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The Catamaran

This large, ice-busting catamaran did not just appear suddenly in the Sea of the Clouds. Like the lighthouse, it has an interesting history. Wilhelm Groh XII (one of the original owners of the lighthouse you’ll learn about in the book) had originally purchased it from a Polynesian boat maker who had – strangely enough - settled in Copenhagen. This boat maker had been trying unsuccessfully to convince local sailors that the twin-hulled structure of the catamaran (a Polynesian invention) could withstand severe winter conditions much better than the single hull design of European boat makers. Wilhelm took a chance with the boat maker and commissioned a polar catamaran, which ended up being a superb craft, very well suited to wintry conditions. Wilhelm had sailed it himself through the Mediterranean and the Black Sea; he then hired a caravan of camels to take the boat overland, across the Urals, and up to the Sea of Clouds. Much to his delight, he discovered that the catamaran handled beautifully in the fearsome winds. From that point forward, it became the favored ship for all who visited the lighthouse in the Sea of the Clouds, and many illustrations and daguerreotypes prominently feature the catamaran. The original name of the catamaran is lost in history; although the current servants of the Lighthouse claim the name was Polynesian and meant “Jumping Fish.”

Clink believes that the catamaran is his ship, and everyone is content to let him believe this. Although he considers this his most prized possession, he is destined to lose it. The history of the catamaran is not bound to any one master, and its future is as turbulent as its past.

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