It was four-thirty in the morning, and the sound of tired feet shuffling on deck faded out as we one after another sat down, satisfyingly gazing up at the sail we’d just set.
The thick darkness surrounding us would have swallowed everything if it hadn’t been for the lanterns giving out their lights. White. And in the front, red and green. Peacefully making our way forward with sails set and 1.3 knots, we never would’ve suspected what was to come.
It was one hour and seven minutes later. On poopdeck a deep discussion about lobster was going on. Then we saw it. Coming straight towards us, a ship. Not another one of those simply shipping goods, but a sailing ship, just like our own. At first it came towards us as a small silhouette, nothing strange at all. But as she came closer, we all were noticing something was out of order. Whispers were bouncing around. Just simple words. “The sails.” “How?” “Shining.” By now, all of us were standing up, eyes on the ship sailing towards us. Sailing. That should not be possible. Square sails set, filling perfectly in the wind. Making sure we weren’t completely mad, we once again looked up at our own sails. Square sails. Also filling. Then it was the glow. The faint golden glow, a shimmer. Quietly we made our way towards foredeck, it must’ve looked strange when we lined up to watch the ship that was sailing towards us.
Hovering. She was not even touching the water, she was hovering above it. The golden shimmer surrounding her made everything even more surreal. Coming even closer, we were able to see her in her full glory. Four masted. All sails set. A beauty. We were hypnotised. As it came even closer, we all realised there was no one to be seen on the ship. No crew. Not a single soul. Was it a soulless ship? Or were we just not worthy to see her crew?
Suddenly we were turning. Sharply starboard. Not enough. A collision was going to happen. It didn’t. She was supposed to crash into us midships, but instead she just went through us. I suppose we all had been saying our last prayers, preparing for the crash. And so nothing happened. She appeared on starboard side. A few short moments. Then she disappeared.
It was three to eight the twenty-fifth of September. Our duty was soon to be finished. The sun was just rising above the horizon. No one had mentioned the night’s happening to anyone. I believe none of us even were sure it had happened. The only thing confirming it was that we all remembered it. I guess we would be called mad if we told someone who wasn’t there. At least we are mad together.