Captain Disaster Again

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

I've posted this before, and I'm too lazy to proofread it, so, ya gets what you gets!

Submitted: October 29, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 29, 2017



Captain Disaster


Chapter One:



Under a clear blue sky the Beast of the Seas steamed on her way to Jamaica. The trip had been uneventful so far, and if Captain Paul Courageous had anything to say about it, it would stay that way. He had recently been promoted to captain and he was having a hard time believing it. All of those dreary, never-ending years spent scrubbing the decks, painting, and wishing and hoping to be promoted quickly had finally paid off. He was now captain of the Beast of the Seas, a brand-new luxury cruise ship, and this was her maiden voyage. He gazed down from the bridge on his relaxing passengers; some playing shuffleboard, some talking with other passengers, and some sunbathing. The Captain was so intensely watching a young lady in a thong bikini he failed to notice the luxury yacht directly in front of the ship apparently unable to move due to a stalled engine. He was staring at the healthy young lady, enjoying the sight, when he happened to glance up. At last, he noticed the dead-in-the-water large yacht dead ahead. He yelled to the sailor at the wheel,


“Hard to port!” before realizing the sailor was drunk--so drunk he had slid to the floor. So he leapt to the wheel and cranked it hard to port. For a second he didn’t think there was enough time to clear the yacht but slowly the massive ship turned to port and the ship barely missed a collision. Wow, that had been a close call. That damn drunk bastard. He sure would be reprimanded. How would he ever have explained that? He vowed to keep all of his attention on sailing the ship. He kept his eyes riveted on their path through the sea.



Captain Courageous was straining to see anything with his binoculars. It sure was a pitch-dark night out there. He reminded 2nd Officer Lightower to keep a sharp lookout. One never knew what one might run into (literally) out here. After nearly colliding with that luxury yacht back there, Captain Courageous wasn’t taking any chances. He’d posted Lightower as a lookout, even though as far as he knew, the ship’s radar was working fine.



They were sailing smoothly along when a strange blip appeared on the radar screen. "Captain, you’d better come see this.”


Captain Courageous let go of the binoculars hanging around his neck and walked over to stand by his 1st Officer, peering at the radar screen. Courageous was shocked to see something massive filling the screen.


“What the hell is that?” he exclaimed. Then he said, “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”


The 1st Officer answered, “It just appeared. One second, there was nothing, and the next, there it was!” Captain Courageous then called out to 2nd Officer Lightower, keeping watch at the front of the ship,


“Can you see anything?”


Lightower answered, “No, I can’t see anyt—whoa--what’s that? Iceberg, dead ahead!”


Courageous dismissively replied, “Iceberg? In these waters? Mister, it’s 85 degrees out here. I don’t know what you’ve been smoking, but—damn--all engines reverse--hard starboard!”


What he had seen was a massive iceberg looming directly in their path. With painful slowness the Beast of the Seas bow began to swing right. It kept on swinging, until Captain Courageous began to think they might swing clear. But suddenly, there came a shudder, accompanied by a deep grinding noise. Chunks of the iceberg fell on the port side deck. It was obvious to everyone watching the terrifying scene that Beast of the Seas had struck the iceberg. Now, Captain Courageous needed to know how badly she was damaged. He sent the 1st Officer below decks--below the waterline--to discreetly check on the damage, telling him not to alarm the passengers.



1st Officer Harvey Seconds worked his way down into the bowels of the ship. Along the way he met reveling passengers, who all wanted to know what the shuddering they’d felt was. Nothing they needed to concern themselves with, he assured them. At last, he arrived at the door to the forward cargo hold. He opened it and a geyser of seawater erupted from the open door. 1st Officer Seconds let out a scream and scrambled back up to the bridge, moving as quickly as he could past the same passengers he had just told there was nothing to be alarmed about. They saw the worried look on his face and ran to pack their things before they were told to report to their assigned lifeboats.



1st Officer Seconds burst onto the bridge and breathlessly broke the news to Captain Courageous that there was already seawater up to Cargo Hold One.


“Cargo Hold One? That iceberg must have opened us up like a tin can. It’s bad, gentleman,” he told the assembled crew. “We’re going down, and we only have about 5 minutes.”


