Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

Old Hand’s Babylonian Voyage-The Sermon

“Hey sailor, lookin’ for a good time?”

The voice hissed from the shadows. I turned to see a toothless hag in fish-net hose and leather thong clutching a length of chain in her skeletal hand.

“How ’bout I clap ye in virtual irons and tickle yer bum with me E-Lash?” she leered.  “Just like the real thing.”

“Er, no thanks,” I said and quickened my pace.

As I walked through the lurid, labyrinthine back-alleys of cyberspace, I beheld woeful scenes of hunger and vice.

It was Sunday and, as a pious man, McWhirr had given me leave to knock about on my own; hoping, for the good of my soul, I might attend the sacred service to our lord.

I passed a low dive with a weathered sign that bore the name: Bucket of Spam. The carved, cedar chisel marks suggested its date of manufacture to be (roughly) early 21th century.

Below this it said: We have WI-fi.

I could see, through the fogged window, sleazy spam-bots lit by the eerie blue glow of duck-taped lap-tops inside.  I went on.

At last, I arrived at the ancient stone church. An inscription on the facade said something about a guy named Swedenborg. Clear voices sounded through the ancient, stone walls:

By the Rivers of Babylon…”

I pushed open the heavy oak door and found a pew. The congregation fell silent.  A portly preacher in a plaid suit and brown toupee ascended the pulpit and solemnly spoke with the stentorian delivery of Orson Wells:

“And the lord spake unto Noah:  I shall make it rain for 40 days and 40 nights.”

He looked up from the good book and continued in a confiding tone: “And here shipmates, we find already deeper truths than was ever sounded by our learned interpreters of holy texts-aye it comes from the lips of the almighty Himself. And what water are we speaking of here? Is it the water that flows from the reeking taps of the Babylonian waterworks?”

“No!”  responded the pious congregation.

“Is it the water of sewers that carry Babylon’s foul waste into the vast oceans of the globe?”

At each interrogatory his voice grew urgent.

“Is it the rain that nourishes our genetically modified corn?”

“No Suh!” responded a dread-locked harpooneer.

“Is it the water which rose ever higher to make Babylon a busy, working port?”

“Make it plain!”

“No-o, it is another kind of rain of which I speak,” he warmed to his theme like a southern preacher:

“It is the flood of materialist greed which immerses ma-AN-kind in self-love and se-ELF-ish desires. He wishes ON-ly for con-firm-A-shun of his vile ways through sensory DAY-ta and the false gods of materialist SCI-ence. He EE-vun denies divine kn-OW-ledge and the possa-BIL-ity of an-GEL-ic per-CEP-SHUN.” He banged the pulpit with his meaty fist at each accented syllable. “This is the da-AY-luge that engulfs Babylon today: a flood of kn-OW-ledge that is comp-LETE-ly de-VOID of CHAR-IT-Y!”

The last words resonated with a low rumble that seemed to rise from beneath the worn flagstones of the church. The heavy arches over the altar swayed wildly and collapsed into dust with a thunderous roar. From somewhere in the distance came the mournful wail of sirens. A speaker sputtered and blared:

This is NOAA Weather Radio- Tsunami alert! Tsunami alert!

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

Old Hand’s Voyage into the Babylonian Heart of Darkness

“Eh shipmate, stand us a pint,” the sleazy drawl of the villainous sploggy reeked at us with an air of imperious command.

McWhirr slowly turned: “Say, do you boys ever ship out on real seas, or are you afraid of getting tar on yer nighties?”

At these words and the atmosphere grew thick with menace.File:Morgan,Henry.jpg

I saw the miscreant clutch tighter the marlin-spike in his beefy fist and hastily interjected:

“My good sirs, may I introduce Saturnius McWhirr?”

At this, the lout grew pale as an albino baluga, saying:

“Pleased to make your acquaintance Captain,” and retreated to his piratical laptop with an obsequious bow.

“Nice Chaps…” said McWhirr, “for a couple of grog-blossomed bottom-feeders. Since we’re stuck in this god-forsaken port shall we splice the main-brace?”

He hailed the barkeep.

