The year 1866 is an important time in nautical history. It is the year that the world was first terrified by an amazing ocean going monster, the Nautilus. During that year several ships had met with this “thing,” a long slender object far greater in size than any creature known to man.
After numerous sightings and the pass of many months the “monster” began attacking any vessel that drew near. This alarmed all the world’s nations and the United States decided that they would send out the Abraham Lincoln to defeat the “monster,” and once again bring peace to all the seas.For the expedition the best men in the oceanic fields of study were invited to join the crew for the duration of the journey. Included in this group was Monsieur Aronnax of the Paris Museum and Ned Land, a world renowned harpooner. Monsieur Aronnax had written a two-volume work called Mysteries of the Ocean Depths. His work was especially well received by scientists, making him a specialist in that field. With him he brought his trusted servant of ten years, Conseil. Besides being Monsieurs loyal servant Conseil was an extremely bright classifier.
He took great joy in this and was sometimes a great help to his master when identifying different creatures. Ned had an excellent shot with his harpoon, one so good that his name was known by fisherman around the world. The frigate travels from one ocean to the next for months without a sign of the wretched creature. Then on the night of November 5 the Ned spotted a bright glow emanating from just below the waters surface.
Reports stated that at times the monster tended to glow, so the frigate took pursuit. For a day and two nights the Abraham Lincoln chased the monster through the waters of the northern Pacific. As the creature let the frigate draw near the Abraham Lincoln began firing its cannons at the monster but the would just bounce off what seemed to be a thick layer of armor. At last the monster began circling the frigate and suddenly began a rush at the side of the boat. The terrible crash tossed men to the decks and threw overboard Monsieur Aronnax and Ned Land. At the sight of his master plunging into the dark sea Conseil dove into the water to save the professor.
The three men tread water for many hours until at last Ned came upon a large, hard object floating in the water. All three assumed it was the dead monster but as they climbed up on Ned’s discovery they found that it was not a once living creature but a large vessel produced of metal. After sitting on top for a while regaining their energy the trio was unexpectedly apprehended and brought inside the submarine.
They were put into a dark room and after a good couple of hours a bright light came on and in walked two dark haired, strongly built men. Monsieur and Ned told their stories to the men in many different languages but to no avail. Both men appeared deaf and mute. Shortly after the visit from the men a large meal and fresh sets of clothing for each was brought in by another apparently deaf member of the crew.Monsieur, Ned, and Conseil were withheld in the room and cared for until one of the dark haired men from the first visit confronted them again two days later. He spoke to all three men in perfect French explaining to them their rights on board the submarine, how they would be accommodated, and who he was. He was Captain Nemo commander of the Nautilus. Ned and Conseil shared a room but the professor had his own quarters just before those of the Captain.
For the next week they never saw Captain Nemo but the men fascinated themselves with other pleasures onboard. Of the other rooms on board the ship the three captives were allowed admittance to the kitchen, the library, and a large lounge.The lounge was more of a museum, and by far the most amazing room aboard. It contents include works from some of the most famous artists, many beautiful pieces from the sea, and a large glass window on either side of the room that open to show the splendor of all the ocean’s creatures in their natural state. One could spend years reading all the works in library and it too was an astonishing site. There were all sorts of works on science, morality, and literature written in every known language.On the 16th of November Monsieur, Ned and Conseil were all invited by the Captain to join him on a hunting expedition in the underwater forests of Crespo Island. Monsieur and Conseil readily agreed but Ned turned down the offer.
For the journey everyone was equipped with an air gun that shot an electrocuting bullet, a dry suit, and two air tanks. Both Monsieur and Conseil were in complete awe throughout the duration of their walk. It took the group nearly 4 uneventful hours to reach the cliffs rising to land.
Here they stopped and began their return to the ship. On the journey back Captain shot a sea otter and his companion skillfully brought down a great albatross. They also encountered two dangerous dogfish but the Captain led the small group to safety in the seaweed before the dreadful fish noticed them. When they got back to the submarine the recounted their adventure to Ned who became very jealous that he hadn’t gone along.Two months past and during this time the three men saw little of Captain Nemo, but they kept themselves entertained with reading in the library and spending hours a day marveling at the seas beauty. The ships course carried them past New Zealand, New Caledonia and countless other islands with now problems until the submarine reach the Torres Strait.The vessel was cruising along the surface as normal until it jolted to a stop a keeled over to one side. Captain Nemo met with Monsieur and told him that the ship had run aground on an unseen reef but the high tide of the full moon would carry them off the reef within the week.
Since Monsieur, Ned, and Conseil hadn’t set foot on dry land since departing on the Abraham Lincoln, the trio took the opportunity to visit one of the nearby islands. While they adventured across the island they collected many different kinds of fruits, vegetables, and meats. After their two day expedition throughout the island they prepared the foods and started eating their feast. Towards the end of their meal some unfriendly natives attacked the men but they were able to quickly board their dinghy and return to the Nautilus without injury. As the Captain had promised the ship was of the reef the next day and continued on its voyage.After a few weeks of smooth sailing Captain Nemo called for Monsieur and told him that he, Ned, and Conseil would have to go to their rooms and stay there until they were informed they could once again freely roam the ship. Not wanting to cause and trouble the three men did as they were told.
They were all curious of what was happening and they were lulled to sleep contemplating what could be going on. Monsieur was rudely awoken in the early hours of the morning by the Captain, who told him that he must come to the crew’s quarters at once. When the Monsieur arrived there following the Captain he found a grotesque sight before him. Lying in one of the hammocks was one of the crew. He had a horrible wound on his head that had broken his skull and out of the wound oozed the man’s blood down upon his hair and face.
The Captain asked if Monsieur could in any way help the man but Monsieur grimly replied that the man’s life would be over within a day.The next day there was another expedition and Ned also went with the group. There were six other crew members that also came on this adventure. The group walked for a good two ours until they came to a small arch. The Captain walked underneath it and the rest followed suit. He led the way into a kind of underground room. Monsieur soon realized that it was actually an underwater graveyard.
Here they buried the man that had died and placed a small headstone with engravings in a foreign language. After the burial was done everyone returned to the sub, but never again was anyone to mention expedition.Bibliography: