The Spirit of the Sea


She was a thing of beauty, taller and more slender than Marion had supposed. The Spirit of the Sea was just what Marion Ellis had been looking for. The only problem was that she was definitely not for sale.

The Spirit of the Sea was a two-masted relic from the past and as she lay at the dockside was over 150 feet long. Her owner-captain was Davy Mann, by all accounts a difficult cuss at the best of times.

“Hello aboard.” Marion called.

A man appeared at the hatchway rubbing his hands with a dirty he cloth. He was sporting mutton-chop whiskers and a blue woollen hat.

“Are you Captain Mann?” Marion asked the white haired man, who was far older than she was expecting.

“Me? No my love. I am Corker, the sailing master and first mate.” The man chuckled in a good-natured way. “Captain’s below.”

With that, he disappeared and did not return.

Marion shrugged and stepped aboard.

“Are you coming?” Corker called up.

Marion dropped down the hatchway and followed the waiting Corker to a cabin at the back of the craft. There she met Captain Mann.

“What can I do for you?” The Captain said not looking up.

“I need your ship.” Marion said simply.

“You have a cargo?” He looked up suddenly interested.

“Not exactly I want to buy or lease this vessel as training ship.”

“A training ship?” Captain Mann nodded. “Not much call for seamanship before the mast these days. Few men want to do it.”

“I don’t know about that.” Marion swallowed. Now came the difficult bit.

“I don’t want it to train men.” She continued. “I want to train women.”

Corker broke out into great gouts of laughter at this and made good his retreat. The Captain wasn’t laughing.

“You see I represent the Lady Sailors Guild and we are looking…”

“Women?” The Captain said. “You mean female women?”

“There really isn’t any other kind.” Marion said impatiently.

“So this guild of yours reckons that women can go to sea, does it?” The Captain growled. “I went to sea to get away from women.”

“My dear captain this is almost 1960, we live in a brave new world.” Marion persisted. “Our club has a few boats and some of our girls have experience crewing, but I have many girls and young women who need more hands-on experience who cannot afford to join a yacht club. As an organisation we are not short of money I assure you, we would pay well for use of your ship and your time.”

“Do you know anything about the sea?” Captain Mann sighed.

“I served in WRNS during the war.” Marion said haughtily.

Captain Mann began a slow handclap.

“Well really.” Marion blustered.

“Do you know anything about the sea?” He asked again. “You served aboard ship did you?”

“You know perfectly well that the Royal Navy does not allow women aboard ships at sea.” Marion admitted. “That is what I want to change.”

“So why are you so keen to let a lot of girls and women face the dangers of the sea if you yourself haven’t even been there.”

“I didn’t say I hadn’t been there. I have sailed yachts since I was a girl.”

They argued back and forth for hours, but the truth was captain Mann needed the money. Still he would not compromise on his principles and did his best to dissuade this would-be fair-weather sailor woman.

“So you are saying that these females of yours will accept sea training on the same terms as the men?”

“Absolutely.” Marion insisted.

The captain nodded and then went to an old sea chest, which he opened. From it, he removed two sticks. One was thick and three and a half feet long. The other was shorter and thinner.

“Do you know what these are for?” The Captain asked darkly.

“Yes.” Marion said firmly.

“Are you saying that these girls could accept either one across their dainty bare bottoms as the need arose?” The Captain said dismissively.

“Absolutely.” Marion asserted.

“I tell you what. A ships punishment is 30 strokes with the larger of these two friends of mine.” The captain chuckled. “If you can take half that with the lesser cane, bare bottomed mind you, then I will consider you offer if we can agree terms.”

“That is preposterous.” Marion gasped.

“I thought so.” The Captain winked and turned to put the canes away. “Good day to you.”

Marion paused as if remembering something. Then nodded.

“Alright you old reprobate. I agree, but on one condition, that we agree terms before I submit to this, this test of yours.” Marion said with some defiance.

“Alright.” The Captain returned with some scepticism. “But you have to take them all.”

Marion nodded and blushed.

