Movie inspiration: Finding Neverland, directed by Marc Foster
Revision: Never Finding Land
In the year 1992 a group of adventurers sets sail from Spain in three tiny ships named the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, seeking to replicate the voyage of discovery completed five hundred years earlier by Christopher Columbus.
The international crew, carefully chosen for skills as well as compatibility, encounters few problems as the ships slowly sail across the Atlantic toward the Bahamas. A few storms buffet the ships, but they prove well capable of handling rough weather.
The captain, Dirk Lee of Britain, and the first mate, Pierre Lateef of France, had helped to organize the voyage and became fast friends. Their friendship is never tested until the voyage is into its sixth week, several days after when land should have been sighted by the captain’s calculations. After all, Columbus made the trip in five weeks.
Early in the seventh week, Pierre and other crew members are seriously doubting the navigational skills of their captain. Late in the eighth week, Pierre leads a full scale mutiny and Dirk is confined to quarters.
Early in the ninth week, the Spanish bosun, Carlos Alvarez, deposes Pierre as captain. The crew is ready to mutiny with whoever gives the slightest indication of being able to find land. Rations are exhausted and rainwater is the only available liquid. The fishing is good, but every man, including Dirk, is getting more than weary of seafood.
As Dirk and Pierre sit and ponder the predicament, Carlos suddenly bursts into the room.
“Do either of you know about a television show called the Twilight Zone?”
Dirk nods in the affirmative.
“Well,” says Carlos, “some of the crew are saying we’re in an actual Twilight Zone. How do we get out of it? How did they do it on television?”
Dirk reflects on the questions briefly.
“If we’re in the Twilight Zone of endless seas, there may be no escape.”
But just then comes the cry: “Land ho!”
All the men rush up to the deck to get a glimpse of the treasured sight. And it’s true. Land looms in the distance, beckoning the adventurers. But when the ships get near to land, the men are confused again. They had expected to see signs of civilization, if they had indeed arrived in the Bahamas. The only thing in view besides the shore, however, is vegetation.
Carlos, Dirk and Pierre are selected for the landing party and as they reach shore a group of dark skinned people comes to greet them. They’re friendly, but speak an unintelligible language.
“Gentleman,” says Pierre. “I suspect we came out of the Twilight Zone of endless seas and into the Twilight Zone of an unspoiled culture and land in the Americas. Perhaps we have a chance to do a better job with it than our ancestors. Are we up to the task?”
Carlos answers with a question of his own: “I wonder if these people can lead us to gold?”
“There has to be gold here somewhere.”