i set out to sea 1853… i was chin-deep in rum and tired of drifting. well, that schooner sank! and when she hit bottom, i swam from the crow’s nest and trudged back to boston. next time around it was nigh 1860, but the voyage was jinxed, we took tacks that were risky. a storm sent us down, and i bubbled and frowned. it was a long ways away, a long hike back to town.
in 1903 word first got to me that the name jonas mauken was rather unlucky. despite this i sailed (as “salty” j. mackie) and sank not but two miles in sight gl-ss of quincy. four years elapsed and i went out with dow on that steel, seven-master, and i spat on the bow. we ran ‘fore a gale that tore out the rigging, and she finally floundered near the islands of scilly.
… a whaler from portsmouth, a trawler from gloucester… they all met their fate and i slowly slogged homeward…
for decades and decades i been sinking ships, but never a curse hath come from my lips. i’m a good-natured man, and an experienced hand, but disaster comes calling when i set out from land. i spent years on the sea, and many years under, tramping sea floor once my ship’s torn asunder. but i’ll keep trying, yea, though i sink every one, until somehow i’m stopped, by god or by gun.