Terms were duly agreed and then came time for Marion’s sacrifice. The Captain turned away while she loosened then removed her skirt and slip. Then she stood red-faced and nervous before him as her hands made feeble attempts to guard the front of her underwear.

“Alright.” Captain Mann said not hiding his appreciation of her figure. “Bend over my chart table there and lower those.”

Marion’s mouth felt a little dry and the butterflies fluttered in her stomach. As she turned away she could not help glancing back over her shoulder at this man that she had only just met. A man brandishing a wicked looking cane. Her eyes did not leave the stick he held and wild horses couldn’t make her meet his eyes. Then she tugged at her white cotton knickers and dragged them slowly over her ample pale bottom.

Captain Mann also swallowed as the woman’s fine white bottom heaved into view and more, curved out to meet him as she bent across his desk. There was something seductive about the way she seemed to languish across the table and clutch at the far edge.

“I am ready Captain.” She breathed.

The captain couldn’t help notice her womanhood peeking out between her thighs and admire the rich chestnut hair that matched that on her head. Did she realise how exposed she was? He wondered. This was not one of his port doxies, he realised, but a respectable lady. He could not help but applaud her courage and spirit.

Her thighs shifted a little and her bottom arched up even more as if she were trying to get comfortable. Had she been in this position before?

He lay on the first stroke as hard as he ever had. As hard as if he had any cadet or petulant trollop under his hand.

She gasped and bucked, but made no other reaction. The white line across her bottom surprised him. It was a sharp line of white on white, like a rope slash on a snow-covered sail. Then the line went rosy and began to swell a little. He struck again. The sound, he knew, would be heard all over the ship and Corker must be listening and wondering.

Marion felt the second stroke bite more keenly than she remembered, although she had felt worse. The last time she had not held her peace. This was almost bearable, if more humiliating. As the third stroke caught her underside, she struggled not to cry out and wondered if she was not mad agreeing to this.

Captain Mann thought she was doing well. He certainly had not spared his arm and now there were three stark mauve lines across the woman’s full round bottom. He thought she would have cried off by now, or at least cried. Perhaps he would have to agree to her terms after all. At least he could enjoy his defeat.

The fourth stroke made her grunt and she clenched her bottom as much as her posture allowed and rocked a little on his chart table. But still she did not surrender. He picked up the pace to test her mettle and put six hard across her tail a few breaths apart. She struggled at this and towards the end gurgled a little.

“You have taken 10 now. Do you wish to continue?” he inquired.

She let forth with a string of unladylike oaths.

“So you ‘were’ in the navy Mrs Ellis.” He chuckled.

Marion’s bottom was well decorated by now with 10 clear dark red lines that stood proud of the still white hams and hinds. Although her behind was not overlarge, there was plenty of room for some more.

The Captain put the last five at a jaunty angle so that formation was obscured and Mrs Ellis had full benefit of the overlay.

“Oh my gosh.” Marion muttered as the last struck home.

Then she lay breathing heavily for a while, her well-marked bottom rising and falling as he watched.

“Please may I get up now sir?” She said at last.

“Oh please do Mrs Ellis.” The Captain said graciously.

“I think Captain that you should call me Marion under the circumstances.” Marion said looking at him with very moist eyes.

He turned his back as she repaired her dress and then he offered her a large gin.

“Thank you.” She winced as she moved awkwardly to accept it.

“You took that well Mrs Ellis. It looks like I am in the training business.”

“Thank you Captain.”

It took them a while to conclude the details and all the while Marion blushed as her mind dwelled on what had just transpired. Then as she was going Captain Mann again complimented her for being a sport.

“I’ll let you in to a little secret Captain, I was caned twice in the WRNS.” She smiled ruefully. “The second time my CO gave me 30 with the senior cane for discharging a weapon inside the armoury.”

“Well any man would be proud to discharge his weapon in your armoury Mrs Ellis.” The Captain chuckled. Then amended. “Marion.”

“Captain!” Marion gasped. “You are outrageous.”


