Water gushed through the hole, so Sherman wore a snorkeling mask.
With an opening to the world, he dispatched another SOS: He tethered the epirb to a line and tossed it into the roiling seas.
The strobe light ignited, and the distress call was sent.
With that, the crew's families back in the United States, who thought everyone was lost, knew for certain someone was alive.
All the time, the storm kept raging.
On the second night, Sherman slept in a hammock that he made of wire. He hung it above the water in the bathroom.
The interior become an acid bath from leaking engine batteries. The diesel fumes now overwhelmed him.
But he still found a way to brush his teeth, one pleasure amid the privation.
In the middle of the night, he swore he saw a light through the hole.
Yet there was no full moon, so he stuck his head out the new porthole. A wave crashed on his face. He retreated.
"I thought I was seeing things," Sherman said.
Then he thought he heard a voice.
"Joe? Quen? Anybody? God help me!" Sherman uttered to the nothingness.
He believed he was dreaming. But he wasn't.
Aboard a passing freighter, someone with a spotlight shouted out to any survivors.
In fact, the freighter was the second vessel to come upon the capsized Queequeg II.
A tanker had earlier passed by but believed nobody was alive. Fully loaded, the tanker rode low in heavy seas and struggled. It left after the freighter arrived, which began a watch that lasted more than 14 hours.
The next morning, Sherman peeked through the hole again.
Like an answered prayer, the freighter had been waiting on Sherman since the previous afternoon.
"I got up and started waving my arms," he exclaimed. "I couldn't be more excited."
A complicated, perilous maneuver rescued Sherman from the bobbing sailboat.
During the retrieval, however, Sherman was ordered by the freighter captain to let go of his duffel bags because they weighed too much -- and imperiled his rescue.
Sherman let go.
Drifting away in those bags was $5,000 cash and the manuscript of Cultra's second book, written in the captain's own hand, forever lost at sea.