Soon, having to pump the bilges, I sought the urinal of the rank Stygian pub and passed a distinguished, bearded gent who sat before an old Underwood typewriter. His gaunt frame seemed mummified in musty, moth-eaten tweeds while his ponderous brows were wreathed in a smokey corona of amber light. On closer inspection, I saw he was merely one of the automated fortune-tellers found in the gaudy theme parks of Babylon. His face was vaguely familiar. On the table front was displayed a sign which read:

The Great Marlowe. Your fortune 25 cents.File:Joseph Conrad 1916.jpg

I dropped a coin into the slot. There was a slight sound from under the table which again halted, began again and increased in speed and volume until the music of bellows and steam pipes sounded over a cacophony of grinding gears like the high registers of Saint Mark’s Cathedral organ. The machine then sputtered to a wheezing halt and ejected a sheet of paper at my feet. I held it up in the murky glow to read:

The horror! The horror!

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

Old Hand’s Babylonian Voyage

And it came to pass that a great swarm of splog descended upon the land and the soundcloud was darkened with idle slander and empty promises of sensual delights. Worshippers of the true faith were subjected to the false blandishments of priests and the perfidious purveyors of illusory commerce.

I squinted at the aged, musty tome in the dim light of the pub and read on:

And the once mighty creatives of the realm looked upon their followers and found naught of artistic merit and grew heavy in spirit, seeing therein ought but Jezebelian allurements by comely maids in unseemly attitudes of licentious repose.

“I’m glad I wore my sea-boots,” said McWhirr.

“Listen to this, Captain:”

And lo, the verminous swarm of splog grew apace, and the goodly scions of the realm gnashed their teeth in anguish, for their earnest, artistic efforts were devoured by the black vultures of Satan. The fat herds of the righteous became but reeking carrion for the voracious appetites of the infidels.

“What fools would steal such windy bombast anyway?” asked McWhirr.

We’d just sailed into the gaudy metropolis of Babylon, seeking refuge from the equinoctial gales. The dank pub which lay just off the pier-head served a clientele of wharf-rats and scurvy rum-bots from dilapidated bum-boats.  One smelly clutch of waisters clicked madly at their laptops, their rummy faces aglow in the in the villainous blue light. The grating chortles of these flatulent knaves reeked an atmosphere of gaseous inertia our way.

“Get this, a real Byron he thinks he is,” said a muscled hulk in a pink tutu.

“Ya really read that BS? “Asked his mate in a voice  that sounded hollow and grating-like 50 fathoms of hause-fouled chain.

I’d heard of the splog pirates, but thought them mere paranoid tales by rummy tars around the fo’c’sle stove. And now here they were, as big as life, waylaying the earnest efforts of my myself and my literary colleagues like the nefarious ship wreckers luring unwary vessels with false lights on the storm-wracked coast of Cornwall.

I continued reading:

The once proud sites of the righteous became barren wastes of vacuous splogs and brazen images of bouncing titties…

“Maybe there is something to it after all,” says McWhirr.

“Aye, Captain. And look what we have now in this rank grog-shop of the internet-a foul lot of brazen cut-throats  who’d just as soon steal your traffic as say how-do-ye-do.”

One such galoot, a skanky brigand with a striped shirt and cutlass, approached the bar next to McWhirr with the slithery movement of a wolf eel saying:

“Eh mates, stand us a pint.”

Out of the corner of my eye I saw  McWhirr take his rigging-knife from under his coat…

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories, Uncategorized

The Galvanized Emblem of McWhirr

“ Gusts up o 70 miles per hour are possible.”

The bland, melancholy voice on the NOAAH weather radio intoned the dread prophesy with all the passion of a jaded, Norwegian automaton.

Bagpipes wailed over the anchorage at sundown and the grim sight of the northern horizon almost made me cry.  Clouds billowed white over the eastern Straits while, below, the horizon fell into the blackest gloom that ever haunted the nightmares of sinful, erring tars.

I had read in The Complete Anchoring Handbook that it all comes down to the right ratio of depth to scope of anchor rode.

50 feet times 5 make 250…good enough for a Coney Island swan boat.

I went below to lie on the pilot-berth. After a few fitful gusts, the wind fell into a tentative, uneasy calm.

Let’s see, 5 to 1 in 50 feet times…

“Have you paid out enough scope, lad?”

The bass tones welled from Old Hand’s bilges as from the aged, bronzed vessel of oxidized words.


The angular form of Saturnius McWhirr was faintly illumined by the oil-lamp’s amber glow.