Captain Mann and Marion Ellis became firm friends after that. The first eight-week training voyage was a huge success. Not that there weren’t a few difficulties at first. The Captain and his sailing master, Corker, had a lot of adjusting to do. Most of the ‘damned females’ were in their late teens although with none under 16, but some were as old as 30 and any discipline they had ever known was long forgotten.

Marion had found them an old school friend, Louise Fulbright, to act as second mate and she at least understood these girls. But she herself was from an over privileged background and had some rough edges.

In the early days captain Mann had to cane his second mate on several occasions to get her to remember the chain of command.

“Oh golly.” She had blushed as she had lowered her shorts the first time. “Marion warned me about this.”

By the third such caning, she had graduated to two-dozen with the senior cane and had been left in floods of tears.

“I am sorry Captain.” She had sobbed after. “I will learn.”

Louise bore no rancour at these corrections. Indeed, she was a firm believer in such discipline. For the most part, it was she who dealt with the women when discipline broke down. With the younger girls, she found the swift applications of a deck shoe where it would do the most good worked wonders. Otherwise up to two-dozen with the junior cane was enough to keep the most rebellious 20-something in her place.

It took several weeks to settle the new crew down and for the Captain and his first mate to learn how to handle women, but in the end, it was a great success.

There was only one serious incident where a ships punishment was required. Two of the girls had used their watch as an excuse to open a bottle of rum and have private party.

The Middle Watch was a time when most of the crew were sleeping and to not pay attention while a ship is running through the dead of night was to put everyone at grave risk.

Luckily, the ship clipped a navigation buoy and had awoken Mann at four bells and no harm was done. But it could have been so much different.

Even then he hesitated to inflict a ship’s punishment on two young women scarcely in their 20s. It was Louise who had encouraged him to stick to his guns.

So at the start of the Dog Watch at 16.00 hours the crew was assembled and two women were stripped from waist to knees and bent over the hatchway to the hold for a cobbing.

A cobbing was in former times a light punishment intended for midshipmen. But in more civilised times it was quite severe enough for two 20th century women’s dainty behinds.

Captain Mann had given them the choice of the cobbing, 30 a piece with the senior cane on deck before the whole crew, or to be put ashore and kicked off the course.

They had chosen the ships punishment amid some giggling and much embarrassment. There were even some cries of “good sports.”

Then the Captain had read the riot act. He made it absolutely clear the danger that the girls had put the ship in and how grim what was to befall them would be. By the time he was finished the crew was silent, some glowering at the girls, and the miscreants themselves were quietly crying.

Louise administered the caning under the captain’s direction in two parts. Each got 15 strokes before her fellow was caned again.

The first 15 elicited some wails and shouts, but they took it well. The girls’ bottoms were quite welted and the dark raised ridges even looked like they might bleed. Some of the onlookers were smiling, although others looked green and wondered if they might get some of the same sometime.

“Looks worse than it is.” Corker whispered to a young 16-year-old who was close to sympathetic tears.

Then Louise handed out the second set and the first girl yelled at each stroke. Then while she sobbed, beside her the other girl growled out some choice words at each impact, her knuckles white as she gripped the hatch top.

Afterwards the first girl was broken and was helped to her bunk. But her friend showed her stripes to the crew with some bravado and remembered to thank Louise.

“Sorry girls.” She sniffed with a brave smile as she wiped her eyes. “May I leave my shorts off for a while?”

“No you may not.” Louise snapped, shocked that the girl made no attempt to hide herself before the two men aboard.

There was no further serious trouble after that and within days, the ship’s punishment was almost forgotten.


The first voyage over, Marion and the Captain set about planning another.

“My daughter wants to go this time.” Marion told him as they worked up crew lists against the available stores.

“What does your husband think about that?” Captain Mann asked.

“My husband has been dead for three years.” Marion told him.

“Oh I didn’t realise, you never said.” The Captain said in genuine surprise.

“Well it never seemed to come up. Nor without me seeming like a predatory widow anyway.” Marion blushed.

“You blush so prettily.” The Captain laughed. “As for me thinking of you as a predator, well that horse has bolted, I took you for a pirate that first day.”

“Yes but about my daughter.” Marion changed the subject. “It is the lack of a father that has led to certain challenges shall we say.”

