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The Great Voyage

By: Alison Brown


There was once an experienced, highly regarded and well-loved Captain who commanded a large and beautiful cargo ship that sailed around the world on a great voyage.

The ship had started life as a plain and simple vessel with a small crew. As time had gone by the ship had happened across many fortuitous voyages and treasure had fallen on their path along the way. With their new wealth the Captain had increased the crew and appointed many officers to support him in ensuring that the ship remained efficient, the crew were kept in check and that they chose the right direction for their voyage. The ship had been adorned with the best and best rigging, most modern equipment and exquisite furnishing. It had been extended several times, now becoming one of the largest and most powerful vessels to sail the Ocean.

One day the Captain had a vision of a new and exciting land he wanted to visit. He was sure that this land would bring even more wealth and new opportunities for his ship and that the people of this land would admire him and his crew. He knew what this land looked and felt like and roughly where it was located, but he didn’t know how to get there. So he called his most trusted officers to a secret meeting in his cabin where they discussed his vision.

The crew became nervous as they knew they were changing direction and weren’t sure that they would like their new destination or how it would impact their lives. They also had a lack of trust for many of the officers and did not believe they could take them in the right direction and so they became nervous and mutinous.

Meanwhile, in the Captain’s cabin the officers argued about the best way to reach their destination and which of them should take charge of the voyage. Each wished to win favour with the Captain with a view to commanding the ship when he finally retired; each also believed their ideas to be the best. Some Officers counselled their crew and used some of their ideas as their own. Others ignored their crew and kept them in the dark as to the voyage, believing in all honesty that they would not understand or be able to contribute to the task at hand.

Between the ship and it’s destination sat hazardous terrain, including jagged rocks and icebergs and a storm was starting to move in from the west. The first officer insisted that they plot course straight ahead at full steam and that the sheer power of the vessel would push any barriers out of their way. The second Officer argued that they should lay anchor and lie still waiting until the icebergs had moved and the weather was less hazardous. The arguments continued for days.

The Captain finally gave in to the first officer and the boat charged full ahead. Many lives were lost, both from the crew and the officers. Great holes were torn in the side of the vessel by the rocks and icebergs and the ship began to take on large amounts of water. The captain removed the first officer from command and asked the second officer to take over. The second officer laid anchor and waited but by now the storm was upon them and thrashed the ship against the rocks causing yet more damage and losing more lives. The ship began to sink.

A number of flashy speedboats appeared alongside the ship with offers of help and support. Many of them had been at sea for many years and had experience of fixing this sort of problem. In return for their help they asked for huge quantities of the ships treasure. The Captain was now desperate so he agreed and welcomed them aboard. The crew would not take orders from them and the officers conspired against them, as they feared they would win favour with the Captain and may replace them. They were also jealous of the large amounts of treasure the Captain had bestowed upon these newcomers. They managed to do away with some of these treasure hunters during the night and others left when they realised the ship was beyond saving. They took all the treasure with them.

Seeing the end approaching many of the officers jumped ship and some went off in the speedboats to seek their fortunes elsewhere.

The Captain resigned himself to stay with his ship till the end and he knew the outlook was bleak. Then something strange happened. The crew started to pull together to bail out the ship and those who were skilled in such work repaired the holes in the hull and sides. Others cooked and took care of the injured and many pulled together to chart a safe course through the water.

Eventually, they arrived at their destination and were welcomed just as the Captain had hoped. The land was extremely prosperous and the people adored the ship. They took precious cargo onboard for the return journey and many refined passengers wanted to be associated with them and sit at the Captains table. The ship was repaired to a high standard and adorned with even more beautiful features than before.

The Captain was so proud of his crew he wanted to reward them for their loyalty and ingenuity.

Unfortunately, he rewarded them in the only way he knew how and made them all officers, just in time for their return journey.

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