Chapter 5: Open Water

With extreme weather rolling in from our port side and the Pacific Ocean we needed to do some serious bunking before attempting to continue our crossing due West. Some of the men had done this crossing before and the tales they told me didn’t have me look forward to the next few months of my life. It would be weeks before we saw land and most ships never made it to the other side. I was however optimistic toward our crew after the adventures we had been through so far. Firstly we headed for the Peruvian capital of Lima where the Captain ordered to fully stock the ship to the brim with food and rum. When this was done we were ordered to make one last plunder of the city’s treasure reserve before we sailed off early one morning into the thick fog rolling in from our headed course.

To make sure we didn’t run into any worse weather, the Captain ordered a course North-West and within days we saw land that would prove to be the Galapagos islands. Not many people lived there at this time and even fewer as we had left with everything they had of food and treasures. Awaiting the winds to be in our favor we stayed at the islands for a couple of weeks. It was like being in paradise. I played with turtles, drank a whole bunch of rum and went hunting for the island’s many wild animals. We spent the time celebrating our feats so far, Blæik was giving the crew time off to explore and get drunk at will. But nothing last forever, and one evening Captain Bloodspatter announced that this day would be the last, tomorrow we would start our journey crossing the worlds largest ocean.

We had not expected any trouble on this voyage. But I should’ve known better after years spent on the Black Rock with Captain Bloodspatter and his crew. If we didn’t search out the danger the danger always found us in one way or the other. Already a few days in the crew on watch noticed that we were being followed. But not by a ship, there was something in the water. For days we were ordered to keep watch but nobody was able to make out what the strange thing following the Black Rock was.

Not until one dark night. The moon was hidden behind dark clouds warning us to cover up the hatches and and prepare for heavy rain to reach us at any minute. As we were carrying out our orders Simen discovered that the ocean around us were boiling with water. He was just about to yell out his findings when a huge monster jumped from deep dark below and made the whole ship rock. The men on deck was paralyzed by what we saw. It was twice as long as the ship and raging on top was three separate heads screaming toward the petrified pirates on deck.

Chaos was released. Blæik was yelling orders and we did our best to follow them by manning the cannons and grabbed our swords, spears, brooms or whatever else we could find. The monster shook the boat and several times we took on water. But the Black Rock is a strong ship and although the aft mast snapped we just had to trust that she would hold the attacks. For the next hour we fought back, but it didn’t seem to tire out the monster. Instead it started to pick out men, one by one and swallow them whole with one of its huge heads. When it had taken seven of our men we needed a new plan and with this Blæik ordered all men to dress up with dynamite tied to their bodies. This way, if you got eaten you were a way to blow of a head. And it worked. Every time a man was eaten, all men with muskets fired everything they had toward the responsible head. And although the monster was pretty angry two heads short, it never gave up. Not until the youngest of our men was attacked and swallowed as a treat. The poor boy was just my age when I first came onboard. Only fourteen and was one of three men we picked up while plundering their village in the Amazon.

The dead monster fell back into the deep ocean and as the storm continued to make our night one from the book of hell, we celebrated our victory with barrels of rum. No better way to mourn our fallen friends than to keep our heading and let the rum flow.

As you probably have gathered; life onboard was far from safe. Only since I joined myself more than 30 men had fallen to battles or sickness of some kind. These were the 16-hundreds and life was different back then. But there was always fresh blood willing to sail with us paid with the treasures we gathered. There was however no way out. Once a pirate always a pirate and the worst thing you could do was to leave your crew behind. That would be the ultimate insult against your Captain and his ship. Occasionally, like a few weeks after this Monster-incident we had to maroon a man on a small island in the middle of the sea. You probably couldn’t get further away from land, but the man had gone ship-crazy, and this would happen from time to time. The life as a pirate could get to you in a pretty bad way if your head wasn’t strong enough to cope with it. There was death, heaps of bad weather and long days of nothing but cleaning the deck. One day on this journey across the ocean a part of the deck just imploded from all the scrubbing we had done to it. It would be fixed the very same day, but this is how much and often we had to scrub the deck for blood and salty water.

These ocean-sailings were the worst. Day after day, nothing ever happened. If we were lucky there was enough wind to get us good speed across the water. If we were not lucky there was storms and hurricanes or even maybe worse – no wind at all. In the end of this crossing, we met a different world. It took more than three months before we saw real land again and despite having spent so much time in the Caribbean – Nothing had prepared us for our meeting with the ancient land of Asia.

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