Log Entry: Wayfarer, At Sea

by , under Fiction Prompts, What Pegman Saw

May 24th
After thirty-six hours on deck, I set the drag anchor and turned in below.
Worst mistake of my life.
The storm drove me onto something in the dark, an uncharted reef or maybe a shipwreck.
Whatever it was, it tore a three-foot gash in the starboard hull.
I set the pump working and tomorrow I’ll try to heel the boat so I can get at the leak.

May 25th
The hole is patched as well as I can do it, but I ran out of resin.
It’s a botch-job, and I doubt if it will take much sea.
The bad news is that whatever I hit tore the wheel off the starboard motor.
To make Djakarta I’ll have to rely on sail alone.

June 18th
Not a breeze since the 30th.
GPS nonfunctional.
Running short of provisions.
Mariners called this “the doldrums.”
I have another name for it.

 

What Pegman Saw

  1. k rawson

    Such bitterness and fear in the last line. The log format nicely shows the character arc, how he goes from confident and efficient, to harried, to anger and fear.

    Reply
  2. Joy Pixley

    Effective use of the epistolary form (which is one of my favorites). The text is so formal and dry, and yet hints at such realistic desperation; well done.

    Reply
  3. pennygadd51

    Terrific story, Josh! Writing it as a log makes it feel authentic, and you’ve done it beautifully. There’s a wryness and a dogged endurance about this man that suggests he may pull through. I hope so, certainly!

    Reply
  4. Jelli

    Oh, I can feel his desperation and annoyance. Hopefully he finds safe harbor or a fellow mariner before it’s too late.

    Reply
  5. 4963andypop

    Watch out for albatrosses! This reminds me of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge. Love this part:

    “Day after day, day after day,
    We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
    As idle as a painted ship
    Upon a painted ocean.

    Water, water, every where,
    And all the boards did shrink;
    Water, water, every where,
    Nor any drop to drink. ”

    I hope he finds his way out of the doldrums!

    Reply
  6. Lynn Love

    This feels very genuine, just the kind of commentary we’d read from a round the world yachtsman/woman. Even today, the sea will conquer us given the chance, eh? Assured writing as always

    Reply

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