“5 minutes? Damn,” exclaimed 2nd Officer Lightower.


“Now, everybody listen up,” yelled Captain Courageous. “I want every crewman to their lifeguard station. I’m going to get on the P.A, and give instruction to the passengers. They will probably be panicky, so we must stay calm. Is that clear?”


Everyone nodded yes and quickly departed for their assigned lifeboats. The Captain picked up the microphone of the PA and said, as calmly as he could,


“Attention, all passengers report to their assigned lifeboats. This is only a drill. I repeat, this is only a drill.”


Immediately, the corridors were clogged by screaming, panicked passengers. An older woman was pushed aside by a horde of rushing teenagers intent on making it to their lifeboat. A wheelchair-bound man was wheeled out of the way by some others. Suddenly, the ship gave a sickening lurch, and settled lower in the water. Captain Courageous knew they didn’t have much longer.


“Hurry along, people,” he shouted.


One passenger replied, “Only a drill, huh?”


Courageous answered, “Okay, so it’s not a drill. We’ve struck an iceberg and are sinking.”


Another passenger asked “An iceberg? Here?”


“Yes, here. I don’t understand how it could possibly be, but there you are.”


Then, over the PA he said, “This is your captain speaking. This is not a drill. We’ve struck an iceberg and are sinking. I’d just like to remind all passengers to be sure to apply lots of sunscreen before boarding your assigned lifeboats, as we can’t be sure how long it’ll be before we’re rescued.”



Somehow, all passengers and crew were safely aboard the lifeboats. They had been launched and everyone stared back at the stricken ship. She was now almost perpendicular, her bow underneath the water, and her stern high above the waves.


“There she goes,” someone yelled, and they watched as the stern slowly slid under the becalmed seas. The Captain had watched not only his ship go under, but his career sink as well. He gloomily stared at a woman passenger sitting across from him. The more he stared, the more he didn’t ever remember seeing such an unattractive lady. Wait a minute, her hair was crooked. Then he noticed a pair of pant legs protruding beneath her dress’s hem line. He looked accusingly at her and said,


“There’s something wrong with you.”


The voice that responded sounded deep, like a man’s. “What, is it my face? Do I have something on it?”


“No ma’am, well, except for the stubble, it's just that your hair’s crooked,” responded the Captain.


Slowly, the woman reached up and pulled off a wig, saying, “Okay, there’s no sense in continuing this charade. I’m really a man. I thought you would order women and children into the lifeboats first and I wanted to make sure I got a seat.”


Captain Courageous gave the guy a, ‘you sure are a coward,’ look and replied, “You’ve seen too many old movies. Now days, ships carry enough lifeboats for everyone.” Unbelievable.



Captain Courageous stood on the bridge of the charter boat he had just purchased. He had bought the Fish Factory, intending to make a decent living as a charter boat captain, but he had forgotten one small fact--he would need a master’s license, and his had been suspended right before he’d been fired. He still wondered how it was that an iceberg had been floating in the ship’s path when it was 85 degrees out; an iceberg for shit’s sake! He wasn’t looking for it, because it was totally impossible for an iceberg to be that far south. And why hadn’t the damn thing appeared on his radar screen until it was too late? Anyway, now he’d lost his captain’s license and couldn’t now legally helm a commercial ship, or any type of ship. And so, after purchasing this charter boat. he’d decided the hell with the master’s license. He’d sail without one.



Courageous sailed the Fish Factory out into a calm ocean under clear, bright blue skies. He was so glad to be out on the ocean again; glad to smell once again the salty sea air and glad to be a sea captain again. He was taking out a couple of wealthy-looking businessmen--taking them out to where the big fish hung out. He had told his clients he knew a secret place where they’d reel in a monster. Actually, he had absolutely no idea where to go but as long as it was far away from the damn Coast Guard patrol boats, it would do. He was traveling along; enjoying his freedom, when out of nowhere, a sailing ship sailed into his view. What the hell? Someone was signaling, frantically waving a white towel. It seemed they needed his assistance. He looked longingly at the ocean that spread out before his bow. For just a second, he toyed with the idea of pretending he hadn’t seen their frantic appeal for help, but his duty was clear: he would have to help. He steered the boat towards the vessel in distress, upon which his two clients, who’d each had too many beers, looked annoyed, and one of them asked,


“Where the hell are you going?”


