This is something that has been running around in my head for a while. If you would like to see more, let me know.
The sun reflecting off the water on to Sam’s tanned neck, finally got the best of him. Between the fiberglass dust and the sweat and the sun, Sam had had enough for the day. Pulling his shirt off over his head, he kicked off his deck shoes and walked the twenty feet to the water and dove in. The water was warm, but cooler than Sam and it felt invigorating to submerge himself. He swam around for a few minutes, hopeful that he had gotten most of the irritating dust off him and out of his hair. He walked back to the boat and picked up his shirt and shoes and headed for his shanty on the hill overlooking the beach. The boat had been a project for the last five years. It was a derelict boat that had washed ashore after a storm. Sam looked up the registration and contacted the owners, who wanted nothing to do with the boat. The insurance company had paid them for the boat and they considered it the property of the insurance people. Sam got the name of the company and contacted them and asked about the boat, and made an offer. They sent him a title and the boat was his free and clear. “Free,” thought Sam, “That's a laugh.” Sam had invested a sizable sum over the last five years, but now he could at least see the end of the project.
Ever since he was a young man fresh out of the Navy, Sam had planned to one day have his own boat and sail the world. He scrimped and saved and then the boat almost fell into his lap. There was damage, but nothing that he couldn't fix. He started on the inside and refurbished the cabin. It was a forty footer and would be plenty of room for one. He rearranged the stateroom to give him maximum storage space. He planned long trips and would need the extra space for food and supplies he would take along.
Sam built a wooden box and fiber glassed the interior and finished them in gleaming white. Then using an expanding foam, he coated the outside of the boxes and built another larger box to put them in. A tight fitting insulated hinged top was attached and latches were installed, and Sam had effectively created a built in cooler.
Opening a long neck Barq's root beer, he walked up to a shady spot on the deck and reflected on his life. Sam's parents were a strange couple, his Father had been a drunk, to put it kindly, and his Mother was a mouse. She would tolerate the frequent beatings and drunken rages and his propensity to unload on her and Sam, in exchange for the easy life and the social status she enjoyed as his wife. It had all settled into a routine. Father gets drunk, Father picks on Sam, Father starts hitting Sam, Mother asks him to stop and Father beats Mother. It had become so predictable that on drinking days, Sam would stay at a friends house or he would go down to the piers and fish for crab. He became friends with some of the old men that lived in the area and they convinced Sam that the Navy life was what he needed. When Sam turned seventeen, he started asking his Mother and Father to sign the papers and let him join. He had put in three summers in summer school and graduated a year early. Sam's Dad couldn't wait to get him out the house and signed quickly, his Mother was the hold out. Sam’s Dad told her to sign and Sam was on his way to becoming a sailor.
The Navy was good to Sam. He traveled the world and saw a lot of the sights he had dreamed of. Romance wasn't a part of Sam's life plan, but, there were a few ports of call that held a special interest for Sam. Most of Sam's enlistment was during peace time, and when it wasn't he served on a supply ship. He spent his entire twenty four years without a single shot being fired at him. When the Government started downsizing the military, Sam saw the writing on the wall and mustered out. Thing had not gone as well at home, one night Sam's dad had come home drunk and mean. He started to curse Sam's Mother, and the mouse finally roared. She pulled a chrome plated snub nosed thirty eight special out of her pants pocket and put all five shots into Sam's Father's chest. Reflecting for a minute, she calmly reloaded and fired once more, this time into her own forehead. The years of beatings and degradation were over in less than a minute. Sam had no siblings so the entire estate was left to him. There was numerous holdings and two rather large life insurance policies. Sam would never have to work again, unless he chose to.
Once Sam was home from the Navy, he got a job in the IT field. He had the training form the Navy and all the correspondence courses he finished. He lived frugally, and bought a small run down beach house and made it livable. Now his passion was finishing his boat and sailing the world.
Back in his beach shanty, Sam took down his well worn notebook from the bookcase and once again went over his inventory. The “have it”, list had grown a lot shorter than his “need it”' list. He did some quick figuring in his head and thought he could have everything on his list in a couple of months. Setting a goal in his mind, he wanted to have the boat ready to launch, fully stocked in three months. He knew he could do it. First thing Monday morning, he would ask his boss for a one year leave of absence. His plans were coming to fruition. Sam climbed into bed and as soon as his head was in the pillow, he was dreaming of the adventure to come. The sun streaming through the window woke Sam early. It was Saturday and he could put in a full day on preparing his boat for the trip. He jumped up showered and as soon as he got dressed, Sam jumped in his old jeep and headed for town. His first stop was the old Blue Goose cafe. It had once been a part of a long gone Amoco truck stop, now it was just a stand alone cafe that happened to be attached to the old truck stop.
“Morning, Sam,” came a cheery voice from behind the counter.
“Morning, Irene,” Sam replied, with a huge smile on his face, “How about the usual this morning?”
“I started it when I saw you pull in,” answered Irene, setting a scalding mug of strong black coffee in front of him. “You know, you are awfully predictable. Sam.”
“When something works, you just don't go changing it,” said Sam, opening the newspaper someone left on the counter.
“Looks like nothing but more bad news,” said Sam, thinking out loud, “This economy is going to heck very fast. This may be a bad time for me to take a year off.”
“Who's taking a year off,” asked Irene, as she sat a plate of eggs, sausage, grits and biscuits down in front of Sam.
“I have been thinking about taking a year and sailing the world,” said Sam. “It has always been a dream and I almost have my boat ready to go.”
“Take me with you Sam,” Irene implored. “I don't have anything here but this crummy job.”
Sam had often thought of asking Irene out on a date, but he knew the really attractive girls, like Irene, wouldn't give him the time of day. “All right,” Sam countered, “But we will be gone for a year. Do you think you could stand my ugly mug for that long?”
“Sam,” Irene started in a serious voice, “I have done everything but hit you over the head with a hammer to get you to ask me out, and now you want to know if I could stand you.”
“Are you serious,” Sam asked, suddenly startled, “I have wanted to ask you out since I first laid eyes on you, but I thought there was no way you would go out with me. I am going out in about a week for a two week shakedown cruise, if you would like to go, you would be more than welcome, although, there is only one stateroom on board as I have converted most of the free space into storage for my one year trip. I suppose I could sleep on the deck, weather allowing.”
“We will work all that out, email me a list of what I will need to carry with me, and I will have it ready.” Irene said.
“What about your job, won't old Tom have a fit if you ask for two weeks off?”
“I'll get my girlfriend Nancy to cover my shift. She loves to flirt with Tom, and Tom, actually thinks she is serious,” said Irene.
When Sam left the Cafe, he went straight to the bank. He withdrew all they would let him have at one time, and told the banker to do whatever he had to do to free up the rest of the money. Leaving the bank, he went to the marina and pulled out his list. He told the counter man to fill it for him and to double up on everything. “I'll be back tomorrow morning to pick everything up,” Sam promised. Next stop was the oil bulk plant. He arranged to rent a small tank and have it delivered to the boat and filled with diesel. The small Yanmar diesel engine on the boat was very efficient and the three hundred gallons would last a long time. “Better add enough Pri-G to that order to keep that diesel good for at least two years,” Sam added.
“You might want to get some algaecide for the fuel too,” the salesman suggested.
“Make it so,” said Sam, as he walked out the door.