Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Hello after 8 years!

Hello friends!

After eight years, I have returned to this blog.  I have wanted to return for a long time now.  I posted on this blog when I was still a teenager.  It feels like returning to a time capsule!  I look back on so many things I've written and I laugh and am embarrassed.  If I was honest, I am tempted to delete much of what I've written, but I have decided to keep it.  I have learned that you can never be content with life if you feel you must constantly gloss over the parts that you find embarrassing or immature.  They are simply a part of the mosaic that is life.  Some pieces in the mosaic aren't beautiful in and of themselves, but are necessary in order to piece together the grander, more spectacular image.  I have seen much of the world (both good and bad) since that time and I return as a different person.  I have loved, hated, been hurt, hurt others, and needed forgiveness for all of it.  Through every bit of it, two things have remained.  The first is that I'm reminded of the constant grace and help from my Heavenly Father through every season.  My faith has been shaky and strong, but even in the weak times, I am reminded that it's not my faith to maintain, but is God's gift to me, and his promise is to maintain it to the end.  The other is that my love for the sea has remained and has grown.  Through the years, my heart has continually longed for and been enamored by the sea.  There is no aspect of it that doesn't continue to fascinate me.  I see God's handiwork so clearly in the majesty of the sea; in its towering waves, foaming crests, and dark depths.  The sheer enormity and awe-inducing beauty that the sea evokes continues to cause me to pine after the greater, unseen reality of heaven.

In less than 20 days, I will be traveling to Mystic, CT, to take part in the Maritime Studies program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport.  For those of you not familiar with the program, it is a premier undergraduate, multidisciplinary, one-semester program in maritime studies.  I will be studying the history of America and the sea, literature of the sea, marine ecology, and marine law.  During the program I will be taking a 10-day voyage in a tall, traditionally-rigged vessel through the Channel Islands of Southern California.  Additionally, I will be traveling to Louisiana to study the Southern United States coastline.  Through the entire semester, I will be totally immersed in all things nautical.  I am thrilled for this opportunity, which was an incredbly difficult opportunity to obtain.  This program will hopefully point me in the direction of a nautically-related career in the future.  I hope that you can join me in being thankful to God for providing this opportunity to me!

While reading Moby Dick several days ago, I was once again affected deeply by the first chapter.  For anyone who has experienced wanderlust, or has felt an intense longing for the sea, this chapter will ring quite true.  I hope you enjoy it.


Moby Dick
(Chapter 1, Loomings)

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.

There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs—commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there.

Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?—Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster—tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here?

But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand—miles of them—leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues—north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither?

Once more. Say you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries—stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.

But here is an artist. He desires to paint you the dreamiest, shadiest, quietest, most enchanting bit of romantic landscape in all the valley of the Saco. What is the chief element he employs? There stand his trees, each with a hollow trunk, as if a hermit and a crucifix were within; and here sleeps his meadow, and there sleep his cattle; and up from yonder cottage goes a sleepy smoke. Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way, reaching to overlapping spurs of mountains bathed in their hill-side blue. But though the picture lies thus tranced, and though this pine-tree shakes down its sighs like leaves upon this shepherd's head, yet all were vain, unless the shepherd's eye were fixed upon the magic stream before him. Go visit the Prairies in June, when for scores on scores of miles you wade knee-deep among Tiger-lilies—what is the one charm wanting?—Water—there is not a drop of water there! Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it? Why did the poor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestrian trip to Rockaway Beach? Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at some time or other crazy to go to sea? Why upon your first voyage as a passenger, did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration, when first told that you and your ship were now out of sight of land? Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and own brother of Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.

Now, when I say that I am in the habit of going to sea whenever I begin to grow hazy about the eyes, and begin to be over conscious of my lungs, I do not mean to have it inferred that I ever go to sea as a passenger. For to go as a passenger you must needs have a purse, and a purse is but a rag unless you have something in it. Besides, passengers get sea-sick—grow quarrelsome—don't sleep of nights—do not enjoy themselves much, as a general thing;—no, I never go as a passenger; nor, though I am something of a salt, do I ever go to sea as a Commodore, or a Captain, or a Cook. I abandon the glory and distinction of such offices to those who like them. For my part, I abominate all honourable respectable toils, trials, and tribulations of every kind whatsoever. It is quite as much as I can do to take care of myself, without taking care of ships, barques, brigs, schooners, and what not. And as for going as cook,—though I confess there is considerable glory in that, a cook being a sort of officer on ship-board—yet, somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls;—though once broiled, judiciously buttered, and judgmatically salted and peppered, there is no one who will speak more respectfully, not to say reverentially, of a broiled fowl than I will. It is out of the idolatrous dotings of the old Egyptians upon broiled ibis and roasted river horse, that you see the mummies of those creatures in their huge bake-houses the pyramids.

