Indian Ocean, July 1975
“Dusk turned to night. Gentle swells rolled in from the west, indicating the sea’s unease. I went up on deck for some fresh air. The ship rolled port and starboard a few times, settling into a steep heel because of the strong winds. The full moon night with a complex mix of shadows and light, and the rolling motion, put me into a trance.
“Put on a safety harness.” Dylan yelled. “Click into the jack line.”
I followed his orders and moved closer to the deck’s edge. My eyes searched the deep swirling ocean. I saw screaming faces twirling about, crying out for help. Were they lost souls who had died at sea? Their distraught faces looked identical to the ’‘scream’ painting by Edvard Munch; the infinite scream of nature. I stared at them for quite a while.
They seemed to float in an alternative universe, a different dimension. How had I sensed their screams while no one else seemed to hear them? How did I move into their frequency? I kept staring at them. “How can I help you?” I asked.
My guardian angel whispered. ’‘Tell them to let go and move on.’
“Move on?” I asked. “To where?”
“‘Wherever their souls take them,’ she said.
A bright moon emerged through a break in the clouds. I blessed each soul with the moon’s reflected light and let them know it was okay to let go of limbo, and move on.
In the blink of an eye, the faces disappeared, the wind died, and the boat stabilized.
How could I see images no one else seemed to notice? Was it my imagination forming new images and sensations that are not normally perceived through normal senses such as sight and sound? Am I dead or alive? Perhaps I’m in purgatory awaiting word of release before going on to heaven. That’s ridiculous, I thought. I’m not even Catholic.
Charles was on deck, so I asked him if he had seen and heard the screaming faces.
“No,” he said. “But it’s a crazy time. In addition to feeling sick, I feel like I’m also going mad.”
“The Zozo moved on through deteriorating weather. I unhooked from the jack line and went inside to the galley. I grabbed my journal and made notes about seeing the lost souls, and sketched a drawing of a scream face.
Did the souls move on to another dimension?
Had they died at sea? Perhaps in a shipwreck?
The wind blew steadily for hours. We rocked and rolled on the steep seas. I heard Dylan say the winds were reaching gale force. He said it often as he went up and down the stairs, to refill his coffee cup and check the boat’s compass to verify direction.
“The compass is still the single most valuable navigational tool,” I heard him tell Charles. “Helps us know what direction we’re heading.”
“A good thing,” I heard Charles mumble.
Dylan was having a hard time trying to keep his coffee cup steady as he moved up and down the stairs. Coffee kept spilling over the edge of his cup.
He made notes in the ship’s log to measure distance sailed, and continued to tap the barometer several times a day. When he saw the pressure falling fast, we scurried to prepare for another storm.”