon three times.

Removing the mic from the periscope island, “Surface, surface, surface,” he said.   “Blow all ballasts, ten degrees up bubble.”

As Seaview slowly broached the surface, Phil called to Bobby, “All green.”

“Crack the hatches,” he ordered and stowed the mic.

Ron brought Chip and Bobby their cold weather gear before they climbed up the ladder to the flying bridge and looked over the small town of Nanortalik.  They watched as the deck crew helped launch the zodiac with Chief Sharkey and Kowalski.  They would stay on the bridge until they saw the zodiac returning, then station themselves on the quarterdeck to wait for Harry, Lee and Janet to board.

The zodiac cleared the sub and made its way to the dock to pick up its very important cargo.

Chip removed the mic on the bridge, “Sparks, contact Captain Crane and let me talk to him.”

“Yes, sir,” he replied and made the connection to Lee’s phone.


Lee and Janet sat waiting with Harry for Chip to call.  When the phone did ring, all three of them jumped.

“Skipper, I have Mr. Morton,” Sparks reported.

“Hi Chip,” Lee said when the connection was made.

“The zodiac is on its way.   They’ll be waiting for you at the first dock.”

“Thanks, Chip.  We’re ready to go.”

Chip took a deep breath.   “We’re looking forward to seeing you. Seaview out.”

“Our ride is on its way,” Lee said as Doctor Atkins walked into the room. 

“It seems your submarine has caused quite a stir in town,” he told them. 

Smiling Lee replied, “She does do that to a lot of people.”

“Here are the reports I promised you,” Atkins said as he handed two folders to Janet. 

Lee helped Harry with his parka and they walked out of the clinic.  When they got outside, Hugo was waiting with the cart to take Harry and Doctor Atkins to the dock.  Janet and Lee would walk as it wasn’t that far and there’s was no room for them.   Doctor Atkins waited for them to come to the dock before letting Harry out of the cart.  Chief Sharkey and Kowalski were waiting for them.

“It’s sure great to see you, sir,” Sharkey said as soon as he saw the admiral.   Kowalski nodded in agreement.

“Same here, Chief,” Harry answered as Lee and Janet walked up alongside of him.

“Admiral, she’s a mighty fine looking boat,” Doctor Atkins remarked as he stared at Seaview.

“Yes, she is,” Harry replied proudly as he shook his hand.

“Thank you for everything, Doctor,” Lee said nodding his thanks as he hand was still bandaged.  Janet also shook his hand and thanked him.

“You’re welcome.  Come back and see us again.”

“If we’re ever in the area, we just might do that,” Lee replied.

Sharkey and Ski helped Harry aboard the zodiac and then helped Janet aboard with Lee following behind.   Sharkey started the motor as Ski pushed them away from the dock.   He slowly gathered speed and cruised to the boat. When they arrived, the quarterdeck was lined with every crew member not on duty standing at attention.

Lee was first to disembark and smiled at Chip, “Permission to come aboard?”

“Permission granted,” Chip replied with a huge grin.  

Once Harry and Janet were on the deck, Lee put the men at ease and smiled at his best friend.   “You don’t know how happy we are to be back here.  Thanks for the greeting.”

“You don’t know how glad we are that you’re back,” Chip responded Harry’s hand and went to shake Lee’s but noticed the bandage so he patted him on the arm instead.  He then patted Janet’s arm.

They made their way into the service hatch where Chip and Lee went down the ladder first so they could help Harry into the control room followed by Janet.   Jamie was waiting for the three of them as he couldn’t wait to get his hands on them.  When she got to the bottom of the ladder, Janet handed him the folders from the clinic.  He quickly perused them and she could see the disappointment on his face that he wouldn’t have to worry about taking care of them.


Janet wandered into the observation nose while Lee and Chip prepared to get underway and vaguely heard Lee and Chip talking.  She stared at the trawler that had saved their lives but also almost cost them their lives.  

“Chip, once the zodiac is stowed, set a course for Groton,” Lee ordered.   “I’m going to change into a uniform.”

“Admiral, let me help you get into a uniform,” Jamie said as they headed for the staircase.

“Thanks, Jamie.   I think this calls for a celebration, so have Cookie serve dinner in the nose. Jamie, you’ll be joining us as you’ll want to hear our tale.”

“Yes sir,” Jamie replied and helped Harry up the staircase.

Chip and Lee were standing by the plotting table, “Mr. Morton, the zodiac is stowed and we’re ready to dive,” Bobby reported.

