Header image

Captain Hood



The Days of the Porpoise

Two varieties of porpoise (like a dolphin) can be seen in Haro Strait; one, the harbor porpoise, will sometimes follow boats along, riding in the wake or trying to get someone to throw some fish over the side.It is said that they are self aware and intelligent. What would their world be like? What would our flat (relative to them being able to dive and surface) world seem like to them? We must seem kind of limited and dumb....




Captain Hood and his crew were sailing along in the fast moving waters just out of Haro strait. A single porpoise had surfaced, making a series of clicking sounds, and had been following the ship for the last hour. It had been a long journey along the west coast of Vancouver Island in the rough water of the Pacific, and they had been underway for two nights without stopping. The porpoise suddenly swam off towards a nearby island. It was here that the compass needle started swinging wildly, and even though they had been this way before, every island appeared out of place. There were stories of wrecks in this area and sailors who had lost their way for weeks; some having gone mad when the landscape kept changing before their eyes. (By the way, marine charts today show this area as an "Area of local magnetic variation". Those who go through here swear the islands are moving about by themselves and because of a very strange border line, you can cross over into the USA and back into Canada 3 times a minute if you like. Of course, it's only the currents pushing you sideways... isn't it?)

Well, anyway, there was one island not too far away with a nice sandy beach and it was time for the crew to have a break. " Haul in the main, mates; flake out the anchor rode! " was the welcome call from the captain. So they made full speed to the island and would be there in 10 minutes... so they thought! An hour later, it was becoming apparent that they weren't going to get any closer... must be those darn currents. "We need more speed " thought the captain and the Y~innon perched on the mast spreaders were happy to oblige. Normally, a sailing ship can never go faster than her hull speed, and the eyes that peered out from the island thought so too. A Y~innon water tension enhancing chemical made the sailboat appear to have an immense water line length and as a result increased speed 5 fold.


It wasn't long before the ship arrived at the little bay with the beach and dropped anchor... yes, they sure did It was when the end of the anchor line slid out of the sailor's hands at the bow that they realized the bottom was very deep indeed ( That's why they call it the "bitter" end ) The back eddy in this bay was also forcing the ship VERY close to shore and oddly they expected to run aground, but came right up against shore without the keel even scraping. Convenient... they just tied the ship up to a large tree and put out the gangplank to shore. To the island inhabitants, this was completely unexpected and now they sounded the alert to the "man in charge".

To Hood's crew things were going from weird to strange. The tree was hollow and besides, every piece of metal on the ship was sticking together. The whole island seemed to be making a groaning sound, and looking back they could see a huge wake washing backwards from the island... almost as if the entire island was moving! The Y~innon knew now of course- but were unsure of how to proceed. Somehow, the rail accelerator for the asteroid deflector had been activated and the island was supposed to be invisible!

The "man in charge" wasn't happy. He called down to dolphin control to stop the island. A series of underwater squeals and clicks told the hundreds of imprisoned dolphins to stop pushing against the rows of thrust bars... as always, there was the threat of a long burst of sonar if they didn't comply. The "man in charge", as he made others call him, was really an untrustworthy ship's officer who had stolen the entire crew's wages. They had marooned him on an island after he had been caught red-handed and thrown the entire trunk of money into the sea. Of course, with an offering like that, Davy Jones was happy to make his acquaintance... but that's another story.Let's just say that the "man in charge" was given some information he shouldn't have had. But right now, he had another ship in sight, this one flying "Her Majesty's" treasury flag. There was enough gold bullion on board to make millions of coins.


The captain and his crew stepped onto shore and there was that porpoise again. Hmm... no porpoise would be this close to shore, and the Y~innon "dragons" were also all excited about something. It was almost as if the porpoise was trying to say something- something the dragons were having trouble translating. The message came across from the dragons like this...

"Flatworlder keeps 2 to the power of 7 fellows hearing 8kHZ 3 reflections 10 degrees unless swim in pulse length degrees from beacon. Food fish not very alive, fellows slow metabolism. New flatworlders do something, name of Neptune!"

