On a Wingull and a Prayer! (Japanese: ハギ老人とキャモメのピーコちゃん！Old Man Hagi and the CamomePeeko-chan!) is the 18th episode of the Advanced Generation series, and the 292nd episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on March 27, 2003 and in the United States on January 24, 2004.
Ash enjoyed meeting the president of Devon Corp. and learning a little about Team Aqua, a dangerous group of evildoers, but now he really wants to get to Dewford Island. Unfortunately, May's map is about 10 years old and they end up in a deserted part of town that used to be the port. From there they can see the new port, but it looks very far away. May goes off to look for someone with a boat and runs into Briney, a retired sailor, and his Wingull, Peeko. Briney offers to take the gang over to Dewford Island, but when she returns with Ash and the gang, Briney seems very angry and says that he has no idea what she's talking about. It's like he doesn't even recognize her. Meanwhile, Officer Jenny swings by and she tells them that Team Aqua is planning to meet up somewhere in the area and to be careful. Brock and May realize quickly that Briney might actually be in trouble—and they're right. A Team Aqua thug—the same one who tried to steal from Devon Corp.—has kidnapped his Peeko and taken his boat. Luckily, Briney has another boat that he kept hidden from the thug. They chase after the Team Aqua agent and catch up to him just a few seconds too late. He is able to meet up with a Team Aqua submarine and get away. Luckily, they manage to rescue Peeko and tomorrow they'll head out for Dewford Island.
After winning his Gymbattle against Roxanne, Ash is psyched and ready for his next Gym Battle on Dewford Island. As he and his friends walk towards the port to catch the ferry, May suggests that they get some of Rustboro City's famous pasta. She has directions to the restaurant that she printed off the internet, but when they arrive they find the restaurant empty and boarded up. She realizes that she forgot to check the date on the map and it's ten years old. Everyone is starving and not too happy, and to make matters worse, since the directions were written the port has been moved to the other side of the bay.
Since they've already missed the ferry, they decide to relax until the next one comes, though Ash is depressed because he wanted to have his Gym Battle right away. May decides to try to find a boat, figuring that since it used to be a port, there must be a boat left somewhere. She doesn't have any luck and she doesn't even see any people either, until she spots an old man fishing off the pier. At first, he thinks that she wants to know why the fish aren't biting, and then realizes he doesn't even know who she is. Just then, a Wingull flies down and the old man greets it, calling it Peeko. May thinks it's cute and tries to make friends with it, but it hides and the man tells her that the only person it likes is him. However, it warms up to her and she gives it some Pokémon food. The man introduces himself as Mr. Briney, as Team Rocket watch from behind some rocks, planning to follow May back to Pikachu.
Mr. Briney tells May that he's the only one left in this port who still has a boat, and he'll be happy to take her and her friends to Dewford Island. He says that when he was young, he was a great sailor, then explains all about it in pirate lingo, none of which May understands. Team Rocket heard the whole thing, and now Jessie wants to catch Wingull because it's almost as cute as her "Little Wurmple-y Poo." After May has left to get her friends, someone in a blue bandana is spying on Mr. Briney. Meanwhile, May is back with Ash, Brock, and Max. They're glad that she found a boat, but unsure about how trustworthy Mr. Briney is. May assures them that he used to be an amazing sailor, butchering the pirate talk that he used before. Naturally, the gang isn't much reassured by her saying that he "traveled the seven sails in his quaking ship and stayed awake the whole time." But when they arrive at his house, he screams at them that he never met May before and he won't take them in his boat, then slams the door in their faces. The others are rather suspicious about whether May was telling the truth, and they all walk away sadly, watched through the window by Mr. Briney. He says that he didn't want to put those kids in any danger, as the man who was spying on him stands behind him. Mr. Briney knows that the man is from Team Aqua. The man wants the boat, and Mr. Briney has no choice since the man's Crawdaunt has Peeko in a cage.
May is depressed because she doesn't understand why Mr. Briney treated her that way. They have no choice but to walk to the other port and try to catch the afternoon ferry. Suddenly, Officer Jenny pulls up on her motorcycle. She warns them that the area is dangerous; the man from Team Aqua they met at the Devon Corporation the day before is somewhere in the area, and other members are planning to meet him. Max and Brock use their deductive reasoning skills and figure out that since there are checkpoints on all roads out of the city, the Team Aqua members' best way to escape would be the sea from the old port. Mr. Briney has the only boat in the whole port, so they realize that he might be in trouble!
The Team Aqua grunt and Mr. Briney are preparing to board the boat when they hear people calling Mr. Briney's name. Ash and friends are banging on the door, but then Max notices the dock around the back of the house. The Team Aqua Grunt sends Crawdaunt to block their way. Pikachu and Crawdaunt charge forward, only to be stopped by a rain of smoke bombs. It's Team Rocket! They recite their motto and use a giant vacuum to suck up Pikachu and Peeko. Brock has his Lotad use Water Gun on the balloon, breaking the controls of the vacuum and releasing Peeko and Pikachu. A Bubble Beam from Crawdaunt sends Team Rocket blasting off again. The grunt takes the opportunity to jump in Mr. Briney's boat, along with Crawdaunt and Peeko, and takes off. He's no doubt going to meet up with the others, but without a boat, Ash and his friends can't catch him. Luckily, they have a boat. Mr. Briney pulls a lever in his boat storage room, and all the water drains away, revealing a high tech boat shaped like a Wingull. They take off to follow the grunt, Mr. Briney remembering how after he retired he was bored until he became inspired to sail again, so he built the Wingull boat.
The grunt is headed toward the rendezvous point, but he sees the Wingull boat behind him and speeds up. They realize that he's going to meet up with the other Team Aqua members at Triangle Rock up ahead, so Ash and Pikachu go on deck to try to stop him. Crawdaunt uses Water Pulse and sends the boat flying, then uses Bubble Beam on the water in front of it, causing a huge wave that crashes on top of the boat. The boat doesn't suffer any damage, but the grunt is almost to Triangle Rock and he's going so fast, he's going to crash into it. Ash has Pikachu use Thunder to destroy the rock, but a lot of it still remains. Mr. Briney makes a sharp turn and cuts in front of the other boat, angling the Wingull boat so that it serves as a ramp and the other boat is launched over the rock. He jumps into the water and swims out and grabs Peeko. Just then, a massive Team Aqua submarine surfaces and the grunt they were chasing goes inside. As the submarine submerges again, Ash wonders who Team Aqua is. That night, back at Mr. Briney's house, Ash and friends realize they haven't eaten since breakfast. May is still sad about the pasta, but it turns out that the pasta restaurant was owned by Mr. Briney's best friend, so he calls him up and asks him to make them some of his pasta for dinner. The next day, they all board the Wingull boat and set out for Dewford Island.