Monday, February 4, 2013

Apparition of a Spanish Sailor

Joshua Slocum
The following 19th-century account given by Captain Joshua Slocum provides credence to this question. If believed, Slocum’s experience does point to the fact that some ghosts do return to help the living, especially in times of crisis. 

His encounter with this ghost was unique in several ways. First, this apparition spoke to him, which is highly unusual. Second, this apparition was able to manipulate the physical environment it appeared within. And third, it appeared to the captain more than one time.

Sailing Around the World

Captain Joshua Slocum, a veteran sailor, made history as the first person to sail around the world alone. 

In April of 1895, he left Boston on a sloop of his design with no modern navigational equipment –his only chronometer a damaged tin clock. 

His vessel the “Spray” was so well balanced she would stay on course with the wheel lashed. He traveled 46,000 miles, which took 3 years and 2 months. He completed his journey in June of 1898.

During this voyage, he was chased by Moorish pirates, which forced him to change his original course. He also fought off several storms. 

His precaution of covering the desks at night in carpet tacks saved him once when natives stealthily slipped aboard while he slept. 

He became a celebrity after he completed this first solo around the world voyage, but eight years later the captain was found guilty of assaulting a minor aboard the Spray which he served 42 days in jail for. This not surprisingly ruined his celebrity status.

In the summer of 1895, the captain was just completing the first leg of his journey, the seas had been kind to him for the weather had been calm. But as he sailed his small sloop between the Azoles and Gibraltar, he ran into some squalls. 

The captain had woken that morning with severe stomach cramps, so when the storm hit, he was not feeling well. Overcome with his sickness, he went below forgetting to take in the vessel’s sails.

Once below, he threw himself on the cabin floor in agony. Delirious, he lost track of time, and then he lost consciousness. 

A Helpful Ghost

When he came to and looked out, he realized his sloop was being knocked about in heavy seas. 

As he looked out toward the companionway, he was amazed to see a tall man at the Spray’s helm. This sailor, dressed in foreign clothes, had a vice grip on the spokes of the wheel. He wore a red cap slanted down over his left ear, and he had long black shaggy whiskers.

Having been unconscious, he did not know how long this man had been aboard the Spray. Even more alarming, he wondered if this man was a pirate who intended to slit his throat. But this sailor spotting him seemed to read his thoughts for he deferentially doffed his cap at the captain and then smiling he said:

“Senor, I have come to do you no harm. I am one of Columbus’s crew, the pilot of the Pinta, come to aid you. Lie quiet, and I will guide your ship tonight. You have a Calentura—a fever—, but you will be all right tomorrow. You did wrong to mix cheese with plums.”

The next day Slocum found the Spray was still on the course he had set for her. He thanked the powers that be for he felt, “Columbus himself could not have held her more truly to course during the storm.” 

That night he encountered the Spanish sailor once more—this time in a dream. The sailor told Slocum that he would like to sail with him on his voyage—announcing he loved an excellent adventure. He then once more duffed his cap, and then he disappeared.

Slocum awoke refreshed feeling as if he had spent time with a friend who had vast experience with the sea. 

This story is shared.
When Captain Slocum addressed these two encounters years later, he stated that he knew the second one was just a dream. But he believed the first one had been something very different. 

For as he put it, he believed a dream could not have held his vessel on course through such a violent storm.

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