“How old is she?”

“She is 17, almost 18.”

“Shouldn’t she be in school? I mean you posh types usually are at that age aren’t you.”

“Well this posh type has been asked to leave her third school.” Marion said with irritation, ignoring Captain Mann’s attempt to bait her.

“I see and you think she would benefit from some old fashioned naval discipline?”

“Oh quite the contrary.” Marion exclaimed. “I want to get her in to another school. But she wants to go to sea.”

“I see.” The Captain pondered. “Well it is only eight weeks. There will still be time afterwards won’t there?”

“That is not what worries me. There a few girls like her in this next batch, I just don’t want you to be disillusioned so early in our experiment.”

“Ha.” The Captain laughed. “I’ll soon whip them into shape.”

“That is very much what I am afraid of. She is my baby after all.”

“Leave it with me and Miss Fulbright, we have it in hand.” The Captain soothed.


The second voyage went much better than the first. Corker knew how hard to push it and Louise knew her job. This left the captain able to mind his charts and the weather.

There was the odd hiccough. Louise came back drunk late for her watch first night in port. The next day she took her private caning with good grace, even when the Captain took her to 30 with the senior cane and left her howling with sobs.

“I certainly had that coming skipper.” She gasped afterwards with tears dripping of her rather rueful smile.

“If you had done that at sea I would have sacked you as mate and given you a ship’s punishment to announce the fact.” Captain Mann growled.

“If we had been at sea it would never have happened I swear.” Louise said seriously.

Once back on deck several of the girls were openly laughing at her gait, glad to see her on the receiving end for a change. One of the younger hands, Gillian Ellis even called out: “took ‘em tight did you?”

“Get on with your work.” Louise had replied.

Gillian, Marion’s daughter, was a bit spirited. Not unlike her mother, Louise thought. Except that she had not had a war to take the edge off that spirit. She had a fresh mouth and was given to teasing less confident girls. As a younger girl, she had been treated to the sole of the shoe across her bare bottom on numerous occasions. But she always bent over defiantly and flouted her scarlet cheeks after as a badge of honour.

Then three days after Louise’s caning Gillian organised a race up the mast between her and a nervous girl. The event was to mark the occasion of Gillian’s 18th birthday. A stunt that was as dangerous as it was prohibited.

The girls tried to disguise it as part of the routine, but too many of the crew knew about it and set to cheering them on.

“Sort that out will you.” Captain Mann ordered without taking his eyes from the sea.

“Aye sir.” Louise said, embarrassed by her lapse.

Her appearance at the triumphant Gillian’s celebrations at the foot of the mast sent everyone scurrying back to work.

“Gillian Ellis, Mary Jones, with me.” Louise snapped.

“I have never seen such a childish stunt.” She said once they were below. “You will both stand the Middle Watch, three days running.”

“Aye.” They both chanted, although Mary was rather shamefaced.

Gillian’s face on the other hand carried a small smirk.

“Let’s get those shorts and underwear around your ankles.” Louise told them as she watched for Gillian’s smirk to leave her face. It got bigger if anything.

Then Louise dragged Mary over her knee for an unconventional spanking.

“Oh Miss.” Mary wailed at the childish humiliation.

Louise ignored her and set about spanking her with a will with the flat of her deck shoe. Several of the other girls passing nearby laughed at her predicament. Louise didn’t pay attention as she was watching Gillian carefully. The girl’s smirk had abated, but was still there. No doubt, she was thinking that she would make a joke of a childish smack-bottom if she were not afforded the usual position of bending to touch her toes for the slipper.

The second mate made no compromises and spanked Mary hard for a good ten minutes until the girl didn’t care who was watching and was sobbing freely. Then she was dismissed.

“I bet you are thinking that you won’t cry.” Louise observed to the belligerent Gillian.

“Not for you.” Gillian said defiantly.

“Bend over and grab your ankles.” Louise snapped.

Gillian smirked, pleased that she wasn’t going over Louise’s knee at her age. Then Louise produced the cane.

“Let us see how 12 with this will curb your defiance.” Louise said with a smug smile.

