“Bia! Thank God you found us!” a woman’s voice answered. Bia ran to their mother and hugged her tightly, then turned and hugged her father, who had entered the cabin’s living area from the forward sleeping quarters.
“What happened?” Javier asked as he entered the boat’s cabin a few minutes later.
“We’ve been stuck here for about six days,” their father replied. “A thunderstorm hit. We lost our main parachute anchor and were tossed way off course. Then lightning struck our transmission tower and our AIS was knocked out.”
“How did you find us?” their mother asked. “We have no idea where we are and we couldn’t communicate without our electronics. We have been floating around here ever since, hoping a ship would pass by.”
“You won’t believe…” Bia started, but Javier interrupted her.
“Our luck,” he said, finishing her sentence. Bia glanced over at Javier and he narrowed his eyes and slightly shook his head. She understood. He didn’t want to tell his parents how they found the Espírito.
The older Barqueiros shared more details of their experience with Bia and Javier. They had headed toward Pico Island after the thunderstorm had passed. But when they reached this location, their hydro-powered generator and other electronic equipment suddenly stopped working, which left them without engines and navigation. They all agreed it was a miracle that Bia and Javier were able to locate their boat, considering its position was so far from the original course.
After about an hour, Javier rose to leave. “It’s been a long day for us,” he said. “Let’s plan to tow the Espírito to Pico Island early tomorrow morning. Bia and I can sleep on the cabin cruiser tonight.”
As Bia and Javier climbed aboard their own boat, Bia turned to face Javier. “Why didn’t you want to tell them what we saw?” she asked.
“I don’t think they would believe us,” he replied. “I don’t even believe it.”
Bia understood. She had expected to find the Espírito’s powerful search beacon lodged in silt on the sea floor and shining up into the water above it—or worse, the Espírito itself. What lay before them, though, still left her stunned and fearful. Bia had never seen anything like it before. It was a large, round underwater ship. Javier had used his LIDAR scanner to quickly map its structure, which was about 100 feet tall and 400 feet in diameter. The craft was shaped like a short round pan with fins attached at the center point of the port and starboard sides that extended beyond the ship’s stern. The upper hull, pristine and remarkably free of rusticles and marine parasites, looked as though it was constructed of five stacked concentric metallic circles, with each ascending circular layer decreasing in diameter. The entire structure was bathed in the eerie blue glow, which emanated from an array of small orbs that appeared to be recessed into the hull’s top circle. Many of the orbs were brightly lit to form a message: 38° 4′ 40.404” N, 27° 58′ 22.8288” W.
As soon as Bia saw it, she instinctively sensed the message was for her and Javier. She knew Javier had immediately recognized its significance because he repeated it through their voice messaging system so it would be recorded in the log. But it took her a few moments to realize the numbers and figures represented GPS coordinates in degrees, minutes, and seconds. She was absolutely certain the mysterious ship was communicating the location of their parents’ sailboat because that thought was continuously being pushed into her mind.
The siblings had rushed back to their cabin cruiser and set a course to those coordinates. But they didn’t talk about what they had seen. It was a conversation they both had avoided.
Now Bia was ready to discuss it.
“Whoever was in that ship, they contacted me, Javier. I’m sure of it,” she said uneasily, cautiously bringing up the strange underwater craft as they headed down into their boat’s sleeping quarters. She continued hesitantly, expecting him to scoff at her admission. “I felt compelled to go to that light, and the closer we got, the stronger I felt it. Near the end, I’ll swear they were telepathically communicating to me over and over that those were the coordinates for the Espírito.”
Javier didn’t reply as he pulled back the blankets on his bunk.
“What do you think it was, Javier?” she continued. She needed to talk about it, to assure herself that what she felt was, in fact, real.
Javier sat down; his expression thoughtful as his gaze focused on the cabin’s small galley just beyond the doorway.
“I don’t think we’ll ever know, pequenino,” he finally answered. “It seemed they were expecting us and knew what we were looking for. For that, I am very grateful.”
“Do you want to go back? Find out?”
Javier was silent for a moment, then turned to Bia and smiled. “They might expect us to visit again, yeah?”
“Yeah,” she replied, then climbed into her bunk to get some rest. She expected the next day would be a long one.
Check out “Lost at Sea.” Bia and Javier search for their parents in the Atlantic Ocean. Will they find their parents? Or encounter something totally unexpected.Tweet
Written by Allorianna Matsourani