The Flagship Niagara Diaries Part 11: It Begins

Seriously, having days off is awesome.

I meander through the sea of Clevelanders, pausing only to quickly ask a passing man for the time. I don’t want to be late. Captain is waiting for me.

Captain Deckelmann, that is.

I’m hard pressed to think of a kinder man than Captain Wes, but on a day like today, I’ve just got to get out and expand my horizons, even if it’s only for a little while. So, I’m off to a new ship for a new crewing experience. Don’t worry, Niagara, I’ll be back.

I hear the familiar sloshing of dock water as I approach the pier, though I see her from a mile away, her blood-red sails tearing into the sky like phoenix wings. Smaller than Niagara but possibly more intimidating, she’s a schooner with an attitude.

She’s the Roseway.

I hop aboard and cast a quick glance up the sail as it unfurls and we head out into the harbor.

Image

The rolling of the waves and the gentle swaying of the deck calms me, and I chat with an older lady next to me who’s so engrossed with being on a ship that her eyes are about as big as saucers. When the captain shouts orders, I obey even though I’m not permanently part of the crew. It’s no fun otherwise!

The day passes speedily like this, and before I know it I’m back on Niagara with only flashes of a good day in my mind — something about a wonderful elderly lady named Anne and giving a little girl my french fries. As I take one step onto the bridge toward the deck, I see a cluster of my fellow crewmembers, Bravo watch I think, walking toward me.

“What’s up, guys?” I ask, obviously disrupting whatever important conversation they were having.

“Paulie’s in the hospital,” Emily mumbles. “So are Jesse and Neil.”

I tense. “What happened while I was gone?”

Emily shakes her head. “We don’t know. They just collapsed.”

*****

Quotes from this day’s ship log:

“When I returned to Niagara at 18:15, I discovered that Paul, Neil, and Jesse had all been taken to the hospital…I don’t know how the three of them are doing.”

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