When Waves Turn Minutes to Hours

His shoulders hit the earth
With a soft thump
Curls sweep across his eyes

“I’m checking down. Will you stay by me?”

Frenzied fight, finally still
At 535 feet
The sea cradles her prize

“Fitzgerald, we are about 10 miles behind you.”

Crushing, burning his lungs
Pain searing, licking
As a million barbed tongues

The Fitzgerald kept disappearing from radar.

Seas to 35 feet, 100-knot gusts
Captain waging desperate war
On the storm’s ferocious lust

“Fitzgerald, how are you making out?”

“We are holding our own, going along like an old shoe.”

Gifting his crew a few minutes’ peace
Was all their captain could do

Rogue waves thrashing
A thunderous groan

The mighty ship snapping
The crew strewn like stones

A girl shaken from her dream
Recognizing him, somehow
His name she couldn’t have known

Gasping for air, she yearned
And yet, Who is this boy?
Years promised to their home

“It is fairly certain that the Fitzgerald went down.”

Vanishing, this boy
A few short miles from the street
From the safe harbor
Of the girl he wasn’t to meet

“We’re talking now a matter of life and death and looking for survivors that might be in life rafts or in the water.”

Green eyes shimmering
Eternal fingers
Stroking his soft hair
Silently, he sleeps
Her mouth enveloping
Breathing desire
Through his willing lips

Hers. Alone.


My fictitious story.
Setting is the real event of the disappearance of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.
Excerpted radio transmissions in italics.
The Edmund Fitzgerald went down November 10, 1975.
No distress signals were sent before she sank.
The crew of 29 were lost, and no bodies were recovered.
The exact cause of the sinking remains disputed.


Video posted to youtube by user nh6central

“The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald,” by Gordon Lightfoot.
Purchase album or song here.



For more information about the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, see:



Copyright Disclaimer:
Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as comment, criticism, scholarship, teaching, research and news reporting. Fair use is a use permitted.
“Fair Use” guidelines: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

21 thoughts on “When Waves Turn Minutes to Hours

    1. Thanks very much. A tragic story that I learned about from Gordon Lightfoot’s song. Yes, it’s very good that Detroit has artifacts that people are able to view and appreciate. I understand that this shipwreck resulted in changes to safety procedures.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, J! The setting is indeed tragic and fascinating, and continues to capture imaginations. The ages of the crew ranged from 63 (the captain) to 20 (a watchman). I thought I was going to write about the captain, who was near retirement. As I was writing, the story developed around a boy instead.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. J.

        It’s great when that development happens, huh?

        I was writing some things the other day that I was fairly certain about, but when I put pen to paper and hummed and whistled, it changed… an evolution just occurring very naturally and sub-consciously.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. J.

            It does, yeah. I find that I also draft something, but will change it if I’m singing… completely different. With no real intention of changing it, but it just feels natural to follow that flow…

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I listened to the radio parts a few times when I came across them. I had planned to include some of Gordon Lightfoot’s lyrics, but changed my mind as the story unfolded.
      Thank you for pointing out ‘craddles’! How did I not see that? Why don’t spell check and auto correct work when you need them? Questions that torment me today. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This was so interesting and romantic. I like the true story and the weaving of the romance which might have been, Danica. 💕 🚢
    I was a sophomore in college and I have been to the farthest north lighthouse and shipwreck museum you have a link to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Robin. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. That means a lot to me.
      That lighthouse and museum must have been intriguing! I haven’t visited them in person, but maybe will one day.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s