Well, that was gibberish to the captain, but it did sound like there were strange scientific type stuff going on on this island and they had to find out what. They found the doorway into the interior of the island by accident when the first mate tossed a rock at an annoying fly and it "bounced" off what looked like a tidal pool. Looking at it more carefully they found a kind of thick glass door which the dragons opened immediately with their cricket like scrapping sounds. below was a long flight of stairs lit by the occasional light panel. A throbbing sound came from deep below. They could hear shouts and orders being given. Our noble crew crept down the stairs stealthily. Something was about to happen...

20 feet below the water level, in an immense hollow in the middle of the island, the "man in charge" was peering through a periscope at the hapless ship about to find catastrophe. The island's power source was already at high output; the making switches charged to energize the linear supermagnet array. When the magnetic pulse hit the ship, every nail and fastener would be ripped out of the planking. As the ship sank, 50 retriever dolphins would recover the gold bullion; of course, some would find it's way to the deep domain of Davy Jones. Iron rings about the dolphins bodies would magnetically retrieve any dolphins with the idea of escape. A neat setup... one which had made a lot of money for the "man in charge" over many such shipwrecks. This time, however, things wouldn't go as well.

As the cook tripped over a pair of shoes on the bottom few metal steps, the Y~innon dragons flew invisibly past the guards. Incredibly, the control room light switches were just by the stairway exit. Captain Hood switched them all off . The control room fell into disarray. The dragons began to shut down the sequence... the only problem was that systems were bypassed all over the place because no-one really understood the technology- Davy Jones had given the "man in charge" only what he had gotten out of the poor sick Y~innon who had not made it over the ocean. The orderly shutdown the dragons had planned did not happen. All they did was increase the power of the pulse.

Amidst the confusion, the "man in charge" pressed the initiate key. The immense power overloaded each magnet which exploded apart under the force one after the other. The flying pieces actually ripped the deck plates apart. Exposed under the hanging grids, was the prison pen where 130 porpoises hugged the sides of the pen avoiding flying debris. People fell through the floor into the water... would you believe the porpoises actually saved them? There was the "man in charge", hanging over the open pen, from the arm of a chair wedged in some loose wiring. You'd think he would be thanking his lucky stars, because the porpoises hated him most of all. But, the "man in charge" still trying to recover from this mess reached out and pressed the initiate button again! The magnets sure didn't work anymore, but the power surged through the controls now and the wires holding the chair burst apart with a shower of sparks. Was the "man in charge" porpoise food? Even then, the porpoises tried to save him. But he had so much jewelry on that he sank like a stone. Davy Jones would like the jewelry.

With the "man in charge" gone the people who had been forced to work for him gave up. Captain Hood found the pen gate and with the help of the crew released the porpoises. Before they went home, the dragons keyed in the release codes for the iron bands holding the porpoises captive. They were free! You never saw such splashing and jumping! The porpoises vowed to help Hood anytime he blew the foghorn under water. Hood and his crew climbed back up to the surface and were shown the palace where the "man in charge" used to live. There were 40 rooms and the best furnishings you can imagine. The islanders were shocked to see how they had been mistreated in little shacks while the "man in charge" lived in splendor. Everyone moved into the palace. The islanders were now the keepers of the island and would try to re-build the asteroid deflector with the dragon's and porpoise's help.

Just as the porpoises started to swim away, a golden submarine surfaced. The side of the vessel swirled open and out stepped King Neptune. The porpoises bowed their heads in a large ring about the sub. As Captain Hood and his crew stared to kneel down, the King held out his hands to the captain. " This island has been unstoppable by our undersea world for years, though we have sincerely tried. Our last effort in sending the army of porpoises only ended in slavery to them all. It was my greatest misery to see them like that and nothing I could do. My thanks to your bravery can hardly be expressed." Then he grew sad..." Now my misery is against my brother Davy Jones, who terrorizes both our worlds. Beware of him."

Well, cook had found the kitchen. The feast that followed for undersea worlders and humans alike was like the best potlatch. Stories, plays and games lasted far into the night. I think that the good ship's crew had more rest that following morning then they'd had in weeks. A few days later the captain and his crew were ready to leave. By now, the island was anchored by the repaired Y~innon gravity beam and the dragons promised to meet up with the captain later (cheekily they suggested that the captain wouldn't even notice when they had returned!) Now it was time to toss off the stern line and be on their way!

The End.