Two of the beta readers have politely intimated disappointment at the end. Two others were non-committed about the ending, just mostly smiling and nodding and stirring their half-empty cups of coffee. One beta reader began correcting the grammar of one of my characters. One liked the "hero"and wants him in the next book. One liked the nautical vocabulary, learning with the main character. One skipped over it, but thought it wasn't "too much" to skip. One wanted to read more. One admitted she doesn't like historical fiction.
All felt they were there, on the ship, experiencing life at sea and liked the main character.
So after all of this, there comes a time when one must admit defeat and end it...
So that is what I have done. I've saved my old ending, but have written a new one. I am afraid it might be a little sappy, but perhaps it will be more pleasing than the ending I had. I'm sure it will have to be revised a thousand more times, but I think I'll start the query process again.
But first I'll send it to my BFF.
Wish me luck.