He had to? What if he didn't? What if he only bridged 86?

If the ship looks a bit archaic, well:

Of Finnish descent, Petaja's best known works are a series of science fiction novels based on the Kalevala, the Finnish verse epic. Petaja's series brought him readers from around the world,. while his particular mythological approach to science fiction has been discussed in scholarly publications and included in related anthologies.

Hence the oars. Sorry, SPACE OARS.