“Dive the boat, Lt.,” Chip ordered.   “Bring her to two hundred feet and full speed”

“Aye, aye sir,” Bobby replied setting the dive procedure in motion, calling maneuvering with the course and the engine room with the speed.

“At depth and speed,” Bobby told Chip.

Chip noted the course and speed in the log book. 

Once Seaview was underway, Chip and Lee noticed Janet standing in the observation nose.  Lee walked into the nose and gently put his arm around her waist causing her to jump as she didn’t hear him.

“You okay?” he asked softly.

“Yes, now I am.   I just can’t get what happened on the trawler out of mind but I guess I’ll have to accept it,” Janet sighed.  “Let’s get changed.”

They walked up the staircase as Janet gave the red boat one last look before they sailed away.


Lee and Janet returned to their cabin happy to be ‘home’.  Lee quickly changed into his uniform while Janet changed into a pair of pants and a turtleneck still trying to hide the faint bruises on her neck.  Her throat as still a little sore and her voice still raspy.  She hoped Jamie wouldn’t notice. They left the cabin and made their way into the observation nose.   Harry, Jamie and Chip were already there waiting for them.   Lee noticed that Chip had closed the crash doors separating the control room with the nose.

“Everything okay?” Lee asked knowing Jamie would have checked Harry out.

“Yes, I looked over the treatment and x-rays they did at the clinic and they were very thorough,” Jamie replied.  “But he’s still going to rest for a few days, either in his cabin or the observation nose.  No work will be allowed.”

“Harrumph,” Harry snorted.   “We’ll see about that.  I’ll have plenty of time to rest once we get to Groton.”

“Lee, I’ll look at your hand later but Doctor Atkins wrote that the burn was getting better and he gave you some antibiotics.   Have you been taking them?”

“You sure got a lot done while the admiral was changing,” Lee commented.  “And yes, I’ve been taking them.”

“Janet, you managed to escape unscathed,” Jamie remarked. 

“Well…” she replied not finishing her sentence as Harry interrupted.

Harry knew Jamie would take her away if she told him what happened so he piped up, “Lee, go into the cabinet and select a bottle of wine for dinner.”

“Yes sir,” Lee replied and took out a nice vintage that would go with Cookie’s dinner of steak, baked potatoes and corn.

Lee uncorked the bottle and poured all of them a glass.   “There’s no place like home,” Harry toasted.

They all raised their glasses and took a drink.  Cookie had brought some appetizers for them to enjoy until dinner was ready.   Once dinner was ready, they sat down and while they were eating Lee told them about the sea monsters that forced them out of the flying sub.

“How is FS-1?” Lee asked concerned about his ‘baby’.

“By the time we found it, the radiation had risen almost to dangerous levels.  We saw your red warning and donned protection gear before we boarded.  She was pretty beat up but they’ve managed to get the reactor repaired and the dents.  You should have no problem using it if you need to while the boat is undergoing the repairs.   Angie notified the shipyard about the delay and there’s no problem if we arrive later than expected. But I want to know what did you run into to do that much damage?”

“We ran into some unruly denizens of the deep that actually ran into us,” Harry stated and continued.  “They resembled an ichthyosaur but were a lot larger and pretty riled up.   Normally, they stay deep in the ocean but when we were submerged, they must have thought the flying sub was food as they pounced on her and pushed her around like she was a piece of fish.  Even on the surface they continued to attack her.”

Lee continued where Harry left off.   “We couldn’t stay on the flying sub, so we got out the raft and took what we needed to survive.  It was cold but the scuba suits and parkas helped us survive the night but we knew we’d never make out there in the raft.  By the way, we’ll have to get another raft and suits.”

“Yes, we know,” Chip interjected.  “We searched for you but knew we needed help, so I alerted the Navy.  There was a Nor’easter blowing down and the Navy sent all the boats to the south and the planes couldn’t fly.   I called Gary Easton in Admiral Dickinson’s office for help and ended up talking with Admiral Starke.”

“Jiggs got involved,” Harry remarked as he took a sip of wine.

“Yes sir, and thank goodness he did.  He got the planes out to look for you and a couple of boats.  It was a pilot that spotted the deflated raft, scuba gear, a parka and women’s clothing.  Since we had no idea you were aboard a boat we assumed the worse,” Chip said quietly. “How did you get on the boat…why didn’t you keep the raft?”