Gillian looked apprehensive but thrust her bare bottom out defiantly.

Louise caned her slow and hard until word went round that Gillian Ellis was getting a real thrashing.

“That’s killing.” Gillian wailed miserably, but still trying for some bravado.

Gillian had taken six once or twice from her headmistress at school. She always hated the cane. This one was worse and at eight she struggled to keep position. At 10 she stamped her foot and groaned, but she held out.

But once it was over as she stood a tear rolled down her cheek to her chin and her eyes filled up. There was a glimmer of respect as she said thank you to Louise.


Gillian proved to be much the best sailor in the crew and as a natural leader, she was often put in charge of small teams. This did not keep her entirely out of trouble. Barely a week went by that she wasn’t over Louise’s knee, a deliberate move to humble the girl on the second mate’s part, or was caned after being left with her shorts around her ankles on the mess deck for 10 or 15 minutes as a prelude to 15 or 18 strokes of the junior cane.

Gillian hated these episodes. As hard as she tried to laugh it off with bravado, mooning the whole crew in the mess and then taking a definite tear-making thrashing was hard for even Gillian Ellis to take.

Louise adjudged that the girl was in rebellion in all things. But for Gillian, it was about pushing the edge and trying to impress Louise and above all the Captain. It wasn’t her fault if she sometimes tried too hard, was it? Maybe having permanent strawberry ridges on her behind was god’s way of telling her something.

During the last week of the voyage Gillian and a young woman, Beryl Gough, were entrusted with a long boat and a mission to collect provisions ashore. The Captain himself had explained that some of the currents were difficult around the bay and that they should keep to the shoreline until the reached a certain point to head back.

However, Gillian had overheard Corker and the Captain discussing the trip the night before and the First Mate had suggested to his skipper that he was being over-cautious about making the girls go the long way around.

Once in the boat Gillian had pressed Beryl to take the short route, but she had refused. But later in town, Gillian enticed the party to the pub for some Dutch courage and it was then relatively easy for her to persuade the rest to join in her venture to show the Captain they were up to the task.

They nearly made it, except for being drunk. When a rogue wave bucked the small craft they might have held its line but they were skewed side on and lost half the supplies and two girls over the side.

By the time the landing party were dragged aboard bedraggled and disgraced Captain Mann was spitting nails. His rage encompassed the whole crew so by the time he really got to his stride the whole company of women were shaking and close to tears. Even Louise.

“Fulbright.” He bellowed. “I want a ship’s punishment for the two ring leaders of this debacle tomorrow at the change to the Dog Watch. The others will stand a mess hall punishment at the end of the Last Dog Watch tonight at 20.00 hours sharp.

No one spoke to Gillian for the rest of that day. Something that she found harder to take than the impending punishment, or so she then believed. Then at mess call she had to sit while with Beryl while her hapless boat crew stood in a row bent over with their shorts and knickers at half-mast. Most of the assembled girls saw the funny side, this was nowhere near as grim as a ship’s punishment.

Louise took her time to begin, so that all the bare bottomed young women were blushing furiously and close to tears before the punishment had even begun in earnest. It was carried out at her discretion, so she treated most of the younger girls to a lengthy dose of deck shoe until they were weeping and quite cherry red behind. The older women, including a clumsy 25-year-old would-be society girl and a 27-year-old divorcee, were treated to 24 strokes of the cane. This was the first time for all of them that they had been punished before men and to make matters worse the slight pitching of the deck forced them to stand legs akimbo. They all had to stand thus until Louise had finished and by then not one of them had a dry eye.

Gillian had never felt so guilty and even Beryl looking daggers at her could not make her feel worse.

The next day at four o’clock as promised she found herself along side beryl on the upper deck bent bare bottomed over the hatch. She desperately wanted to apologise and would have begged for double if only she could be forgiven. But that was before the first stroke of the senior cane. She remembered observations from school, like ‘cut like a knife’ or ‘it felt like a hot wire’. This was beyond that. It hurt. The audience, the ship and even the crime were suddenly gone. Her world was her bottom and the cane. After six the pain did not let up and she could not have counted the rest of the strokes if she had wanted to.

