KEYWORDS: ship, boat, deck, ho, engine

Sinking Boat Dream, the

David Berg

--MOOctober 6, 1975DFO No.354

1. THIS IS A DREAM I HAD YESTERDAY AFTERNOON when I lay down to take a nap. I oddly enough fell into a very sound sleep, a rather long nap for me, two hours! During the nap sometime, I presume at the end (that's the way those dreams usually come, just before I wake up so they'll be fresh in my mind when I wake up) I had this dream.

2. WE WERE ON A LARGE PRIVATE YACHT, about a 50-foot yacht travelling along a coast, not out in the open sea, because I remember land was very close, visible on our left as we travelled along. I had the feeling we were going East as though travelling along the southern Mediterranean coast of some islands.

3. IT WAS QUITE A LARGE FINE YACHT. Ho was upstairs on the bridge on the upper deck at the wheel wearing a captain's hat and seeming to enjoy very much being in command of this ship. He always liked to play a part ever since he was a little boy. One day he'd be a cowboy and want to dress up like a cowboy and other days he'd want to be something else. He'd start in the morning and he'd insist on wearing certain clothes to go with the part he was going to play that day.

4. THERE ON THE BRIDGE IT WAS ALMOST LIKE HO WAS A LITTLE BOY at heart again playing a part being the captain of the ship and enjoying his role as the skipper. I remember we were calling back and forth from a lower deck and he was smiling and laughing and seemed to enjoy it as we were cheering him on and everybody seemed to be in good spirits and everything seemed to be going well.

5. BUT I AND STEPHEN SEEMED TO BE EXPLORING THE SHIP going from deck to deck to see what it was like. We went below the main deck down into the hull into a small engine room to watch the big powerful inboard twin engines operate. I thought at the time it was terribly hot in there, and it seemed to me they should open the windows and doors to air the engines a little more and keep it a little cooler.

6. STEPHEN WAS FOLLOWING ME up out of the engine room onto the stern of the little vessel out of the rear entrance of the main deck cabin. I was planning to call up to Ho and tell him I thought the engine room need to be opened up to get more air. He was on the upper deck where the steering wheel was, the captain's bridge, with some other folks to whom he was talking. I think Mother was one of them and Maria was there and some others.

7. THE MAIN DECK HAD A SMALL CABIN on it like a little lounge‚ and the stairway that led down to the engine room. The galley was also down below the main deck along with the bunk room, and the stairway came up into this main deck cabin that was sort of a lounge and there was a door out toward the stern.

8. SO AS STEPHEN AND I CAME OUT OF THE REAR DOOR of the main cabin toward the stern of the ship we turned to our right and Stephen followed me onto the port side or left side of the ship and we started along the main deck which ran around the main deck cabin.

9. I WAS SUDDENLY SURPRISED THAT THERE WAS NO RAILING AROUND THE DECK and I said to Stephen, "This looks to me pretty risky and dangerous, not to have a railing around the deck! If the ship should suddenly tip or there was rough weather somebody could slip overboard. I wonder why it doesn't have a railing around the deck?"

10. IT WAS VERY PECULIAR and I was planning to tell Ho about that too. I didn't like that and that also he ought to air out the engine room. So we started along this main deck holding rather carefully and gingerly onto the wall of the cabin to make sure we didn't slip and slide overboard.

11. SUDDENLY THE SHIP MADE A THUDDING NOISE and lurched sharply to the right or starboard which caused the ship's left portside deck where Steve and I were to tip sharply downward toward the water, so that if Steve and I hadn't been holding on tight we could have fallen for sure and slipped right over the side because the deck tilted at such an angle and there was no railing!

12. I THOUGHT, "THIS IS PRETTY BAD! It's tipping too far to the left here and I better go tell Ho and see what's wrong!" It made such a sudden right swerve of the vessel travelling along at a pretty good clip that it could have thrown people into the water! After this sudden swerve the ship seemed to come to a standstill and righted itself.

13. WE GOT UP TOP onto the bridge where Captain Ho was with the other folks, and he said, "Something seems to be wrong with the steering mechanism or the engines—the drivescrews have stopped. He meant the propellers, one on each side of the keel. It was a pretty powerful ship to have twin screws.

14. HO SAID‚ "THE SCREW ON THE RIGHT SEEMS TO HAVE JAMMED OR FROZEN and is not operating. We'll have to go down and see what's the trouble." This was why the ship made such a sudden right swerve, like putting on a righthand brake! So while we waited up there for him he went down to see what was the trouble in the engine room.