“I cast the anchor in 8 fath…” I stammered

“Avast, Ya greenhorn! You don’t “cast” anchors. This isn’t fly-fishing! My gorge rises at such lubberly misuse of sailing language.”

His wrath, like a line-squall, subsided as rapidly as it came.

“Did you know that to raise an anchor you must first let it go?”

“That’s true, sir.”

He always makes these pithy pronouncements like they were scripture.  And, for McWhirr the act of sailing is a religious rite. He hails from Zoroastrian, Quaker stock and, for him, a ship is a vessel to carry his weary spirit ascending through the 7 concentric spheres of corporeality to the final landfall of essential being. He has seen the beatific vision reflected on the sea’s mirror, and it draws him ever northward in search of the true face of divinity behind the mask of appearance.

“Look at this arm.”

Like some cloaked tragedian in a nautical horror show, he furiously tore his sleeve to reveal the tattoo of an anchor engraved upon his sinewy fore-arm.

“I carry the fouled, cold-forged, emblem of hope engraved upon my soul.”

He leveled his eye at me as thunder rattled the wheelhouse windows.

“Have you any family, Mister Spencer?”


“Do they weigh upon your heart; do you feel their woes as your very own?”

I was too unglued by his interrogatory glare to answer.

“Are you willing to set aside your pleasant, little cruise to do service if called upon?”

“I don’t know if I’d call it a pleasant cruise with this weather.” I said defensively.

“Would ya be able to leap into the maelstrom to save a foe?”

“If I had a PFD,” I answered lamely.

He fell into deep silence. His spectral image receded into the oaken bulwarks of unfathomable woe.

“Then you are no shipmate of mine,”   Said the fading echo of his baritone.

From the infinite distance came a low, thrumming tone that set halyards frapping on the mast. The sound rose steadily to a piercing shriek-as if all the denizens of hell had let loose one frenzied howl of pain.

Old Hand skewed violently in the blast.

I rose from my bunk, put on my foul weather gear and ascended the foredeck.

Let’s see 50 x 10 = 500…that’s 10 to 1…for 85% holding power…

Not bad odds.

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

Sailing the Bardo of Rebirth with McWhirr

port madisson images 032Cats paws darkened the blue reach of Puget Sound beyond Skiff Point to the north. I went below to shut down Phyllis, my Norwegian diesel engine (named after my mother,) trusting the breeze would hold and keep us off the shallow bank south of Fay Bainbridge park. There’s nothing so peaceful as that moment when the wind lifts and the engine is shut off. Old Hand sails better without human interference close-hauled, so I sit back and listen to the sound of water moving along her hull as she gathers speed along Bainbridge Island’s east shore.

It was lovely. We had attained a state of harmonious accord between man and boat in the mandala of winds, and that single point we occupied at that particular moment in time and space was golden perfection. I try to seize such moments on the fly and, by retelling them, prolong existence itself and sail with the generous breeze into eternity.

“Look sharp, Mister Spencer.”

The resonant voice was hoarse, as if graveled by long watches in the north Atlantic-as if it emerged from the very depths of the bilges.

“Ready about.”

“Ready about.”

McWhirr paused then called:

“Helm’s alee!”

I let go the jib sheet as the bow came across the wind and hauled in for a port tack toward deeper water northeast.

“Nicely done, lad. Ye’ll be a sailor before long.”

McWhirr is a pain in the neck sometimes. He’s a relic of working sail and can be as dark as Ahab in rehab on a bad hair day.

But such a breeze can soften a heart encrusted by long watches over icy seas. McWhirr stood stark against the red sky like a weathered piling on a  rocky cape.  Light flickered through the dark shrouds  behind him as if projected on a movie screen.

“What do you make of the Ancient Mariner’s yarn, lad?”

– through soul’s stations he sails…sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze…sigh of compassion that pervades all creation… repents his cruel slaughter of the innocent bird and sees divinity in all beings… it raised my hair, it fanned my cheek…essential reality…wisdom and compassion combined…

“It’s a strange tale.”

McWhirr brooded as if some heavy recollection had made him grow, if it were possible, even more saturnine.

“Aye, we all carry the albatross’ weight around our necks.”