No, when I go to sea, I go as a simple sailor, right before the mast, plumb down into the forecastle, aloft there to the royal mast-head. True, they rather order me about some, and make me jump from spar to spar, like a grasshopper in a May meadow. And at first, this sort of thing is unpleasant enough. It touches one's sense of honour, particularly if you come of an old established family in the land, the Van Rensselaers, or Randolphs, or Hardicanutes. And more than all, if just previous to putting your hand into the tar-pot, you have been lording it as a country schoolmaster, making the tallest boys stand in awe of you. The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it. But even this wears off in time.

What of it, if some old hunks of a sea-captain orders me to get a broom and sweep down the decks? What does that indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament? Do you think the archangel Gabriel thinks anything the less of me, because I promptly and respectfully obey that old hunks in that particular instance? Who ain't a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about—however they may thump and punch me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one way or other served in much the same way—either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other's shoulder-blades, and be content.

Again, I always go to sea as a sailor, because they make a point of paying me for my trouble, whereas they never pay passengers a single penny that I ever heard of. On the contrary, passengers themselves must pay. And there is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid. The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But BEING PAID,—what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!

Finally, I always go to sea as a sailor, because of the wholesome exercise and pure air of the fore-castle deck. For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim), so for the most part the Commodore on the quarter-deck gets his atmosphere at second hand from the sailors on the forecastle. He thinks he breathes it first; but not so. In much the same way do the commonalty lead their leaders in many other things, at the same time that the leaders little suspect it. But wherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a merchant sailor, I should now take it into my head to go on a whaling voyage; this the invisible police officer of the Fates, who has the constant surveillance of me, and secretly dogs me, and influences me in some unaccountable way—he can better answer than any one else. And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago. It came in as a sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive performances. I take it that this part of the bill must have run something like this:


Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces—though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to set about performing the part I did, besides cajoling me into the delusion that it was a choice resulting from my own unbiased freewill and discriminating judgment.

Chief among these motives was the overwhelming idea of the great whale himself. Such a portentous and mysterious monster roused all my curiosity. Then the wild and distant seas where he rolled his island bulk; the undeliverable, nameless perils of the whale; these, with all the attending marvels of a thousand Patagonian sights and sounds, helped to sway me to my wish. With other men, perhaps, such things would not have been inducements; but as for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it—would they let me—since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in.

By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Life from Death

The wind is blowing fiercely, churning the jade green sea to a foamy white. The sky is overcast; a deathly grey, pouring its never-ending reserve of cold, winter rain into the sea. On the tossed waves is a small, fragile boat being thrown from giant waves to even bigger ones like a bouncing ball. Three men whose lives are at stake run busily about the decks of the ship, terrified.
These three men formed a small group years earlier, as if they had nothing to lose. Each had a wife and children. They struggled to live in their means as they broke their backs day by day out on the rising swells of the ocean fishing for their money. The small town in which they lived was nothing more than a few warehouses, homes, and a tiny Christian free holiness church gathered together near the dock. They had grown up in this humble place, knowing everything that went on. The town held a special charm, one that almost disappeared along with sail ships and oilskin jackets after the turn of the 20th century.
These three men figured that they had a chance of making a better living for each of their families if they worked together. Although the group seemed as if it would not work at first, the men grew even closer through their trials, enduring the tears and the agonies of working out at sea. Fish were always plentiful, however. Every morning before they left, they all joined hands and fervently prayed together, pleading the Lord Jesus to watch over them and protect them from anything that would harm them and then they would embark out on the sea to another day of work.
After the group had been in existence for a number of years, times got rough, and fish grew scarce. The fishermen had to start going farther out into the sea to find fish as time wore on. Because of the great length of these trips, they were long in coming home and selling their fish. Money got really low during the spaces between these trips and the families of the men were practically living in poverty. As conditions got worse, the men figured they needed to go farther than they'd ever gone. Their families were hungry and it was in the middle of a bad winter, one that would not leave a good memory. Knowing full well the danger of setting out at sea in bad winter weather, they prepared to set out in their boat. As the men got ready to leave, they prayed as they usually did. But this time, they felt troubled in their hearts, but seeing their families hungry kept them from being overcome by fear. Just one good catch would provide their families with the food to keep them fed for the rest of the winter. The men were prepared to do what they had to do to keep their families alive.
While out on the cold sea, they caught the biggest load of fish that they had ever caught. They rejoiced, eating what they had left of the food their wives had packed for them in a little makeshift party that night. They went to sleep in their bunks satisfied, knowing that their minds would rest much easier when they arrived home. They placed the fish in huge chests filled with ice before they left, locked them down and placed them within the cargo hold of the ship.
The next day, the men awoke to a pale sky and an angry sea. They quickly fumbled around, half asleep, dressed in their overalls and went out on deck to meet a torrent of ice rain, which cut through their skin and pierced their bones with chill. After doing all they could to maintain the deck, they rushed inside, shivering from the freeze. The windows of the ship's bridge were constantly barraged by giant waves and they couldn't see through the ice encrusted on the glass.
The storm grew to a frenzy, with each wave gaining even more power over the already battered ship. As one of the men looked out of the ship's ice covered window, he lost all of his hope, and doubted everything that he had ever believed in. He wondered how a God, in whom he thought he believed, could let something as terrible as this happen to him. He questioned the faith that he had and everything that he thought that God had ever done for him.. He felt alone, with no one to understand he and his comrades' fear, no comfort, nothing but pulverizing sorrow and fear. But, right when he thought that everything had gone, a song he sang at the funeral of his father came instantly to his remembrance. His father had died at sea when he was 10 years old.