15. I TOLD HIM THEN, "I THINK THE ENGINE ROOM NEED'S MORE AIR! It's too hot down there for the engine and the machinery! "So we stood up top chatting and waiting for his report until he came back with the sad news that apparently we'd burned out a bearing on the driveshaft of the right hand propeller and we were going to have to get towed to port to dry dock.

16. THE NEXT THING I REMEMBER THIS OTHER BOAT WAS TOWING US INTO PORT to this repair dock where the man went over the engine and the machinery to see what was wrong, and he finally said, "Well, that's what happened!—Your engine got too hot and the bearing on the propeller driveshaft burned out and froze." He showed us a piece of the bearing that had burned up and fallen out.

17. "NOT ONLY THAT," he said, "it's also causing that particular housing to leak very badly, the bearing housing on that side, and you stand a pretty serious danger of sinking if you don't get her into dry dock or beach it pretty quick!

18. I'M SORRY I don't have any available space here right now, but if you can make it to that beach over there that I've just cleared of some other old wrecks and big shipping crates and containers and stuff (he'd stacked them and these wrecks out in the water to make room on the beach), you can beach it over there till I have time to work on it‚ if you can make it over there.

19. "BUT YOU BETTER GET OVER THERE FAST BECAUSE SHE'S SINKING PRETTY FAST! "We then noticed that the ship had settled so far in the water already that the main deck was slightly awash! As the waves would come along or the ship would tilt the slightest little bit the water was already washing over the main deck!

20. SO WE ALL GOT UP ON THE BRIDGE with Ho and discussed it and decided to let the man pull us over to the beach and beach it so that he could work on it. We then all got on the other tugboat bridge up on the top with the captain, the man who was the repairman the dockyard man, and he was towing our ship along.

21. BUT HO FOR SOME REASON OR OTHER HAD INSISTED ON STAYING ON THE BRIDGE OF OUR OWN YACHT to steer it and guide it along as best he could. He didn't seem to want to leave his position there. But all of a sudden for some strange reason it seemed that our yacht as we looked at it close behind us seemed to be much much smaller!

22. IT SEEMED TO HAVE SHRUNK until it was only about half the original size, I'd say to about only 25 feet long, about the size of a good sized speed boat or motor boat and was sinking very rapidly, settling quite low in the water! I called to Ho that I thought he ought to get off our boat because it looked like it might not even make it to the shore!

23. ALL OF A SUDDEN I SAW THAT HO WAS A LITTLE BOY AGAIN dressed in his sailor's suit with his captain's hat on and acting like a little kid, waving confidently and acting like he was enjoying the ride and having lots of fun playing captain!

24. BUT THEN SUDDENLY THE BOAT BEGAN TO SINK very rapidly‚ and I looked and there was a rather amazed startled look on Ho's face! He was even a smaller boy now, maybe like five or six years old, and as the boat sank it seemed to dwindle at the same time he was getting smaller!

25. SUDDENLY THE BOAT TOOK A SUDDEN ROLL over to starboard and I yelled to Ho, "Jump, son! Jump!" But he either didn't hear me or for some reason he couldn't seem to get out of the cockpit, a sort of a pilot's cockpit he was sitting in which had gotten quite small now and the boat had become more and more like a very small boat, almost like he was steering a toy!

26. SUDDENLY AS WE WERE TOWING IT ALONG IT SANK beneath the clear water and rolled completely over to starboard until as I saw it roll over again to my amazement Ho was still sitting there underwater in his small cockpit like he seemed to be stuck and couldn't get out and he looked at us so helplessly and pleadingly!

27. I HAD THE IMPRESSION THAT HIS FOOT HAD GOTTEN CAUGHT in something and he wasn't able to free himself and he was now caught on the ship! He struggled to try to free his foot but couldn't and he looked so pitiful there under the water holding his breath and trying to get free!

28. ALL OF A SUDDEN HE WAS SO SMALL HE WAS LIKE A BABY as the ship rolled over and seemed to be settling toward the bottom on this same pile of junked boats that the man said were the old wrecks he had pulled off the beach to make room. It seemed to be rolling over toward this same pile of boats and looked like it was going to take another roll!

29. I THOUGHT, "MY GOD, if he doesn't get out of there quick he's going to get caught underneath that thing! He's got to get out of there quick! He can't hold his breath much longer!" By this time I was already standing on the railing ripping off my coat or sweater that I couldn't swim in very well just ready to dive in to rescue him, and all of a sudden at that moment, it seemed to my amazement that he looked like he'd shrunk clear down to just a tiny baby!

