This story is illustrated, about a ship, it's captain, it's shipwreck and his rescue. I believe the book was called "The Captain of The Promise" as this line was repeated near the beginning and at the end when the captain is rescued.
Storyline: Captain of a prestigious sailing ship undertakes voyage, huge storm overtakes, ship wrecks on small island and only the captain survives. He builds a life on this small island, it all goes up in huge flames, he laments "lost, lost! My promise is lost!", he awakens the next day to see a ship that stopped because of the flames to rescue him. I can hear my father's voice reading this book when I was a kid. Please find it. For some reason I can not.
Vintage Picture Book (from 50s, 60’s, or 70s), not very thick, stapled, maybe 10 – 12 pages, not a lot of printed text. Watercolor, realistic illustrations
What I remember about the story: A boy spends a lot of time snorkeling, he sees all kinds of fish and turtles, and he finds a shipwreck and a shark shows up (scary) but he escapes and finds a treasure.
I remember the following illustrations:
- Sea stars on a sandy ocean floor, the sunlight is shining through the water onto the ocean floor
- A sea turtle swims and again the sunlight coming through the water
- A two page illustration showing the boy on the left top looking down on the shipwreck, again the light plays through the water
The illustrations were realistic and what stood out was the light portrayed underwater.
Dim memories, 30+-year-old book; very dark illustrations, about a young boy who lives with his uncle or grandfather and his tall and sort of shady assistant/mad scientist. They build a boat/ark, there is a huge storm, and they wind up shipwrecked in a zoo.