Rocked in the cradle of the deep,
I lay me down in peace to sleep;
Secure I rest upon the wave,
For Thou, O Lord, hast power to save.
I know Thou wilt not slight my call,
For Thou dost mark the sparrow's fall.
And such the trust that still were mine,
Though stormy winds sweep o'er the brine,
Or though the tempest's fiery breath
Rouse me from sleep to wreck and death,
In ocean cave still safe with Thee,
The germ of immortality.
And calm and peaceful is my sleep,
Rocked in the cradle of the deep;
And calm and peaceful is my sleep,
Rocked in the cradle of the deep.
As he began to recall this song that came to him, his faith began to slowly return to him. He felt a warmth that surpassed the cold ocean spray. He remembered when the Lord helped him and when the Lord became his shepherd, keeping him during the time of childhood despair. He remembered the joy of accepting Christ as His Savior and remembered the times the Lord blessed him: his marriage, his children being born. The fondness of these memories comforted him. He knew that even in the face of certain death, he would not give up his faith in Christ. Christ would save him from this and would deliver him up to peace and security. He gathered his comrades and together they remembered the song and sang it as the ship was taken over by the waves. Right as one giant wave started to overtake his ship, he saw a small glimpse into the deep, a different world, soon to be his home. As his ship began to plunge full force into the dark recesses of the sea, he heard a small voice in his head continue to say, "I have saved you, do not be afraid my child." The voice continued until the hand clasp of the three men was broken by the blackness that invaded the bridge to envelope them in its icy and indifferent embrace.
Then the pain, sorrow, and fear was slowly pushed away from him. The darkness was taken away, and bright white light filled up his vision. He felt comforted, in the presence of something he could not comprehend, but fully knew. When all of the darkness was finally wisped away by the white light, he beheld a great crowd of people, all of whom had smiles on their faces. His father was leading them, running with his arms extended toward him. His father enclosed him in a hug, something that his son had longed for so many times after his death. All of the happy people shook his hand and gave him friendly hugs telling him how proud they were of him. He recognized all of these people... one was his best childhood friend who had died when they were just young..another was his old pastor, who taught him everything he knew about skipping rocks on water..and his brother, who had died in a tragic construction accident... Music of redemption, of a mission finally accomplished, played around him. Along with the crowd of friends, he walked toward the source of the sound of the music. As he walked, he looked down to see he was no longer in any water soaked overall, but in a shimmering white robe, the most beautiful clothing he had ever seen. Finally, he saw a figure in the distance, it looked like a man. He was barely visible, but he could see that he was running towards him. When the man finally reached him he immediately felt a joy that was unspeakable come over him and it became so great that he couldn't contain it. He saw that it was a man that he felt he had known all of his life. They met and embraced. As they were held to each other, the man whispered into his ear with the most love he'd ever heard "well done, good and faithful servant". Then, with smiles on their faces and tears of joy in their eyes, they went together into the brightness of the kingdom, washed in the glory of heaven.

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal,
flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great
street of the city......" "No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God
and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will
see his face , and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more
night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the
Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever....... "

- Revelation 22:1, 3-5

The day after the storm, five huge chests of fish washed up on shore...The families of the fishermen were fed for the rest of the winter. The church of the community took the families into their homes, raised the children and cared for the mothers. No one ever saw the fishermen again, but everyone knew where they had ended up...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Safe Upon the Billowy Deep words by Henry Coppee, 1887

Safe upon the billowy deep,
Loving Lord, Thy servants keep
Helpless, trusting pilgrims they,
Guard them on their watery way.