Captain Courageous replied, “Why, the boat in front of us had some type of emergency.”


To which the other client turned beet-red and went ballistic. “What? The hell with him--we paid you to take us out to a good spot, and we demand to get what we paid for.”


Courageous responded, “What if that was us who needed their help?”


“Then we’d be up Human Waste Creek, without a paddle. I would never expect somebody to just drop what they’re doing and come to my rescue,” the inebriated client replied.


Courageous gave the guy a sour, disgusted look, and said, “Well, looks like you two are overruled--it’s my boat, and I’ve decided to stop and help him.”


And so, the Fish Factory kept sailing right for the in-distress ship. They then pulled along side and the Captain shouted over,


“What’s the nature of your emergency?”


At the rail of the other ship, a man appeared, looking like a dude dressed in 1700’s style.


“Aye, we’re boarding your boat and taking anything of value.”


Captain Courageous replied, “So, there was never an emergency?”


“Aye, you’re a smart one, aren’t you,” responded the freaky-looking dude.


“Let’s get out of here,” the Captain yelled as he cranked the wheel and turned the Fish Factory sharply away and gunned the engine. Without a motor, the strange ship could not follow. When Captain Courageous looked back, he saw the strange dude pointing at them. Courageous then noticed a cannon had been uncovered and was pointing at them.


“Damn,” exclaimed Courageous, as immediately the sound of a booming shot reached them from across the water, followed almost at the same moment by a tremendous crashing noise and geyser of exploding boat parts, which rained down on them. The strange ship had fired on them. Courageous couldn’t believe it, as the engine immediately stopped. He desperately tried to get it restarted, but to no avail. The engine just made a pathetic grinding sound and stayed silent. They were dead in the water. The strange vessel slowly sailed towards them, pushed by the wind, which was blowing in their direction. As the wacked-out ship came alongside them, they heard,


“I now claim this as my prize and order you and your crew into this lifeboat,” from the strangely dressed dude.


Damn--there was absolutely no way he was giving up his boat. “Not a chance Captain. I refuse,” answered Captain Courageous.


Immediately, a swarm of men leaped aboard and physically grabbed the Captain and his clients and tossed them overboard. Courageous sputtered seawater as he struggled to stay afloat. Then he heard,


“A very poor choice, Captain, we’ll leave you the lifeboat, if you can climb aboard her. Good luck, and goodbye!”


Captain Courageous couldn’t believe his bad luck. First, the Beast of the Seas, now this.



What next? he wondered, as he watched his stolen boat disappear over the horizon. Almost at the same moment a Coast Guard cutter appeared. Pulling along side them, there was a hail from the cutter.


“Ahoy, lifeboat. Did your boat sink?”


Courageous replied, “No sir, it was stolen.”


The Coast Guard then asked, “Stolen, stolen by whom?”


Courageous answered, “Well you’re not going to believe this--by what looked to be a pirate ship.”


The Coast Guard guy stared, then said, “I don’t think I heard you correctly. Did you say a pirate ship?”


“You heard correctly, a pirate ship, and he sailed that way at about 6 or 7 knots, I’m guessing, and not more than 5 minutes ago.”


“You say a pirate ship stole your boat and left you with this lifeboat?” the Coast Guard guy asked.


Courageous answered, “Yeah, that’s correct.”


The guy then said, “Well, our radar does show a ship out that way, so we’ll check it out and I’ll need to see your master’s license when we return,” and the Coast Guard cutter plowed away through ocean water, in the direction of the blip on their radar screen.



With the cutter’s speed Courageous figured they’d overtake the pirate ship in a few minutes, but they didn’t return for over an hour. They again pulled up beside the Fish Factory, and once again hailed her, using their PA system.


“Ahoy, Fish Factory, the strangest thing happened. We were closing on it and the thing just disappeared. One second it was there, and the next it wasn’t. So we’re coming back to tow you back in. Here, catch this tow line and please have your master’s license out and ready to be checked over.”


