by: Rebecca Taylor
**Published on the Perspectives Magazine Website in 2008*
I have sailed on many seas and have weathered many storms. I am built from the strongest wood that Captain Isaiah Langstrom could find. My captain is a good man and I have respected him for more than fifteen years, but there was a time when my faith in him faltered. I caught him writing horrendous thoughts in our journey’s logbook. I can still remember the words like he had carved them into my stern. He had written, maybe after this voyage I will sell the Sea Scope and go back to the family business of dismantling old pirate ships and making them into seaworthy voyageurs. How could my captain think of selling me after all of the voyages we had been on, me, the ship that he built, the ship who has kept him safe against all sorts of weather conditions. When I heard this, my belly churned and I contemplated failing my master. He was going to sell me, who had proven to be seaworthy for more than eight years at that time, and had sailed on countless voyages with my captain. But, I believed in Captain Langstrom and had sharp pain foam throughout me like waves of a tropical storm that he could betray my love for him by selling me. I thought I might sink, that if we couldn’t be together always that neither one of us would survive. I decided to hold off for a while as I was thinking of doing this to a man that I cared deeply about and I didn’t know how I could kill someone who gave me life.
I came to my senses one night not long after when I heard my captain telling the crew how much his possible decision was hurting him, how as much as he loved sailing that his family needed him. I am a ship, and as all ships know, roaming in the sea is the only life for us, I didn’t want to imagine a life of possibly being docked somewhere or used by a different captain. I am a one-man boat but there was nothing I could do but try to make the rest of that voyage with the captain, seeing the new lands, the most invigorating feeling in the world, seeing it from far off and then sailing to it, seeing the image become clearer and clearer like seeing a Polaroid develop before your eyes. Time passed quickly on the rest of the voyage and while I tried to understand the turmoil that my captain was going through trying to make his decision, I was frightened of what was to become of me.
One night, the captain sat down on the floor of the ship on the starboard side and whispered so only I could hear, “Sea Scope, you and I have known each other for a long time, I have made a decision, you might not like it but it is the only decision that I feel I can live with right now. You are going to be docked for about a year while I help my family get its business running smoothly again and I then I will try to find someone to take my place and we will sail together again. I was going to sell you but I can’t bring myself to do it. I built you with my hands and I plan to sail you again. I hope you can understand.”
A captain talking to his boat, most people would find this absurd but this is the bond that Captain Langstrom and I share. I needed to hear what he had to say, and his words shook my hull. I know that the day he spoke to me sitting by my side was the day that cemented our relationship and restored my trust in him. Seven years have passed since that awful time and the captain and I have had to rely on each other many times. I am thankful that he believes in me like I believe in him. Many boats have crossed the seas before me with worthy sailors to discover new and exciting lands but I would not trade in my sails for another captain ever, no matter how rough some parts of our journey together may be.