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The Flying Dutchman

Ghosts of Palm Beach Blog 12 The Flying Dutchman © 2017 by Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg, Ghost with a Blog #ghost

Some of the sailor-folk tell stories of the Flying Dutchman, that wanderer of the seas whose captain, having sworn that he would round Cape Horn in spite of heaven and hell, has been beating to and fro along the coast and elsewhere for centuries, being allowed to land but once in seven years, when he can break the curse if he finds a girl who will love him.

Perhaps Captain Vanderdecken found this maiden of his hopes in some settlement on the Florida coast, or perhaps he expiated his rashness by prayer and penitence; howbeit, he never came down again, unless he slipped away to sea in a fog so dense that watchers and boatmen saw nothing of his passing

On summer nights, when falls that curious silence which is ominous of tempest, the storm ship is not only seen spinning across the mirror surface of the ocean, but the voices of the crew are heard as they chant at the braces and halyards in words devoid of meaning to the listeners

Squalls have space enough to gather force; hence, when old skippers saw the misty form of a ship steal out from the shadows of the clouds, then fly like a gull from shore to shore, catching the moonlight on her topsails, but showing no lanterns.