A Three Hour Tour

By George Miller

Captain Lee Crane had just returned from a long rough night on shore leave. He had been conned into drinking a little too much in the small tavern. He had come out on the winning end of the bar room brawl. Although he had felt like the loser. Seeing by his watch that it was almost 0400 hours and the way he looked, he didnít want to explain the nights activities to the Seaview security officers. So, as he had done before, he got past security patrols unnoticed and made it to his cabin and after locking the door, he fell onto his bunk into a deep restless sleep.

In the observation nose of the Seaview, Nelson was waiting to greet the seven passengers that were the reason for this voyage. Kowalski had brought them in to meet Admiral Nelson. He was concerned about the little guy in the cap, but most of his interest was in the two fine looking ladies in the group.

"Thank you, Kowalski..." Nelson said. "Tell Mr. Morton to be ready to cast off in fifteen minutes."

"But, Sir," Kowalski added. "The Skipper has not reported back from shore leave."

"Then heíll miss this voyage... We canít wait for whenever heís ready to report. Anyway, we have a skipper on board" Nelson said while pointing to one of the visitors.

Kowalski took another look at the man who called himself Skipper and said to the Admiral "Aye, Sir." On his way out he muttered to himself, "Youíre the Admiral."

"What was that, Kowalski?" the Admiral demanded.

"I said, 'Yes, Sir. Admiral'" Ski replied. Man, he thought, that was close!

Nelson offered seats to his visitors and began discussing the reasons for this voyage. "So Skipper, you feel that the Seaview can find out what happened to your ship. You still claim it was more than just a storm?"

"Yes, sir. Thatís right. I could have handled most any storm with the assistance of my first mate, and my little buddy." He looked across the room to his 'little buddy' and yelled, "Gilligan... put that model of the Seaview down!!!"

Gilligan was startled and the model flew from his hands. Luckily the professor was quick enough to catch the falling sub and place it back on the display stand.

"Sorry..." he said while going toward the large windows.

"So, Skipper," the Admiral continued, "Just what do you think happened to your ship?"

"Well, Admiral, you may find this kind of hard to believe, but I still say we didnít hit that island... the island hit us."

The Skipper saw the strange expression on the Admiralís face. "No, really, that island was not on any charts. It just rose from the sea, right under the SS Minnow."

"Well, weíll do everything we can to investigate youíre claim." Nelson assured them. He called on the intercom for Patterson and Sharkey to report to him.

Nelson ordered Patterson to escort Mr. And Mrs. Howell to the Admiralís quarters while Sharkey would show Ginger and Maryanne to Mr. Mortonís quarters for the duration of the voyage.

Passing through the control room, Nelson said to the professor, "Iím sure you would like to take a look at my laboratory, am I right?"

"Iíd be delighted... I thought youíd never ask."

Nelson turned to the Skipper, "Since Captain Crane chose not to be with us for this trip... Skipper... you have the conn..."

"Aye, Aye Sir!!! You can count on me!"

Nelson and the professor made their way to the lab while the Skipper and Gilligan had a look around the control room. Gilligan was amazed at all the controls and panels.

"Hey, Skipper... Look at this..." Gilligan called out pointing to the helmsmen. "It takes two men to steer this boat, Just like the Minnow. Oh, please Skipper, can I drive the boat, huh, can I, can I!!"

"Well, I guess it would be OK. After all I am the Skipper, and you are my first mate" The Skipper ordered the two helmsmen from their posts and he and Gilligan took their place.

Gilligan began to get the feel of the controls and called to the engine room, "Full Speed Ahead..."

The engine room crew, only following orders pushed the engines to full speed.

While they were going at top speed, Gilligan spotted something to his side that looked very interesting. He leaned over to reach it and pulled the controls hard to the left. The Seaview being turned at that speed forced the sub to almost roll. Then there was a terrible grinding sound and the Seaview lurched from side to side and came to a grinding halt, throwing most of the crewmen to the deck.

"Gilligan!!! What have you done now?" Yelled the Skipper.

"Oh Oh... I think Iíve done it again..."

"How are we going to explain beaching the Seaview to the Admiral?"

The rocking of the Seaview threw Captain Crane from his bunk to the floor. He started to get up when he heard the Admiral telling him to stay put until the doc could get here.

"What... What happened? How could you put that man in charge after he lost his own ship?" Lee asked.

"Put who in charge? Lee, what are you talking about?" Nelson asked.

Lee thought for a minute and decided to find out more information. "Never mind that Admiral, but where are we now, and how did I get here?"

"Weíve never left the dock, the security guards found you last night outside the main gate where youíd fallen. They bought you to your cabin and came for me to help you."

Lee began to regain a sense of reality once again.

"Come on Lee, docís not coming, so letís get you to sick bay, little buddy."

Lee just froze and stared... No... couldnít be....

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