This is the story of a British merchant ship and its fateful voyage to the Caribbean Island of Nevis.
Andrew Oglethorpe had been a sailor for the last ten years and was ready to retire. He would live out the remainder of his life as a fisherman in the British Indies. On June 15, 1607, the day before his last voyage, Oglethorpe set out for a Portsmouth pub and drank to celebrate his last voyage. After several hours of drinking Oglethorpe staggered out of the bar and by force of habit, towards the docks a couple of hours before dawn. From the shadows, a prostitute called out to him. Oglethorpe was facing three months at sea with no female companionship, he eagerly followed her into the alley. A seasoned sailor had ignored the olde seafarer’s maxim; harlot fire hire – might be a vampire.
As soon as the prostitute found a private corner she turned and sank her fangs into his neck. Oglethorpe in shock, refused to believe that it had happened and boarded the ship shortly after. By nightfall the next evening Oglethorpe was in sick bay with chills and fever. His wounds were not obvious, the ship surgeon likely confused his symptoms with some other common illness of the day and attempted to treat him. Oglethorpe responded to nothing that the surgeon tried and eventually slipped into a vampiric coma. The next day he had been prepared for his burial at sea, Oglethorpe awoke just as he was being moved from sick bay.
The fate of the crew would have never been known had the ships’ Captain. Captain Wheeler was a meticulous with his journal keeping.
August 24th: For the past three days we have been sailing through a storm, which has prevented us from continuing a sweep of the ship designed to root out any remaining vampires. Thus far we have captured and thrown over three crew members who were showing symptoms of the infection.
September 14th: The vampires have barricaded themselves in the hold, despite my entreaties, none of my crew dares to go down there and dispatch them. Our nerves are frayed, as non of us have slept for two weeks. Last night, a man leaped off of the boat rather than face another night of this torment.
September 16th: They are at my door now. There is no hope. I can only pray that God dash this accursed ship against the rocks, lest it deliver its’ hellish cargo upon some innocent shores.
God would not be so merciful, on the night of September 20th the Cormorant cruised into the harbor of the small Caribbean island of Nevis with Captain Wheeler, now a vampire, at the helm.
From this one ship, the vampire virus would spread rapidly across the Caribbean and into the new world.