The Flying Dutchman: A legendary ghost ship

The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship doomed to forever sail in the oceans. It is an apparition of the ship of the captain Hendrick van der Decken. Around the 17th-18thcentury people and sailors started to aware people about the tale of a ship doomed to sail the oceans forever. A Dutch ship was grabbed by the bloodthirsty storm.  Reports of the sightings of the ship go through the 19thand even the 20th century. People who saw the ship describe it looking as an ancient abandoned ship still sailing with no crew on board, with mysterious shadowy and phantom glow around it. Many sailors were reluctant to go near it, but those who heroically made attempts to board it, resulted into the ship disappearing without trace or sailing into the blackness.

The captain had made a shaky trip from Holland to the Far East Indies, and when his ship rounded the coast of Africa a thought crossed his mind to make a settlement near the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, to get breathing space from the tumultuous waters. Abruptly, his ship began to round the cape, a horrendous storm erupted and drowned all on board. The winds damaged the sail and water spilled down into the hull. The captain challenged the wrath of God Almighty by swearing a blasphemous oath and when the crew disobeyed he killed the rebel leader and made his body sink in water without any hesitation. As the body hit by the water, the vessel spoke to him “asking him if he did not mean to go into the bay that night. The captain replied: ‘May I be eternally damned if I do, though I should beat about here till the day of Judgment’ and the voice again came told him that‘As a result of your actions you are condemned to sail the oceans for eternity with a ghostly crew of dead men bringing death to all who sight your spectral ship and to never make port or know a moment’s peace. Furthermore, gall shall be your drink and red hot iron your meat.’

A few people have professed of seeing the ghostly vessel of Captain of the ship since it sank in 1641. It is because of his brash mindset or mental outlook in the face of God’s stormy wrath that Captain van der Decken and his crew is under a curse to sail the high seas until doomsday.

There are different variations about the story of the cursed ship. One version is that the ship was used for piracy and horrible crimes were committed on board, thus cursing the ship forever. Other is that the name Flying Dutchman was the name of the captain or that is how the sailors called him. The captain was stubborn and cruel. One day he denied bringing the ship to the port because of strong storm and rough seas. He bumped the ship through the storm and faded without trace.

Throughout decades, sailors swore to their lives that they had a glimpse at The Flying Dutchman sailing past them. One of those who swore seeing the ghost ship is the Prince George of Wales. In his writing he self-confessed that not wholly but half the crew noticed The Flying Dutchman sail by their ship in the middle of the night and vanished in thin air few minutes later.

Some of the people postulate seeing the ship sail means misfortune and mishap to happen. Others give credence to that the ship is carrying lost souls in the ocean to the other side.

The story might be fictitious, imagination, fabrication or a legend to some, but many marines and sailors these days do not gamble with fate by completely rejecting the story.

It is crewed with ghosts and portends doom to all who see it.

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