-tangled lines lost in fouled line-lockers…it mingled strangely with my fears…endless dream pilgrimages through foreign city streets looking for misplaced baggage… He loved the bird who loved the man… all those times too slow on the uptake, clueless or proud... who shot him with his bow..neglect of kin…Mom’s eyes…executors of karmic law…archons of the muddy sphere in which my life is, more or less, firmly moored …Oh, my neck.

“What about that part where he must repeat his tale endlessly to strangers?”

“I don’t know.   It sounds like a writer I know. But I won’t mention any names.”

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

The McWhirr stories-An Afterword?

Cormorants are huddled like a conclave of robed mystics brooding over lost fish. The wind blows from all directions in Port Madison.

I write windy dialogue that transpires between two contrary characters.  I suppose the I of the story refers to myself, but even this first-person identity gets pretty tenuous at times.  I am obtuse foil to McWhirr’s exacting command, and he is confounded by my poetic flights.  This tension, this ever tipping dynamic, propels the leaky vessel of my prose.

In the voyage of this yarn to it’s “conclusion”, fact and fiction are interwoven to create a tapestry of associative episodes in order to express some ineffable truth about man’s impulse toward adventure.

But to what degree can I actually claim these adventures mine? Where was the line crossed between inspiration and plagiarism? All my powers of expression are called upon to render a fictional account of  vaguely recalled events in the transient world of sensations and ideas.

craig at helm 014
Me sneezing

I’ve come close to foundering in a fog of  fantasy, relevant only to myself or to those souls fortunate enough (or unlucky enough) to be conversant with sailing lore, and experienced in the sea’s fickle ways.

Where has McWhirr gone? While his vanishing act seems a natural outcome of the narrative flow, it has left me without bearings-without a meaningful waypoint.  He’s left me becalmed at slack water, transfixed by sunlight on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with only an obscure missive from Virgil’s heroic verse:  From me learn courage and patience, from others the meaning of fortune.  Then again, maybe this is all the bearing I need.

Though the dream of finding a copy of the Aeneid happened some 20 years ago, it’s true import remains enigmatic.  But I feel it has to do with carrying on a lineage, the bearing of the household gods to establish a new homeland or  mode of awareness.  It’s also about a mutual need, a pact made with the dead to honor them.  My dad’s ghost comes and goes in the story, and recalls me to some forgotten bond.  He says I should heed McWhirr.

The View from the Wheelhouse is a fluid one, and successful navigation depends on an ability to tolerate a constantly shifting perspective. The conclusion of this tale is as elusive as a Micronesian landfall.

So I trust this isn’t the last we’ve heard from McWhirr. The wily old coot’s vanishing act may be prologue to his reinstatement on a more believable level of fictional existence.

Wars are started by mistaking the thing in itself for the metaphor, and the inability to see through the symbol, as through a veil, to the symbolized. Scientists have recently discovered that the north wind doesn’t really have a beard and puffy cheeks. We’ve evolved beyond such nonsense.  But this knowledge is of little use to the sailor driven on a rocky lee shore by a fierce northerly gale.  For myself and everyone, I pray to the household gods.

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

The Rapture of McWhirr

Stars vanished in the rosey dawn and the earthen red facade of the old seafront was reflected on the smooth water of Port Townsend Bay. I served up kippers and joe to Captain McWhirr as he plotted our course across the Strait of Juan de fuca, drawing arcs over a chart of the eastern Straits with an aged compass that might have demarcated the first measured globe.

“Best we are underweigh at 0800 hours.”

“More joseph sir?”

Smiling strangely serene, he said:

“Aye, That’ll do nicely, old son.”

We headed out across the flat surface of Admiralty Inlet with the last of the flood, keeping Partridge Point fine on the port bow.

“ Now lay our course 318 degrees toward the Romeo Alfa buoy. Call me at slack water.”

“318 degrees it is, sir.”

McWhirr went below, leaving the weight of command to me. The calm, blue surface of the straits reached far westward. The regular thump of the diesel engine set a rythym that wove songs of lost schooners into our widening wake, and drew us, with the swirling kelp, into deeper sound.

O our packet sails tomorrow…studio etc 016

We bore away northwest. An eagle soared in high cirrus where the great indraught of the sea swept past the headland into the inlets of soul.  Gulls were flattened across the blue vault of sky. The bell sounded and the sea heaved in steady writhing swells from the Pacific Ocean as the torpid heat drove all energy from the weary face of the world.

