The Blue Shark Lore
It was a dark and stormy night… and Commander Justin McTight, the Captain of the Blue Shark wrestled to maintain his course in the thrashing whitecaps.
The horizon had vanished. And he couldn’t make out a spec of land—as if a hand from above had punched into the deep, blending the land and sea together in one swirly, boiling pot.
“Arrgh!” he shouted into the wind that threatened to turn his ship around. The Blue Shark would surely be torn to splinters with the battering in the open ocean. The ship was a legend among sea travelers—mastered by a long line of sea captains before him, and he wasn’t about to give her up in a hand-over-fist battle with the sea tonight. Not this night. Not any night.
Suddenly a glimmer of hope broke through the fog of rain and pounding surf. Yes! A flicker of light in the distance. And right away, he knew where he was! ‘Twas the lights of the Lumina Pavilion—bright and clear as could be.
“Yes!” he shouted again. A crack of lightning broke through the clouds off shore, and a rumble of thunder quickly followed. Commander McTight altered his course toward land, as one menacing wave after another threatened to break apart the Blue Shark.
The lights of the Lumina Pavilion grew brighter and brighter still, illuminating a path directly to shore. With a few more angry assaults, the ship surged toward the shoreline of Wrightsville Beach. He had safely reached the inner harbor. The seas were calmer here. The Captain scurried to drop the anchor and let down the dinghy as the Blue Shark sloshed about in the surf. Now, he could see the lights upon the sand—bright as noon on a summer’s day. And the music wafted from inside. He could see dancers through the window, floating about as if on waves of their own, oblivious to the storm outside.
With every step, the sand gave way beneath his tired feet. And the merriment of the spirited music carried him in, surrounding him at the door along with the ambience of laughter and joyful chatter. Commander McTight wove in and out through the dancers, bowing to each lady as he passed by—barely noticing their awkward stares and frightful gazes. He found a seat at the bar, and gave his sea legs a rest.
The bartended eyed him over—his hair disheveled from the storm, his face dirtied from weeks at sea, his clothing slightly worn, tattered and filthy from brute hard work. “What can I get you?” he asked the Captain.
“I’ll have a shot of your best vodka.”
The bartender eyed McTight, poured the shot, and slid it his way. With one swig, the Captain downed the shot. And in the blink of an eye, weeks of work, months of wear, and years of age melted away with a single mouthful of the spirit. The rain stopped beating against the panes, and suddenly he found himself clean shaven, his hair slicked back, and dressed in a bow tie and coattails—the Blue Shark merely a memory of his past.
“What’s this stuff called?” asked McTight, at once befuddled and amazed.