Sailers of Reddit. What is something unexplainable that you’ve seen while out at sea?

Sailers of Reddit. What is something unexplainable that you’ve seen while out at sea?

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  1. not a sailer but my grandfather was- once when he was sailing to Antarctica for a surveying expidition, the maelstrom suddenly stopped and the moon came out illuminating a huge fish perhaps ten feet below the surface. at about thirty, or forty feet in length it slowly followed my grandfather’s boat until it suddenly disapeared. the rain and wind suddenly started again.


    when my Grandfather reached the base, he heard a huge thing had attacked another ship, nearly sinking the boat and actually eating one of the crew before it was fought off.

  2. Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We’d just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes.

    Didn’t see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin’ by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin’ and hollerin’ and sometimes that shark he go away… but sometimes he wouldn’t go away.

    Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn’t even seem to be livin’… ’til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin’ and your hollerin’ those sharks come in and… they rip you to pieces.

    You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don’t know how many sharks there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin’, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boson’s mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he’d been bitten in half below the waist.

    At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol’ fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.

    Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

  3. Easily it was a dead horse that floated past us. I don’t recall if that was in the Mediterranean or if in the Atlantic before passing Gibraltar…

    But I know it was no where near land.

  4. When I was young, we went out to go have a vacation. We were all having fun, when suddenly all people in the beach started to go out. We didn’t know what was happening, but after looking, we saw countless orange big things jumping from the far ocean. Everyone was scared, and no one dared to go to the sea for about an hour.

  5. We know too much now so can always explain it but I have seen shit that made me question reality.

    In some harbours the tide can come from two directions and you get white water in completely flat water. You can also get standing waves which look they should be moving but don’t.

    Probably the weirdest was when I was a kid sailing back home at night after a week sailing across the coast of England with my grandparents. I was city kid and generally finding this whole experience deeply uncivilized. It was pitch black with cloud cover so no light from moon or stars. The dark sea ruminating under a still but ominous sky.

    We had our GPS and radio on and were well away from the shipping lane where sky scrappers on their side would pass though slowly but with an intimidating certainty. Slovenly we sulk our way forward with static intimately buzzing from the handheld radio. The darkness was all encompassing. You could see the twinkles of reality out ahead. We were probably an hour away from a warm bed.

    Then suddenly this huge arse spot light appeared on the surface of the sea. Tracking crazily back and forth. In an arch then hovering in place and back again. Lighting up the undulating black you were cutting through. The light pauses. It appears like it looking for something then suddenly it moves. Freezes, then move again like a peak of a sin wave. Back and forth, hunting, searching, looking for something. Is it looking for you?

    Well, obviously this freaked me out and asked my Grandad who was helming what was happening and he replied “Oh, that is just the lighthouse reflecting off the clouds”.

  6. We were about 60 nautical miles out in the Gulf of Mexico on the USS Grapple assisting with Hurricane Katrina when we hit a small isolated thunderstorm. Lightening came within 50 feet of the ship and pounding sheets of rain drenched the weather decks.

    The storm only lasted about 10 minutes, then abruptly stopped. I walked outside and saw the entire ship was covered in dragonflies and butterflies, thousands and thousands of them covering most of the ship. At the time it seemed impossible, as we were so far out to sea. It was one of the strangest things I had ever seen.

    Later I found out they were probably migrating and were blown off path by the storm. It sure looked like a miracle at the time, though.

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