Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Tempest

A red dawn gave way to steadily darkening skies as the scirocco gained strength througout the day. Pushed ahead by the southerly winds, the Pharaon outran the storm for most of the day, but as the ship tacked to the northwest to attempt to run abeam of the storm, the ominous thunderheads overran first the ship and then touched the northern horizon.

Captain Correteaux, who had ordered nearly every scrap of linen aloft to attempt to keep ahead of the storm now barked orders to his crew to furl sail and clear the decks for the inevitable pounding his ship was about to receive.

Cardinal Maximilian and his attendants huddled in the captain's quarters, which Correteaux had piously surrendered to the Cardinal Prince upon his embarkation, and read Compline early that night, all pausing somberly upon the concluding prayer:

"Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

We beg you to visit this house and banish from it all the deadly power of the enemy.
May your holy angels dwell here to keep us in peace,
And may your blessing be upon us always.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

"May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a perfect death.


"Loving mother of the Redeemer, Gate of Heaven, Star of the Sea,
Assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
Yet remained a virgin after as before.
You, who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
Have pity on us poor sinners.


tradgardmastare said...

You have excelled yourself today - a nail biting post!
best wishes

Gallia said...

Oh Bravo!I love nautical tales on this site! I feel like getting l'Vengeance (40) out to sea again but her whereabouts are unknown.

Helmsman to Captain:
"My compliments Zur an' might I suggest a storm jib for steerage way, another first class seaman to help me with the helm here and good lookouts aft to warn of being pooped by a cruel wave?"