In the morning fill their sails,
’Mid the dark send favoring gales;
If their sky be overcast,
Calm the waves, and still the blast.

Let Thy sunshine guide by day;
Send at eve the starry ray
Through the watches of the night,
Be Thou, Lord, their shining Light.

Thus, as hour by hour rolls by,
Watch them with Thy sleepless eye:
Guide with Thine almighty hand
Safe unto the haven land.

And at last, life’s voyage o’er,
Take us to the heavenly shore,
Safe in port, to dwell with Thee
Where there shall be “no more sea.”

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Mermaid

'Twas Friday morn when we set sail,
And we had not got far from land,
When the Captain, he spied a lovely mermaid,
With a comb and a glass in her hand.
Oh the ocean waves may roll,
And the stormy winds may blow,
While we poor sailors go skipping aloft
And the land lubbers lay down below, below, below
And the land lubbers lay down below.
Then up spoke the Captain of our gallant ship,
And a jolly old Captain was he;
"I have a wife in Salem town,
But tonight a widow she will be."
Then up spoke the Cook of our gallant ship,
And a greasy old Cook was he;
"I care more for my kettles and my pots,
Than I do for the roaring of the sea."
Then up spoke the Cabin-boy of our gallant ship,
And a dirty little brat was he;
"I have friends in Boston town
That don't care a ha' penny for me."
Then three times 'round went our gallant ship,
And three times 'round went she,
And the third time that she went 'round
She sank to the bottom of the sea.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Fair Sailor Lad

O the fair sailor lad
He was handsome and free,
And he loved a gentle maid,
And his wife she would be:
"O my fair sailor lad,
Come and bide here wi' me!"
But the fair sailor lad
Sailed away, 'cross the sea.
O the fair sailor lad
He was wae and forlorn:
"I must see yon gentle maid
From whose side I was torn.
Tho' he sailed that very tide
Her he saw not again,
For that fair sailor lad
Sleeps for aye 'neath the main.
O the fair sailor lad
He was handsome and free,
And he loved a gentle maid,
And his wife she would be:
"O my fair sailor lad,
Come and bide here wi'me!"
But the fair sailor lad
Sleeps alone 'neath the sea.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

We Have An Anchor

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?


We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.


It will surely hold in the Straits of Fear—
When the breakers have told that the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.

It will firmly hold in the Floods of Death—
-When the waters cold chill our latest breath,
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the Veil.


When our eyes behold through the gath’ring night
The city of gold, our harbor bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Flying Dutchman

Amsterdam - September, 1686

Swish, slop, swish, slop, went the ripples against the stone dock as Johann looked at his reflection in the harbor waters. He stared, mesmerized by his image, for a time.  The reflection staring back at him showed many years of hard work, depression, and fatigue.  These thoughts had taken their toll on him.  At one time, he believed that he had no one to blame but himself; this is what he had been told by those closest to him.  But he had decided that the likeliest culprit was not himself, but God.  He blamed God for his miserable life.  He refused to appeal to God like so many men of the cloth had taught him to do throughout his life.  If God was truly sovereign, as these "holy" men had taught him, then why does the Almighty seemingly not care about his creation?  Besides, what did Johann have to lose by blaming God for his life situation?  His life was already a shamble, how could it get any worse?  Johann was completely without finances, had no wife, and had no family.  The only friend that never seemed to fail Johann was his rum bottle.  What could the Almighty possibly throw at him that he couldn't already handle or had never seen before?  Johann arose, returning to his business, hiding his face so that others wouldn't see the look of bitterness developing upon it.

He had an important job to do and nobody, not even God, was going to get in the way of his ship. The job assigned to him by the Dutch firm that hired him was to sail around the southern tip of Africa (the Cape of Good Hope), and make his way across the Indian Ocean to India to trade.  His trade had recently changed to be primarily involved in spices, because that was where the real money was to be found.  Most of his fellow shipmen were spice traders as well, traveling the globe as far as the West and East Indies, searching high and low for spices delectable to the rich man's palate in Europe.  Every ship before him had failed this long voyage on which he was now bent upon completing, either falling victim to foul weather or attacked by pirates from Madagascar, but the Dutch traders were not going to give up.  The merchants were motivated by pure greed and power, desiring to have all the bits of wealth available to be had at home and abroad and, after all, the man with the most 'stuff' was the most powerful and important. The greedy merchants would stop before nothing to get the wealth that they desired, no matter how many men needed to be sacrificed. A vast treasure in spices, jewels, and slaves laid to the east, to the Orient, and it called loudly to these Dutch merchants.