“I’m getting to that part,” Lee responded.   “We spotted the trawler the next morning.   It was strange that the boat made no effort to help us.  We managed to maneuver the raft to the boat and when we boarded it, we found it deserted.   We tied the raft to the back of the boat just in case we needed it.  We checked out the wheelhouse and found a radio shack but the radio didn’t work nor did our SAT phones.   We didn’t know if we were in a dead area or what.  There was food aboard so we knew someone had to be on the boat recently.  

Lee stopped momentarily to take a large sip of his wine.  Since the bottle was almost empty, Harry suggested they open another one.  Lee refilled their glasses and sat down continuing on with their adventure.

“While the Admiral tried to repair the radio, I was trying to fix the engines.   I almost had them running but when I connected the parts together it started a fire, so that’s how I got burned.   At that point I knew the engines would never start.”

“How did you survive the cold…didn’t you get hit by the storm?” Jamie inquired.

“We got lucky as there was a separate gas generator on board that ran some of the boat’s mechanicals like the heater, desalinization system and electric.   There was gas in the tank and a couple of extra gas cans. We got that running so we had water, heat and electric for two days.  As for the storm, we were right in the middle of it and we had to turn the heat off to conserve gas.   We wrapped ourselves in every blanket we could find.   The boat was rocking pretty badly but we made it through.”

“I thought you said you had extra tanks,” Chip asked.  “Why didn’t you use them?”

Lee looked over at Harry and then Janet.   Chip noticed the look but didn’t say anything as Lee continued.  “The cans were empty when I went to fill the tank.   Don’t know how but they were empty.”

“Admiral, how did you get hurt?” Jamie questioned.

“I went to look for some more tools and anything that I could use to fix the radio and I lost my balance and fell into one of the holds they used to store the fish.  I must have hit my head on the deck and landed on my arm.  Lee and Janet pulled me out.”

Jamie looked at Chip and back at Harry, Lee and Janet.

Janet took up the story, “I found the Captain’s log book and read the entries.  According to his log book, he was sailing back to Newfoundland after his crew hitched a ride on another boat leaving him to sail The Lorybova alone.  He’d been drinking and one of the entries he’d written suggested he thought the boat was cursed because they changed the name.  I searched his cabin and found another log book with a different boat name.  She was originally called Lyobulova and had another captain’s name in the log. There were only a couple more entries before they stopped.   We assume he fell overboard trying to secure a hook to the crane.”

“Okay so now what aren’t you telling us?” Chip asked.   He knew Lee well enough to know that he was hiding something.

Lee knew he wasn’t going to be able to fool Chip so he figured he better tell it all.  “Things started to disappear, ropes mysteriously became untied while I was trying to secure the same hook to the crane and I was nearly washed overboard.   The gas cans were empty when I know they were full.   The ropes on the raft were purposely cut during the storm.   Our scuba suits, a parka and Janet’s clothing that they found floating were removed from the boat.   The generator was purposely sabotaged and the admiral didn’t lose his balance he was pushed into the hold.  All the netting was cut so it made it harder to get him out.”

“And what else?” Chip wondered as he sat back in his chair arms crossed over his chest. 

“Someone tried to strangle Janet,” Lee said waiting for Jamie to explode.

“I knew her voice sounded funny.  Didn’t they examine her at the clinic?” Jamie shouted.

“No, because we didn’t tell them,” Janet answered.   “I was taking a shower and someone or something tried to strangle me.  How do you explain that to a doctor who’d assume Lee or the Admiral did it.?”

“Janet, you’ll report to Sick Bay before you turn in for the night,” Jamie ordered.

“Yes sir,” she reluctantly replied.

“Lee, you’re sure there was no one hiding on that boat as I hate to think what the other alternative is.”

“Chip, I swear there was no one on that boat.”

“Before we could leave, we had to answer questions from the Chief of Police because they were looking for the trawler.  Some of the captain’s log entries were lies.  The boat was impounded in Newfoundland and he took off.   So it has two strikes against her.   A name change and the captain’s death as I think his spirit is still on that boat but he’s not a very friendly one.”

Sighing deeply, Chip remarked, “I guess not.  How did you manage to land on that sand bar anyway?”

“I had found maps and charts but nothing else to find out where we are.  You know a sailor never leaves port without a sextant or something to use for locating where they are.  This boat didn’t have any modern equipment so there was no GPS.   I searched the captain’s cabin again and tripped over a rug on the floor where I found a door panel cut in the floor.  In there I found a sextant and hoped it was accurate.  We got one glimpse of the sun but I was able to find out where we were.  Our only hope was that small town but the wind picked up again and I was afraid we’d miss the town which we did but managed to catch the sand bar.”

