It was Edward Larson's 22nd day in an open boat somewhere south and west of that ironically named place, the Cape of Good Hope. He had lifted the last of his fellow survivors over the side and committed their souls to Old Man Sea, and was about to give up all hope, when the crew of a spectral clipper ship hauled him aboard.
After being fed and rested by the crew, Larson is invited to dine with the captain and witness a seven-yearly ritual where the captain plays dice with a Dark visitor to find out if he will reach safe harbor or be doomed to sail the seas with his faceless crew for yet another seven years.
The defiant Larson is then asked by the Dark visitor if he too would like to roll the dice, which he does. But unlike the Captain he wins the game and is instantly plunged back into the ocean near his water filled lifeboat — still grasping tightly the dice cup!