What happens when your sailboat falls off the earth?


Emma Sullivan , Editor-in-Chief

If the winds were howling, salty spray pelting my face, and the frightening waves looked like boulders, dark and grey, I would probably be laughing on my 13th century voyage. As a modern sailor, I love when the sky and sea are nearly the same shade of grey and rain thrashes down so hard you can’t tell if you are soaked with salt or freshwater. I love straining to keep the boat from catapulting you over the rail. I love waging a war on the sea because there is something about an angry ocean that’s so inspiring and amazing and humbling. I know I can never beat the sea but I feel that every rainy day I get one step closer to my fruitless goal. It’s all about the journey, right?

However, if I fell right off the edge of the earth technically I would win! I would have conquered the ocean! Falling from Earth, I would be elated and suspended in the amazement at my impossible success. Then, I would ponder how I would finally be able to relate to the Black Pearl when it fell off the edge of the earth on its quest for Jack Sparrow. And then, I would recall the entertaining scene in the movie when a crew member, purple with cold, accidentally snaps off his toe with a unique crunching sound and I would wonder if that was actually possible (and yes, I would be able to think all these thoughts, clinging to the ship’s wooden deck as it fell through the atmosphere which I imagine to be ovular, because when you are not connected to the ground, time fluctuates. Like when you are launched off a ski jump, time slows and you feel like you’re in a slow mo video with epic music in the background.)

Now, while falling off the edge of the earth is often considered impossible, falling out of the earth’s atmosphere would lead to certain death. However, if you fall off a table, you don’t fall out of the atmosphere. So, instead of dying miserable deaths in the atmosphere, that falling wooden ship would shoot towards the edge of the atmosphere before being pulled by gravity in a loop towards the flat, table-like Earth’s underneath all amidst the dulcet tones of the crew members’ and my own screeches. Landing on the Earth’s underbelly, our rickety 13th century boat splushes into beautifully calm, glittering, turquoise waters. Dolphins and a bouquet of fish leap from the water. Not a cloud in the sky, we land in the alternate of the reality above. Confused, we gather as a crew and try to figure out what needs fixing, if anyone needs medical attention, and WHAT JUST HAPPENED!

Looking out from the crow’s nest, a crew member shouts down, “I see a ship! I see a ship!” Over we make our way, sails puffed out by the comforting winds, waving our hands, trying to make contact to no avail. Even once we lock bulwarks, our ship rocking from the impact, the other ship’s crew take no notice. Some crew members scrub the wooden deck with frothing suds. Others bustle down the rickety ladder to the musky darkness below decks. The captain lazes at the helm, harsh steering unnecessary with the gentle breeze. Sunlight bronzes their skin and glints off their unstressed faces. We wave and even mount the neighboring ship’s decks, standing amongst the coils of rope, shouting. Then, it dawns on us, those crew members are our inverses. The x to our 1/x. What we will learn from watching them!