Captain Courageous thought to himself, as he caught the tow line, damn!



Chapter Two:



He looked up at the clear blue sky and was grateful to be on the water, in his new boat, and headed for he knew not where. He would go wherever the boat took him. It had taken him until now to pay off all of the fines and for him to purchase a new boat, albeit only a 12 foot rowboat, that he named Number One. Because of his license trouble, he didn’t want to risk having his request to be registered turned down, so he had skipped it. He had brought his fishing pole, for he had decided to test his luck angling. He knew he was taking a chance by not registering Number One but he missed being on the water too much to stop just because he was breaking the law.



The name Number One had come to him after he realized this new boat was Number One in his heart. He had the outboard motor cranked up to the max and the boat seemed to be flying. True, it wasn’t The Beast of the Seas, or even the Fish Factory, but damn it, Captain Courageous was back. He was hugging the coastline in case a Coast Guard ship made an appearance, in which case he would quickly head for the shore and beach the sucker. There was no way he could afford to pay another fine. He opened a beer and sat back to enjoy the feeling of once again being on the water.



This was the spot. Captain Courageous cast out his line, took off his shirt, opened another beer, and sat back to enjoy this heavenly feeling. After searching for over two hours he’d found this spot. Soon there came a tug on his line. He pulled up on his pole to set the hook and began the real the fish in. Man, was this bitch ever heavy! It was all he could do to crank the reel. It must be huge. The tip of his fishing pole was in the water, and his arms were hurting from the exertion of reeling the fish in. Suddenly the boat started moving. The fish was pulling him. Courageous was sweating with the strain of just trying to hang on. Then he had an idea. He could use the anchor to hold the boat in place while he struggled to reel the sucker in.



The only problem was, to throw the anchor overboard he’d have to let go of the pole with one hand. He waited until the fish he’d hooked seemed to be taking a break and let go with his left hand, grabbed the anchor, and was just starting to lift it, when the fish gave a mighty pull, and his pole was jerked out of his hand, over the side, and started sinking. As his pole was headed over the side Courageous dropped the anchor without thinking, and made a desperate lunge to grab it. The anchor then dropped to the floor of the boat, where it busted a hole and disappeared quickly, on its long voyage to the bottom. Apparently the wood that made up the boat was almost rotted through. Captain Courageous had not only lost his fishing pole, but much more worrisome, a geyser of water was shooting up through the hole made by the anchor and the boat was rapidly filling up. He was sinking. In what seemed to be almost instantaneous to him, the boat sank beneath him and he was afloat in the ice-cold water.



After he’d been in the water for a few minutes he saw a large boat appear. He waved his arms frantically, and screamed for help. The boat had seen him and as it got closer, he saw that it was bigger than a boat, it was a ship, a Coast Guard ship. It circled him and a lifeboat soon had come to his rescue. He was pulled into the lifeboat, and wrapped in a warm blanket. It sure felt good after being in the icy water. A member of his rescue team asked him if he was alright, what had happened, and then what his name was. Courageous replied that he thought he was fine, explained he had been fishing alone, and then gave his name.



He was soon pulled on board the Coast Guard ship, and was approached by the captain.


“Welcome aboard, my name is Captain Harry Over. I’d say you were extremely lucky that we happened along when we did. We were on our way in when we just happened upon you.”


“Yes, you could say I was lucky.” It was about time he had some luck. “Thank you so much for fishing me out of the drink.”


Just then the Captain was called off top the side to talk with the same man who’d spoken to Courageous in the lifeboat. Courageous saw the man telling the Captain something, and the Captain glance his direction and walking slowly back towards him.


“Ah, Mr. Courageous, we have a small problem. It seems when Fredericks ran you name through our computer system it came back saying you have a warrant out on you saying if we should catch you on the water again, we’re to arrest you.



He was actually inside of prison. He, Captain S. Paul Courageous was really here. He hadn’t believed it until the cold steel had slammed behind him. He was locked up in the old Gray-Bar Hotel. How did he ever end up here? This place was for vicious, ruthless criminals who didn’t care about anybody but themselves. But he wasn’t like that. True, he had thought only of himself when he decided to captain a boat without a license, but having his own boat to command was all he’d ever wanted to do. Three times he’d been cited, once for negligence, the last two times for not having a master’s license, and upon getting the third the judge had decided enough was enough, and that maybe a prison sentence would drive home the seriousness of his actions. Now he was starting that jail sentence.