Shal-low-O- Shallow Brown…

A blip on the radar screen moved toward us through the seven concentric circles like a wrathful diety seeking tribute-like an archon who held Old Hand in irons, bound to earthly time, and from which we yet nursed a forlorn hope of deliverance.

And it fills me heart with sorrow…

The waypoint cross of the GPS fixed the moment on the still sea. All space was enclosed in the mystic compass rose, and our voyage was but another leg in man’s perpetual departure beyond the world’s edge; to where the the sunlight’s descent crosses the horizon’s sparkling band, and time intersects infinity.

Shal-low Shallow Brownstudio etc 011

I went below to find McWhirr gone. There was only a tattered copy of Virgil’s Aeneid. A passage highlighted in gold caught my eye:

From me learn patience and true courage, from others the meaning of fortune.

McWhirr has left for the far shore, cut his painter and retreated through the diaphanous veils that seperate worlds. In a realm between the offices of master and mate he floats supine, hands clasped over his white beard, in surrender to the ebbing stream where all noble hearts must finally hie. He was the true sovreign of the watery sphere which had long held me captive. He is the enlightened aspect of my inner Captain Bligh, Noah of my being, guiding me safely past malestroms where the faithless whirl forever amid skeletal hulks and drowned chain.

Here’s a beautiful rendition of Shallow Brown by Sting.

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

The Voyage of Old Hand-the Descent

Ye Realms, yet unreveal’d to human sight,

Ye Gods, who rule the Regions of the Night,

Ye gliding ghosts, permit me to relate

The mystic wonders of your silent state.

                                       The Aeneid, book 6, John Dryden, trans.

The Sierra Echo buoy flashes a mile off the starboard beam as  I sheet in for a close, starboard reach.  Through the rain-pelted wheelhouse windows, I see lightening streak diagonally into the black face of Foulweather Bluff like the bronze spears of invading armies.

“Steady lad, tis a mere capful of wind.” Says McWhirr.

“It’s a big head of storm to fill such a cap, Captain.”

We are just able to lay the Foulweather buoy. The bell rings dolefully as it’s black profile sways wildly off the starboard beam.

I remember that blackness from long before, far away…

You gods of souls who dwell in endless night,

watercolor 012
Abrojos, watercolor by Craig Spencer

grant that I may tell wonders of regions void of light.

Abreojos was a small Baja fishing village of plywood shacks. Hollow waves broke over a razor-sharp reef, and the afternoon offshore winds blew rainbow rooster tails over the backs of pitching surf. The name meant open eyes; and the longer I stayed in the palm-roofed fish hut, waiting for the big swell, the more my eyes opened to it’s stark beauty. The name was also warning to keep a steady watch, and the iron keel of a wrecked schooner high on the point  was testament to the fierce chubasco winds that hammered that arid shore.

watercolor 014
Abreojos Graveyard. Watercolor by Craig Spencer

The moonlight bleached the low, rounded dunes and cast angular shadows of lobster pots half buried in the sand.  I descended the vague path to the graveyard south of the village.  Gaudy tombs of fisher-men stood in the pallid light. Enclosed in the florid, stucco niche’s were relics of their earthly lives: an action figure, cheap guitar, and the blessed baseball glove.

My shadow rose up the moonlit dunes as I slowly approached the cemetery gate. Night breezes swirled with vaporous shades who mended starry nets and sang the Mexican Birthday song:

O Lady Guadalupe, O Lady Guadalupe…

It was your image come in dreams, dear father, that set my course toward your dark shore.   In a dream garage sale I found a clue that led to your habitation. Three times I have tried to clasp your hand. Three times my vain words have left me reaching for empty air. Like you, I gasp to articulate an ancestral rage, and long to transmute the leaden ore of miss-shapen phrases into avowals of love from the hearts golden core.

“Fall off a few points west. There’s a deep-draft bearing down from north-east.”

McWhirr’s  profile is etched by lightening against the bulkhead.

“A few points west it is, sir.

On we plunge into darkness, Old Hand’s bow lifts high and then falls  with a jolt into the black troughs of the seas. The wind screams in the rigging as a fan of spray flies off the storm jib in an arc of phosphorescent light. Seas advance, white-capped, like a phalanx of militant headstones called up from Gabriel’s northern gate to defend the ramparts of Dis.

