pull, mates, pull



We could hear the crash of the waves against the  rocky shore. Wild winds whipped our sails to shreds.

The captain tried to maintain order with the crew and control of the schooner.

He hollered above the storm-noise.  “Throw over the anchor, boys, we’ll wait it out.”

The gods of the sea were against us. The anchor didn’t hold.

So, our ship sails out in Nor’easters. Sails torn, listing to port swamped by giant waves.

If on the shore, you can hear the captain yell “Pull, mates, pull. We have to try again.” {word count: 94}

Written for Friday Fictioneers, June 5 prompt.

As a side note, my great-grandfather was a schooner captain. My grandmother went on several voyages around South America before the Panama Canal was finished. Apparently, there are 50 ways to cook bananas. Sadly, a steamer hit his ship in 1926. I know where in the harbour he went down. I wave to his “watery grave” as the ferry passes by.

Ghost ship comes from a story told by my great-aunt.  She saw the famous “Fire Ship” sailing, ablaze, through the small islands towards the safety at the dock. Since it is a ghost story, of course, the ship didn’t make it. This is over 100 words. Sorry that my side note is longer than my post! word count: 120, Open-mouthed smile


37 thoughts on “pull, mates, pull

  1. Priceless Joy June 6, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    Wonderful story Phylor. The beach is haunted by this ship which made the story hauntingly beautiful. Then, your great grandfather’s true story on top of that! I am very sorry about your great grandfather’s watery grave.


    • phylor June 6, 2015 / 7:38 pm

      My great-grandfather did what the fiction and movies do: went down with his ship. He captained a sailing ship. By 1926, most weren’t schooners — a boat Nova Scotia is particularly know for.
      I’m glad you liked my story. My great-aunt really did see a ghost ship when she was a girl.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Priceless Joy June 6, 2015 / 7:44 pm

        I think that is very valiant and admirable of him because that is what captain’s are suppose to do – or at least be the last one off. That’s terrible that his ship went down. I think that is really cool that your aunt saw a ghost ship. Does she think it was your grandfather’s ship?


  2. Sandra June 6, 2015 / 9:45 am

    I enjoyed this, and the footnotes to it too.


    • phylor June 6, 2015 / 11:05 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story I wrote and my family’s attachment to the sea.


  3. rochellewisoff June 5, 2015 / 4:27 am

    Dear Phylor,

    A wonderfully told tale and I appreciated your ending notes.




    • phylor June 5, 2015 / 5:34 am

      Thank you, Rachel. It did bring back family memories.


  4. draliman June 5, 2015 / 4:07 am

    Great story, very atmospheric. Very scary to be caught in such a storm.


    • phylor June 5, 2015 / 5:33 am

      Hurricanes and Nor’easters are wild weather. It’s scary enough on land, on the water . . .
      Thanks! I love the word “atmospheric”!


  5. luckyjc007 June 4, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    I really enjoyed this and thank you for the interesting family background. “Wavery Grave”….very fitting.


    • phylor June 4, 2015 / 9:22 pm

      My family’s background is why I saw the chain as part of anchor. Many people saw it as a metaphor which is great too.
      Glad you liked that like bit of family history.


  6. dmmacilroy June 4, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Dear Phylor,

    A great historical story. Compelling scene, believable dialog, terrific tale.




    • phylor June 4, 2015 / 9:20 pm

      I do love things of the sea. I was born near the ocean and it’s in my family’s blood..


  7. DELL CLOVER June 4, 2015 / 4:54 pm

    WOW WOW WOW–love this post, including the beautiful personal background note. WOW


    • phylor June 4, 2015 / 9:21 pm

      There is a photograph of me as a child in between my great-grandmother and my grandmother. I wish I knew more about the sea-faring past. All are gone and few revealed deeper tales.


      • DELL CLOVER June 4, 2015 / 9:36 pm

        There’s something grand and deep about the mystique of sea-faring which draws many of us. Both my fathers worked the sea, one met his death there.


        • phylor June 5, 2015 / 4:03 am

          There are a lot of tragedies in the sea. It calls and it kills.
          My uncle started off as a radio operator in the merchant marine. My dad chose a military career — interestingly enough — in the army!


          • DELL CLOVER June 5, 2015 / 5:33 am

            Yes lots of sea tragedies, which makes me think the Sirens are not myth at all–as you say, “it calls and it kills”.


            • phylor June 5, 2015 / 8:07 am

              Many of the “myths” about the sea are probably based on some fact or two.


    • phylor June 4, 2015 / 3:50 pm

      Thanks. My father’s family has connections to the sea, my mother’s to farming the land.


  8. phylor June 4, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    Thanks, Lorna.
    When I saw the chain, I did think of my great-grand father and the my great-aunt’s Fire Ship.
    I really used to take a ferry that went by where his ship went down. He and one of his sons were lost.


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