We were caught between the impossible and unreasonable as far as I was concerned—but I chose the impossible. Trying to steer this ship was better than jail or facing an angry officer of the Coast Guard.
But I was worried. “Even assuming that steering this ship is possible, how can I avoid being arrested at some point?”
“If we don’t go calling the Coast Guard and making a stink, we at least have a chance.”
“Can’t we just hail a boat and ask them to take us all to shore and leave this ship and the owner to their own devices?”
The skipper shook his head, indicating that this was a stupid idea. He threw his hands in the air, as if he were already surrendering to the authorities. “There’s maritime laws to be taken into consideration. I’m no attorney, but I can’t even consider abandoning this ship. You can try to leave if you want to, but I wouldn’t.”
Grimacing at the thought of all he said, I accepted his perspective on abandoning ship. Not a good idea, no matter how much I might want to do exactly that.
A dejected figure, I stood at the helm staring beyond the small wooden wheel to the vast ocean ahead of us. “Hopefully, you’re right about that. But, I can’t imagine how you believe I can do this.”
“I don’t really know either. Believe me, I have my doubts and you’re making me pretty nervous. But, I just don’t see how we have any choice.” He laughed, but I couldn’t find any humor in any of this.
Once again, my mind raced back to the dream of warning I’d had before we’d joined this venture. If you go aboard the ship, when you leave, you will no longer be together.
I was glad the skipper didn’t know about that prophecy. Was it a reference to me being thrown in jail? Or far worse, might one of us die at sea? If I went along with this plan, it would be my fault, either way.
(Sometimes we’re forced to make critical decisions in our lives, not knowing the potential ramifications…)