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

Esoteric Sailing 101-The Gnostic Gibe

The light north wind wafted over the sound and sent cats-paws scurrying across the blue surface of the water .  We were sailing down wind, up Colvos Passage down Colvos Passage before the wind, in the afternoon before the flood.sailing Old Hand 08 002

“Not yet,! Wait until I say helm’s a’ weather!”   Bellowed McWhirr.

The big sail had collapsed in at heap on the fore stay with the forlorn aspect of a nihilist’s nose-rag.


Then it luffed, as if thinking it over.

“… up a point.”

Old hand flew into the wind. The sail rose.

“Now bear away a touch.”

“Bearing away, sir.”

The genoa curved lovely over the port bow as  I nudged the helm up, and Boreas’ own sweet northerly began to pull Old Hand slowly across Colvos  on the opposite tack.

“That’s better lad. Ye’ll be another Joseph Conrad before long.”

I leaned against the anchor box to rest.sailing Old Hand 08 006

We flowed down the pass up sound…or is it up the pass downsound?

The gentle breeze caressed my face.

Aft, large eyes peered from the vegetation along the shore. Primeval beasts watched hungrily as we sailed back eddies past a dense jungle.

A derelict lumber mill hove in sight as we approached the opposite shore; it’s decayed pilings looked like a dejected stand of petrified loggers who had just cut down the last tree on earth.

“Ready to gibe, Mister Spencer.”

“Ready to gibe.”

“Helm’s a’ weather.”

The sail fouled in a hopeless tangle as Old Hand fetched up on the bank  with a low rasping sound. She  collapsed suddenly in a pile of flotsum.sailing Old Hand 08 003

She went down, by god.

“Ya scow-banker! I never saw such lubberly sail handling!”

With a volley of abuse, McWhirr grabbed a top maul and came at me like blue blazes with a bad attitude.

But then I had a flash. I saw that this whole maritime catastrophe was a mere shadow-a play of light.   All the stormy seas and foul currents fate pitches at this corporeal vessel are no more substantial than an Arctic aura; and no less sublime in scope and meaning.

I really had it over McWhirr.

I was Captain now.

I flew into the sky as McWhirr tied a bowline on a jib sheet and tried to lasso my leg.

“Come back down here ya square-headed haddock! I’m more real than ye’ll ever be!”

My heart pounded in my ears.   I looked up to see Old Hand nearing the shore.

“Ready to jibe, Mister Spencer.”

The sawmill had vanished in the blinding sunlight.

“Let’s put her about shipshape this time.”

Posted in Saturnius McWhirr stories

Saturnius McWhirr

sailing Old Hand 08 033

“ Have ye clapped eyes on McWhirr, mate?”

The weazy drawl came from a wall-eyed galloot who followed me. The starboard list in his walk, the hollow stare and grog-blossoms that festooned his weathered mug showed him to be a waister on a leaky bum-boat.

“He has a scowl like a North Sea line squall that would strike fear into the black heart of Beelzebub himself.”

He sent a brown spew of tobacco juice onto the dock as if he spat out the last vestige of the accursed name.

“They say, long ago, the  crew of the old Uranus found him off Cape Horn-a mere babe afloat in a Quaker cradle.”

This was laying it on a bit thick.

I’d signed articles the day before-and, here I am, traipsing innocently down the wharf toward my next berth and this guy starts yammerin’ like some hop-head bit-player in a mid-20th Century movie.

He pointed a boney finger at the dismal sky as his voice rose.

“They say he’s Zoroastrian ‘er some such heretical blasphemy that, as sure as I’m standin’ here, will lead the impious reprobates into eternal hellfire!”

This was prelude to my first encounter with Saturnius McWhirr…


Point no Point lies off the port beam at sundown. By the time we make Foulweather Bluff darkness has fallen, and the Kinney Point light is veiled behind a scrim of fog.

His gaunt profile lit green by the radar, McWhirr says:

“What’s all this about Aeneas? The Roman?”

“Trojan, sir.”

“And what has he to do with this voyage?”

“I don’t know sir.”

“Then I suggest you focus on navigating the here and now, son.”

It’s McWhirr’s watch. Sometimes he gets on my nerves. Zero imagination. Mention free association to him and he grabs a cutlass. He thinks it’s a Commie group…