The Mariner


I walked away from the hooded, nameless character, and found another. I almost walked right pass him, not noticing the green on his arm. I asked him about the tattoo. “It’s a nautical tattoo,” he answered as he spat on the grass next to him. I inquired further. He got it after he, his brothers and his father participated in a race to Bermuda. Apparently, a race on a boat is called a regatta. I asked him what it meant, and he told me his story.


He agreed to participate in this regatta with his brothers just before he came to college. Miles away from shore, they hit a rough storm. They dropped anchor and tried to wait some of it out. It got worse, so they decided to push ahead and hopefully get past it. Twenty minutes into their endeavor, they came across another ship that had dropped anchor. The father brought them in along side and told his son, the one I was speaking to, to jump aboard. He brought a radio with him and boarded the ship. It was empty.

They didn’t find anybody on board, and all of the life preservers were gone. It was strange. They called the coast guard and told them what had happened. The father checked his maritime law book, and told his boys what he was going to do. The two oldest boys, this tattooed narrator included, hitched a line from their boat to the abandoned one. They were going to pull it to a port a few miles away. The boys steered this wounded vessel through the tempestuous winds.