Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Heart Sails With You


In March 2011, I received this interesting narrative. The writer wanted to remain completely anonymous and feared that her and her husband may have started something that they cannot finish:

Hello – my husband and I had an experience that we just cannot explain. An associate at work suggested I write you so that you (or your readers) may be able to help us comprehend what has happened and if we are in any peril.

Last Autumn, my husband and I took a 7-day cruise vacation that left from Port Canaveral, Florida with ports of call in the eastern Caribbean. We really needed a break because of work stress and the constant activity endured by us helping to plan our daughter’s wedding. The cruise was going along nicely and as anticipated.

The final port of call was in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. I was looking forward to this destination since my sister had visited there previously. We has arranged for a catamaran sail as part of our day-long stop at port. After walking around the town for a few hours we reached the tour company that provided the catamaran ride to a small island a few miles from Philipsburg. It was a delightful excursion to and from the island with food and drink as well as pleasant interaction with the crew. But there was one aspect of this small trip that needs to be emphasized.

My husband and I took a walk on the beach of the small island (I forget the name of the island) and, after a while, decided to take a breather on a small outcrop of rocks. We sat and talked about dinner that evening and hoped we’d be able to be seated at a nice local restaurant since we had not made reservations. As we talked, my husband noticed something between several of the rocks. He reach down a pulled up a large ring that looked very old and seemed to be made of gold. We examined it and noticed that the design on the face was that of a bird and what looked like a lightning bolt. There was an inscription inside the band that read ‘Mon coeur voiles avec vous - Manon – 1723’ (Translates: My heart sails with you – Manon – 1723). I can speak French so I was able to translate the inscription.

My husband, who is a high school history teacher, speculated that it may have belonged to a French privateer at one time. He said that he’d wait and have it looked at when we returned home to Chicago. He placed it in his pocket and we continued with our day. We spent the late evening in our cabin relaxing on our cabin balcony and conversing about our trip.

The next morning, there was a knock on our cabin door. I looked at the clock - it was 7:15 am. My husband got up and answered the door. He was talking with our cabin steward whose voice I recognized. We invited him inside – he was quite distressed. He explained that the couple in the cabin beside ours had a terrible experience the previous evening and that they insisted we were responsible. We were very surprised by this information because we had never met this couple. The cabin steward explained that the couple did not want to cause trouble but they insisted that they talk to us. We agreed to meet them.

About an hour later, after we showered and had some breakfast, we walked next door to the couples’ cabin – the cabin steward accompanied us. A young woman answered the door, introduced herself to us and asked that we sit down. She was very nervous. I asked if anyone else would be talking with us. She explained that her companion was very wary of us and wanted to avoid our presence. My husband and I looked at each other in amazement. What had we done to incite fear in this couple?

A few seconds later, my husband motioned for me to look at the dresser. I turned and looked. The ring we had found the previous day was on the dresser. My husband turned to the young woman and asked “does that ring belong to you?” She started to cry, then she shouted “take it back and leave!” My husband stood up and said ‘wait one second’ as he turned towards the door and walked out. I knew where he was going – he was looking for the ring in our cabin. I looked at the young woman and said “look, what is going on here?” She did not answer.

The cabin steward suspected what was happening and said "if this is a theft, I need to report it.” I asked him to wait until my husband returned. Soon after, my husband walked backed into the cabin and said “it’s gone.” The young woman looked up and said, “yeah, we took it last night.” After assuring her that we would not report or prosecute the theft, she calmed down and explained what happened.

The young woman stated that the previous evening her and her companion were walking back to their cabin when then noticed my husband and I were getting ready to enter our cabin. My husband had reached into his pocket to retrieve the keycard and when he did, the ring somehow came out and fell to the floor. Neither one of us had noticed it but the couple both saw it hit the floor and bounce over to the opposite wall. After we had entered our cabin the couple picked up the ring and decided that it was now theirs.

As she continued to describe what had happened, she become more emotional as tears rolled down her face. She explained that after they had gone to sleep, the cabin lit up as bright as the morning sun – so bright that it woke both of them. Then they noticed deep horrific growling sounds coming from across the cabin near the sofa. As they watched, a woman in a billowy pink dress began to manifest before them. They were totally terrified and unable to speak or move. The apparition moved towards them and hovered above the bed. As its bright yellow eyes gazed upon them a voice rang out ‘Donner mon Seigneur son anneau!’ and again ‘Donner mon Seigneur son anneau !’ (Translated: Give my Lord his ring). The spectre continued to speak the same words until it finally faded away and the room turned dark.

“Now, take the ring and leave. I beg you not to report this.” I looked at the cabin steward. He was in shock - holding a rosary and praying under his breath. My husband said “Let’s go.” He grabbed the ring and we walked back to our cabin.

We talked about the ring and what we would do with it. We contemplated throwing it into the ocean. Then we wondered if there was historical value and if to donate it to a museum or university. That was five months ago and we still possess the ring. My husband said that he would like to have it researched but has yet done nothing. The ring is in a safety deposit box and it will remain there – just in case some of the young woman’s story was true.

NOTE: I have not been able to contact the writer since receiving a follow-up correspondence. Lon

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