Much has been written about Joshua Slocum’s last voyage, and his mysterious disappearance.

Arthur Ransom believed that the Spray was probably cut down at night in a shipping lane. An alternative theory holds that her captain simply fell off the fore deck in a storm….while she kept sailing unerringly towards the sunrise. Other pundits suggest that a giant swordfish might have skewered a garboard plank  – and again, that the little ship was swamped by a hump-backed whale, surfacing without due care.

All these theories are plausible – but I think they fall wide of the  mark.

To my mind, there is no mystery: Joshua Slocum  sailed away and never came back. That is all. He had his beloved Spray as companion; no doubt he carried below deck the old tin clock, freshly-boiled; his knowledge of sea and sky and everything in between was immense – and the Pilot of the Pinta  would have been keeping night watch, as the captain slept. Why not sail on?

For all we know, he may be sailing still….

3 thoughts on “REFLECTION”

  1. Good thought — I have the feeling that there may be a reflective fiction piece there — a first-person, short story, perhaps? That could be fun to write. . .

  2. The Epitaph of Joseph Conrad, mariner and the author of that great novel “Lord Jim” reads:

    “Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please”

    JS certainly knew that. SK

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