The vast majority of the traders, be they Spanish, English, or Portuguese, came to trade in the Orient during the warmer months, to avoid storms in hopes of fair sailing weather.  When men left too late in the season, or too early, doom was sure to follow.  Those sailors were generally never heard from again, either at the bottom of the sea or washed up on some part of the coast, taken captive by natives.  Now, as Johann prepared to leave, it was the month of September and storms would be in full force within the month it would take him to reach the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa. A glint of optimism struck Johann though, namely the pirates would not be operating.  However, this was only because of the same reason that traders were not out in any great number: storms. Any sailor with sense would not sail during this time, pirates or no pirates, but Johann's ship was going to set sail. He gave no heed to warnings from anybody and steeled himself against any objections to his voyage, especially from the crew, who would be prone to fear.

So on September 2, 1686, Johann set sail for India. As he was preparing to leave, a young minister made his way up the gangplank to the deck of the ship, there on the request of his sailors.  Johann's crew was very afraid of the voyage to come and they needed reassurance that the Almighty would not leave them as they embarked on this perilous journey.  As the minister stood, exhorting from the scriptures the crew that had gathered to listen, Johann stepped into the middle of the gathering, interrupted the minister, cursing him saying, "Be gone! You foul messenger of a foul God! I do not require the blessing of any God to make my voyage a success! I demand you leave!" The minister began to respond by appealing to Johann to not "harden his heart against the council of the Lord." Johann defiantly retorted, "I curse God! He will not stop me from completing my voyage! I will FLY in the face of God!" The minister, startled by what was said, his eyes filled with grief at the blasphemy before his eyes, stammered to the crew that he was sorry.  He immediately turned around hastily made his way back over the gangplank. 

Johann's ship encountered nothing noteworthy during the trip down the western coast of Africa.  Johann kept his crew in line harshly, flogging any member of the crew that hinted at the least bit of disagreement with his plan.  Johann had every man who uttered the name of God to be beaten in front of the crew.  Johann's confidence was bolstered by this, believing that his rebellion against the 'superstition' of the crew had somehow quieted the powers that be and granted him a safe voyage.  Even if bad weather did come, he would overcome that as well.  Johann refused to be defeated. 

When the ship arrived off of the coast of the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of Africa, clouds began to turn black, rain began to pour down in sheets and giant waves began to lift the ship high and low.  The poor sailors of the ship were terrified as they labored to save their small ship amidst the growing power of the storm.  The storm would not relent, increasing in its strength.  Lightning began to strike all around the ship, creating a deafening crack and roar, amplified by the relentless pouring of the rain.  Yet, even as the storm grew in rage, the sailors desperately worked, knowing their lives were on the line.  Johann, still defiant, grabbed hold of the climbing ropes held down to the deck that ran up to the mast. Johann began to climb, screaming out to God while rain dropped heavily like small beads, stinging his face and skin. Johann held on to the ropes with all of his strength as the ship was tossed to and fro. Lightning cracked across the sky, lighting up the darkness in terrifying flashes of brightness.  Johann made his way to the top of the mast, and began to scream repeatedly that he would "FLY in the face of God!" Johann brandished his clenched fist in defiance and began to beat at the sky as if fighting an invisible foe.  The crew, terrified of his belligerence, trembled as a great roar shook their embattled ship. Despite the roar, Johann continued to scream until his lungs and throat failed him.  He nevertheless kept on wailing until a foreboding wave appeared as an ominous black shape, larger than anything he had ever seen. As he stared into the wave, the strength to even wail suddenly left him.  Johann saw an image of what was to become his eternal home, the dark and cold depths of the ocean. He gathered enough strength to scream again, but this time not in defiance, but in terror.  As he screamed, the foaming hand of the wave crashed up his ship, swallowing it in a quick display of power.  The water muffled out Johann's cry and dragged him underneath the water as he clung to the rigging.  Eventually, all went dark. The ship was pushed down, down through the inky black of the depths until it came to rest inside of a sea cave, inhabited by something so terrible and horrific, I cannot tell what it was.

During storms at sea, many sailors even to this day, claim to see a ship navigating the large waves. Its sails are ragged and torn and at the top of the rigging is a man, with clenched fist held high screaming into the tumultuous sky. When the sailors on the ship see this, they scramble down into the cabins of their ship and fervently pray, all the while shaking from uncontrollable fear... Even in death does he mock God...