30. I WAS JUST DIVING IN when I guess the excitement of that moment‚ the fright of that moment, seeing him there trapped in that boat and me preparing to dive in to save him‚ so frightened me like a terrible nightmare I suddenly woke!

31. I'VE NEVER BEEN SO RELIEVED and thankful in all my life to find out that it was all a bad dream! It was a really frightening thing‚ and so pitiful! There was Ho shrunk down to the size of a tiny baby helplessly trapped in that boat slowly turning over again just as I was diving in to save him, when Boom! I woke up, just like that! I was really shook and shaken, that dream was so vivid and startling!

32. I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT THE DREAM SIGNIFIES or means except that I remember feeling that when we were first cruising along with Ho upstairs as captain that he seemed to be a little too confident. I felt that he was sort being a little too bold and over confident in his abilities as a sea captain when he was just sort of playing a role and really wasn't the captain of the ship, or at least he wasn't apparently the regular captain.

33. I JUST HAD THE FEELING IT WASN'T HIS REGULAR JOB and he didn't really know what he was doing when he was trying to do something which was above and beyond his ken of experience and I was a little concerned about him. That was one reason I was sort of prowling around the boat investigating the situation and making sure everything was all right and had already discovered the engine room was too hot, which was apparently what caused the bearing to burn out and freeze.

34. IN CASE SOME OF YOU don't know what we mean when we talk about a bearing burning out and then freezing that means when it burns out sometimes I've known them to get so hot they actually got charred!—And when we say it froze‚ that means it got stuck or froze in one single position and wouldn't budge. In other words, that right driveshaft then couldn't move to drive the right screw of the ship and in it's freezing it had torn up the housing which carried it through the hull of the boat and this caused the boat to leak badly. Apparently it leaked worse and worse as it was towed to shore and didn't make it.

35. SO IT COULD BE A WARNING TO HO OR ANY OF US: Don't be too over confident about some of your projects for which you may not have sufficient experience and knowledge and need better preparation and more thorough investigation, a little better knowledge of what you're doing.

36. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT MEANT that the regular repairman didn't have room in his usual dockyard to repair the boat, it was too crowded, so it had to be beached instead in a new area, unless that means that the solution of the problem couldn't be handled in the usual way that other problems had been handled by regular means, but that this needed some kind of emergency solution which we weren't able to find soon enough, so that it didn't make it ashore.

37. THE DELAY IN FINDING THE SOLUTION and solving the problem had caused it to sink so rapidly that it didn't make it, and Ho was trapped in the wreck sunk below the water. The fact that there was no railing on the main deck seemed to me like there was a lack of preparation of the boat—it wasn't really ready to sail.

38. THE FACT THAT THE ENGINE ROOM WAS ALL SHUT UP and not really being aired like it should, showed lack of experience in navigating such a vessel so that the engine would overheat and burn out a bearing causing it to spring a leak and sink.

39. JUST WHAT IT SIGNIFIES THAT IT SHRANK like it did into such a small boat as it sank I don't quite understand. It was almost as though through the crystal clear water as we looked at it sinking it either wasn't as big a boat as we thought it was or it actually had shrunk, like the job was not as big as it used to be.

40. YET POOR HO WAS CAUGHT IN IT struggling to free himself, but it was going to take a real emergency dive by me personally to rescue him! Why at the last moment just as I saw his pitiful little face he'd dwindled to a tiny baby I don't know unless it was to touch my heart to remind me what Ho was like when he was very small and that again he needed my help like a small baby.

41. THEREFORE I HAD TO LEAP QUICKLY TO HIS RESCUE and make a very dangerous dive to try to free him from this sinking boat before it rolled over again to trap him or crush him underneath when it hit bottom before we rescued him. It certainly frightened me and I was terribly concerned and it really shook me up because as I started to dive in I awoke just before I hit the water!

42. HIS TURNING INTO A BABY must've meant I was supposed to have pity on him like a little child as again he'd shrunk to very small personal capabilities because of the size of this problem that he just wasn't able to cope with himself.

43. I WAS THEREFORE GOING TO HAVE TO PERSONALLY FREE HIM and rescue him immediately before he was trapped or crushed beneath the boat under the water‚ totally sunk and immersed in the sea of this problem and this sunken vessel.

44. THIS PROJECT OR JOB or whatever it is he's involved in is what this boat could represent‚ I don't know. I haven't heard from him for some time, but perhaps there'll be some news in the mail regarding what's happening. So may the Lord bless and help him wherever he is.