“Alright you’re done.” Louise whispered after a while.

The pain still sawed at her bottom and she struggled to bring her crying under control.

“I am so sorry.” She found the strength to say. Then added, “thank you,” as she shook Louise limply by the hand even before pulling up her shorts.


A week later she could not meet her mother’s eye as she stood in the Captain’s cabin. The ship had been at home port for two days and the rest of the girls had gone home.

“You have let me down.” Marion sighed. “You could have at least tried to set an example, I am after all the Chairwoman of this organisation.”

“I am sorry.” Gillian whispered.

“I suppose we will never get you into school now. What are you going to do?”

“Mummy, please give me one more chance. I will stay on an extra year if I have to. I want to learn maths and science so I can one day skipper a ship like this.”

Marion’s heart swelled. Finally. Then she realised that she had let her daughter down all these years. All she needed was a good hiding now and again.

“I ought to spank you raw.” Marion said in some relief. “Or cane you bottom so you can’t sit down for a month.”

“You probably should.” Gillian looked up. Then added ruefully. “Although I have only just mastered that particular skill again after last week.”

“Then I think I will.” Marion said forcefully.

Gillian swallowed and lowered her shorts and bent over as her mother picked up the junior cane.

“You can use the heavier cane mummy. I know I deserve it.”

Then Marion saw the burgundy stain that was one solid bar across her daughter’s bottom.

“Oh my. I think perhaps you have had enough.”

“Don’t be squeamish Mummy. Its just ship’s discipline.” Gillian laughed.

“Well I will give you more than enough to be getting on with next time you let me down, so run along for now I want to talk to the Captain.”

Gillian couldn’t hide her relief and scampered out on deck to go and talk to Corker. Captain Mann soon appeared.

“I am sorry but it had to be done.” He said with a shrug.

“Yes and a good job too.” Marion said. “Thank you.”

The Captain nodded and then pulled out the papers that she had come to see.

It was some time later and a couple of gins in. Marion had said little for nearly an hour but had sat brooding in the cabin while Captain Mann outlined plans for the next voyage.

“Something on your mind?”

“I feel I have let my daughter down.” She said quietly.

“Oh it came right in the end.”

“Captain will you do something for me?”

“If I can.”

“Give me a sound caning to straighten me out.”

“A what?”

“A service caning, 30 on the bare with the senior cane.”

“I think I might enjoy that a little too much.” The captain replied.

“All this admiring me from afar is something else we will have to talk about. For now I need a good thrashing.” Marion said with a tight smile.

“You won’t enjoy this.” Captain Mann said sternly, as Marion stood and fumbled with her skirt.

“Don’t I know it?” Marion Sighed.

On deck Gillian and Corker started in surprise at the loud crack and keening wail from below decks.

“Oh my god.” Gillian clapped her hand to her mouth. “Mother.”

“It isn’t the first time.” Corker chuckled. “I doubt if it will be the last.”

“Oh my. Poor Mummy.” Gillian giggled.


4 Responses to “The Spirit of the Sea”

  1. 1 paul1510

    DJ, I enjoyed this, at least at sea there is nowhere to run.

  2. 2 Tilly

    Loved this!

    It reminded me of Sea Cadets.

    My sister and I were in the Sea Cadets (sadly 10 years apart). During the 1970s she got to go on a tall ship as described in the story. And like the story it was mostly girls.

    They had to bend over for the slipper if they messed about. Not bare. My sister used to demonstrate in later years if she thought I needed it or just us mucking about.

    Between us it was usually on my bare bottom, but she once spanked me with a friend when I was about 16 for real in the same way for shoplifting, instead of telling Mum. I had bragged to my friend about these stories and she thought it would be a hoot to take it.

    After that time I stopped bragging and my friend was hooting with tears.

    Not fun at the time, but a fond memory now. Great story!


  3. 3 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    I get the feeling that this story may not yet be over. Looking forward to part 2.

    @Tilly: thanks for sharing your own recollections of naval discipline.

  1. 1 - Chross Guide To The Spanking Internet

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