The warden had instituted a work program by which a prisoner might reduce his or her sentence by volunteering to help out around the prison. He’d leapt at the chance and his first day behind bars would be spent painting the isolation cells, which were located on an island, surrounded by a small lake on the prison grounds. In order to reach the island the prisoners would need to take a boat ride. And because he’d been a boat captain, Courageous had volunteered to head up the small group of prisoners who had volunteered also. The warden had agreed. They were taken down under guard to the lake shore where a 14 foot wooden boat, with a 75-Horsepower outboard motor attached, was located. It would take them out to the island.



Courageous was once again in charge of a boat, albeit a small boat with a crew of criminals. He told a prisoner,


“Start the engine and head for the island, if you please.”


He yelled at the men to, “Hang on and sit down.”


The prisoner charged with operating the motor replied, “Oh yeah, loser? Just who the hell are you to be giving orders?”


Courageous could sense a power struggle. These men needed a firm hand in order to maintain discipline. He was used to unruly crew members and knew how to keep them in line. “You’ll do what you’re told, mister!”


“Oh, and just who’s going to make me, jerk-weed?”


“I’m warning you. I’ll tolerate no discussion or complaining aboard a boat captained by me. I’m in command.” It was then he saw the hate in the prisoners’ eyes and he began to wilt. Maybe he had talked too tough.


The prisoner, whose name was King, retorted, “You scare the living crap out of me, loser--maybe you are tougher than you look.”


Suddenly, Courageous’ head snapped back and a stream of blood shot from his punched nose.


“Ooops--I’m sorry, there chief, my hand slipped.


That brought riotous laughter from the other inmates.


Courageous started to respond, “Oh, that’s oka—” when the prisoner’s other hand “slipped”, right into his midsection.


“Ooops, it slipped again, laughed the prisoner.


Courageous felt pain shoot through him and struggled to catch his breath. He was wondering what he should do now, when one of the prison guards snapped,


“King, that’s enough--give the captain some respect.”


“Oh, a captain is he? Please excuse me, loser--I wasn’t aware we had such authority aboard.”


Courageous was terrified. His first day in the slammer, and he’d already made an enemy-a big, mean enemy. His thoughts quickly changed from being terrified of King to one of fear when the other prisoners let out a collective scream of panic, and he saw why. He had been so terrified of King he had forgotten to tell the driver to let off on the accelerator. The wooden boat ran across the small sand beach and became airborne, slamming into the grass slope which gently rose from the water up to the isolation cells, tossing prisoners out right and left, and causing the propeller to come apart in a shower of sparks.



They eventually came to a stop when the boat crashed into the isolation cells, setting isolated prisoners free from their darkness.



The prisoners were all okay. Those who had managed to stay in the boat had only minor injuries--the prison guards who had come along to watch them were luckily all okay, and the prisoners who had either fallen out of the boat or been set free from the isolation cells had been rounded up and returned to their cells. Courageous sat before the warden, who said angrily,


“The boat is completely destroyed, along with the outboard motor. We’ve decided your sentence will be increased so you can work off the amount due. Let’s see, at a dollar a day it will take you, it will take you…oh, forget it! Suffice it to say you’ll be our guest for a long, long time.”


Courageous couldn’t believe this. “Would you mind if I asked you something? How come you have such a powerful motor on such a small boat?”


The warden answered, “Because, if some of our guards are taking the boat across to the isolation cells and there’s a sudden riot at the prison, those guards are going to be needed and have to be able to speed back here,”


“Well, the accident is not really my fault then.”


The warden answered, somewhat sarcastically, “If you weren’t quite so damn stupid, the boat wouldn’t have taken off like some sort of out-of-control rocket sled.”


“Isn’t there some other way to work off the debt?” Courageous whined.


“No, and speaking of work, you best get to it.


The End



© Copyright 2018 Mike S.. All rights reserved.

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