“My first thought was that she had hurt herself, but when I looked through the hatch and went below deck, she had this frightened look on her face.”
My story has a nautical twist to it.
I have been sailing since childhood, having been born and raised in Seattle. I love the sea, and I do believe it holds many mysteries. Here is one of them.
I was celebrating my twenty-second birthday with my girlfriend Tania when we decided to rent a boat and take it out for a midnight cruise around the harbor. It was an old wooden sloop, thirty-four feet long with an inboard engine, and she was a beauty. I love spending time on boats, even when they’re just sitting in the slip.
Tania went below into the cabin while I got the boat ready topside. Then I heard her yell out my name. My first thought was that she had hurt herself, but when I looked through the hatch and went below deck, she had this frightened look on her face.
She said a face had appeared in one of the portholes. I said it was impossible because I was on deck and no one else was on the boat, or anywhere near us on the dock. She looked at me and I could see the fear in her eyes. I had never seen her like this.
Now, Tania is a very down-to-earth person and not one to get excited or to get carried away or to make up things. But she repeated to me that she saw a face staring at her through the porthole and she hadn’t imagined it.
Suddenly, she went white as a ghost as she was staring over my shoulder. I whirled around and there it was. A man’s face staring inside, not exactly at us, but definitely peering in from the porthole. At first I was startled, then I raced up the steps to the cockpit.
But no one was there. And no one was on the dock. It was impossible for anyone to get away that quickly because from the time I saw the face until the time I ran up on deck was maybe two or three seconds.
What was going on?
Fortunately, that was the last time we saw the face that night, probably because we never did take the boat out. I was as scared as Tania was, and there was no way we were going to cruise around that harbor in the dark that night. We didn’t want to be stuck out on the water in the middle of nowhere with strange faces staring through the windows at us.
We learned later on that a few years earlier someone had committed suicide on a boat in the slip next to ours, and similar sightings of the man had been reported from time to time. We were shown a photo of the man, and that was him.