45. LAST I HEARD HE WAS IN A COUNTRY I had warned him against going into where I didn't think whites would be very popular and told him to send some black brothers instead. I asked him to investigate some other countries for a possible Arab headquarters or even return to London which has tremendously good communications with all other parts of the world and run his office there. It would be primarily a communications center and mailing center for lit to reach the Arab world, and where there are many Arabs and many many Arab embassies and consulates, etc., which he could use as contacts as he used to.

46. NOW IS THE TIME for it with more Arab lit and letters translated. We were shocked when we got to [an Arabic country] and found only three of the Letters had been translated into Arabic! It's no wonder we're not reaching the Arabs! I told him to go home and get them translated and start a mailing operation to mail them into the Arab countries to the contacts we already have to let the Letters do the labours!

47. SO I DON'T KNOW what's going on right now, and I'm very much concerned about him and we're going to have to pray very desperately for him.

48. I HOPE YOU'RE NOT RIDING SOME SINKING SHIP in which you could get trapped and have to be personally rescued because of your not following my advice and going some place else other than I've suggested.

49. WE MUST SET UP AN OFFICE TO REACH THE ARAB WORLD BY MAIL, because it's almost impossible to reach them any other way personally because of the prohibitions of their laws on proselytising or propagandising and distribution of literature, any kind of literature than that of Islam, and some of our young folks have already been in prison in Arab lands for so doing.

50. TO THE BLACK COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD WE SHOULD SEND BLACKS. Some of you might take a little survey trip with some of our Black boys to see some of these areas that you might find out how best to reach them. But for permanent workers, our Black brethren could do best.

51. BUT FOLLOW UP RIGHT NOW THESE HOT LEADS AND HOT CONTACTS IN THE ARAB WORLD while we still have them and while they're still fresh when we can still follow them up right now when they need it. It's far better to take care of your children that you have already, that are already born‚ and to teach and train them and to give them the Letters and get them well grown and taught and established before you start going other places bearing other babies.

52. I HOPE YOU HAVEN'T GOTTEN ONTO SOME PROJECT THAT'S GOING TO TURN OUT TO BE A SINKING SHIP because of your lack of obedience and knowledge and experience in that area. I was very apprehensive on that ship all the time, like it wasn't properly built‚ it wasn't properly crewed and it wasn't being managed properly and you were considerably over-confident about your abilities to operate it.

53. SO I DO TRUST YOU WILL ALL PRAY very seriously about whatever you have in mind or whatever project you're engaged in, that it doesn't turn out to be a sinking ship that will dwindle to almost nothing and in which you yourself will dwindle and be trapped and in need of personal emergency rescue by us personally.

54. SO THAT'S THE STORY OF THE SINKING SHIP! God bless you and may the Lord have His way and help us to learn to obey. The most important thing any crew has to do is to learn to obey the ship master. Even the captain has to learn to obey the ship master, or the owners of the ship, those who are really in charge. On this boat you were sort of getting out of hand and somewhat running things your own way.

55. I NEVER GET THESE DREAMS WITHOUT A GOOD REASON, and we may find out soon that something has happened that proves that this dream is a fitting warning to you not to get involved in such circumstances that may have a potentially very tragic or difficult or near-tragic ending!

56. SO FOLKS, LET'S TRY TO OBEY AND LEARN TO FOLLOW LEADERSHIP and follow suggestions, learn to respect authority and not get ourselves involved in something that's too big for us that we can't handle without help, and especially out of God's will, something that's our own idea and not the Lord's, and even against advice that has been given. Amen?

57. SO GOD HELP US TO AVOID TRYING TO OPERATE ANY SINKING SHIPS or any ships that are bigger than we can handle‚ that we might cause to sink because of our inexperience and not asking for assistance or more help or a crew that knows what they're doing-or even possibly we shouldn't be on that ship at all!

58. WE WERE IN IT WITH YOU, but I was like a guest who was just going over the boat to kind of look it over, invited to go along, but I didn't seem to be having much authority. Maybe I should have. Maybe I should have seen that you were going beyond your capabilities. I did have that feeling and I did and was trying to warn you about all these things, about the engine room and the railing‚ etc., but you didn't seem to be paying much attention.

59. SO THAT'S A VERY SERIOUS WARNING as far as I'm concerned and it must have some meaning‚ and I'm sure we'll know before long. I hope you'll take it to heart and avoid any such possible projects that might end in disaster, such as the sinking ship.

60. GOD BLESS AND KEEP US ALL AND HELP US TO AVOID SINKING SHIPS that we don't know how to run or that are running too fast or too hot or unsafely out of God's will! In Jesus' name—Amen?