They sat there quietly for a few minutes before Jamie piped up, “That’s quite a tale but had you not found that trawler you’d…”

“You’re right Jamie,” Lee said.  “We’d never have made it in raft so I guess a little trouble is better than what could have been.”

“Admiral, I told Admiral Starke that you would contact him when you returned.  Also, Dr. Moray was very worried and asked that you contact him.”

“I’ll call them as soon as I get to my cabin.  Does Angie know we’re safe?”

“Yes sir.   I was going to notify her, Edith and Lee’s mom when the plane found the raft but I put it off for a day and I’m glad I did.”

“Me too,” Harry agreed and let out a yawn.   “I’m going to my cabin, make my phone calls and retire for the night.   I’ll see all of you in the morning.   You stay and enjoy yourselves.”

They all stood up when Harry got up.  He turned down their offers to help him and made his way up the staircase to his cabin where he was looking forward to sleeping in his bunk.

Chip opened the crash doors so Jamie could return to sick bay.

“Janet, make sure you stop and see me before you retire,” Jamie instructed as he walked out the hatch.

Lee, Chip and Janet remained in the nose for a few minutes.

“Thanks for taking care of things,” Lee said to Chip.   “I know we messed up your plans to meet Julie in New York.”

“It’s okay, she understood and was very upset when we thought you were dead,” Chip replied.  “We were both wondering how we’d get along without you.”

“No need to worry about that now,” Lee said with smile.  “It’s sure good to be back.”


Janet and Lee left for sick bay while Chip checked in with Jenkins and Taper giving them some last-minute instructions before going off duty.

Once in sick bay, Jamie checked out Janet and found she suffered no ill-effects from her ordeal.  Her voice was raspy because she was getting a cold.

Lee and Janet made their way up to their cabin.   “I would really like to take a walk-about the boat.  Do you mind?”

“If you didn’t want to walk your boat, I would have sent you to sick bay.   I’ll be here when you get back.”

Lee gave her a kiss and hug and left to check out his ‘grey lady’. 


Seaview docked in Groton, two days later and only six days late.  They immediately started to tear down her engines and propellers once she was dry docked.

Edith had a car waiting and whisked Harry away to the airport and Florida as soon as they docked where they would visit their friend, Carolyn.

Chip was going to stay behind and wait with Lee while they dry-docked Seaview but Lee told him to go.  He got lucky and caught a flight to Chicago a few hours after they docked.  He couldn’t wait to see Julie and his parents, of course, and knew Julie wouldn’t be upset that they missed their rendezvous in New York.

The rest of the crew took off to their destinations where they would have three weeks of shore leave before heading back to work at the institute.   Janet made sure Chip had the rosters of where each man would report.


Janet and Lee finally left Groton two days later as Lee wanted to check on how the overhaul was progressing.   The foreman broke out in a smile when Lee told him to call if he had any problems.   Janet felt bad for him as Lee was always hovering over them as they did the repairs. 

Lee’s mom had purchased a secluded house on the beach so when Lee would fly in on FS-1 no one would be able to see him.  Most of the time he would come in submerged and surface when he got there.  By the time they arrived at her house, she had already left for her assignment in Europe.  They were disappointed that they missed seeing her but were happy that they were alone.  

They enjoyed walking on the beach, shopping and reading books or proposals as Lee had brought them with to look over.   On one particularly nice day, Lee had returned from town and found Janet out on the patio staring at the ocean.  He walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her.   She leaned back into him.

“You know you have to let it go or it will drive you crazy,” Lee said softly.

“I know it’s just hard to believe there was a ghost on the boat,” Janet replied frankly as she turned to face him.

“This might help,” Lee answered and handed her a book. 

She looked at the title and grinned.   “Thanks, honey, but I know something much better that will make me forget,” she remarked with a mischievous grin. 

She took his hand and led him back into the house leaving the book on the table titled, “Ghost Ships: Tale of Abandoned, Doomed and Haunted Vessels.”****

The End.


*Ichthyosaur is a prehistoric marine reptile that ruled the seas 170 million years ago.  It resembles a dolphin with its pointed mouth bristling with hundreds of cone-shaped teeth about 13 feet long.  Source: monster-uncovered.

**All information on the ichthyosaur is from an article located on the Daily dated September 5, 2016.

*** All information for renaming a boat was obtained from

**** Ghost Ships: Tales of Abandoned, Doomed and Haunted Vessels, by Dr. Angus Konstam.  Published by Lyons Press in 2005.