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Story Sailor Sam
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Thread: Sailor Sam

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Where fog and sun meet.
    Posts
    3,432
    Looking forward to it!

    Dear hubby is a long ocean voyage sailor at heart.

    He did a few years of ocean fishing and for a decade bought Wooden Boat magazine dreaming of long voyage in the south Pacific.

    He spent a few months in Baja fishing with a dear friend.

    He bought a tiny bought and sailed it for a year on a local lagoon.

    Like folks say, " A boat is a bottomless pit to throw money and time into."

    His latest project is a 24 foot fiberglass tri-hull boat to fish on the Pacific.

    He loves working on it and he is really excited about May when fishing season starts once again.

    He often tells me his stories of being a commercial fisherman and the joy of being on the water late at night, with the stars and quiet of the evening.

    So thank you for your story.

  2. #122
    Chapter 14


    Sam pulled in the mainsail and slowed to boat to a crawl.

    “What's up,” Irene asked, “Why are we slowing down?”

    “We aren't going to make the islands by night fall, so I thought we might see if we can catch something for supper,” Sam explained.

    He took two of the large rods he brought and after baiting the lines, he began to pay out the lines behind the boat. The little sail and slow forward speed set up a sort of ersatz trolling arrangement. Irene watched as the rod tips bobbed from the motion of the waves. It only took a few minutes before one of the rods dipped sharply. Sam grabbed the rig and set the hook. He knew immediately that it wasn't a very large fish and he set to reeling it in. When the hook neared the boat, Sam was disgusted to see a small banded cat shark.

    “Waste of good bait,” Sam complained, “all that effort and nothing to show for it.”

    He brought the small shark along side the boat and swung it aboard. Throwing a towel over the fish, he took his long nosed pliers and removed the hook. Irene turned the fish on the deck and pointed his head toward the water and slipped it under the railing, just managing to keep a grip on the towel. No sooner than the Shark was thrown back, the other rod dipped down. Sam quickly grabbed the rod and jerking back he set the hook. This time he knew he had something. The fight was on. The sailboat wasn't equipped for fighting large game fish. There was no fighting chair to strap into so Sam sat down on the deck and wrapped his legs around the rear mast. After 30 minutes or so, Sam finally had the eighty plus pound yellow fin tuna, on board. Sam was especially careful when gaffing the large fish. He knew if he hooked it in the wrong place, the fish would quickly bleed out and a lot of flavor would be lost. Irene handed Sam the small aluminum bat and he quickly dispatched the fish. While Irene brought in the other lines, Sam made quick work of cleaning the fish and cutting it into some very fresh tuna steaks. He put the fish on the grill and the remainder was wrapped and secured in the propane refrigerator while Irene made a salad with the fresh things they had bought in port.

    After eating the resplendent meal, the couple relaxed on the deck. Sam had a small tumbler of Makers Mark, complimented with a genuine Cuban cohiba robusto and Irene sipped a glass of an excellent white wine.

    “It really doesn't get any better than this,” Sam said to Irene, as he puffed a column of smoke into the early evening sky, “This is what life is all about. Not working your tail off for a stack of money, but having enough that you can just relax and enjoy what is there.”

    “I have never known a life of leisure,” Irene answered, “I have had to work for everything I have, but this, I could get used to. If you sit back and take in the spectacle of nature, you can almost forget what we left behind. I pray for those that are still back home, dealing with the aftermath.”

    “My plan is to find one of the small uninhabited islands on the edge of the Cayman chain, and set up for a few days," Sam explained, "I need to rig a better antenna, so if we can anchor the boat, maybe I can run a line to a tree on shore or, I can erect the portable mast I have below. If we can raise someone on the radio, maybe we can get enough information, we, can plan our next move,” said Sam throwing the last half inch of the cigar into the deep blue Caribbean water.
    Last edited by fastback08; 03-16-2016 at 09:29 PM.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    2,382
    Thank you! Kicking back in the evening like that is wonderful.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    4,983
    thank you for this much awaited chapter. Sam and Irene are enjoying life under the most extreme circumstances.
    My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don't get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It's what makes us unique and all valuable as a group.

  5. #125
    Thanks! After the violence they left, these are wonderful, peaceful images. I almsot can feel the gentle rocking of the wave.
    We're ready for more now.

  6. #126
    Thanks for more of your great story fastback08, have a Blessed day.
    Wayne

  7. #127
    I feel as I am there with them relaxing on their boat. Sort of like when I go out on my canoe to the middle of a lake, lay down with my head on a pillow and let it drift. Enjoying your story.

  8. #128
    Chapter 15


    The sun was bright red, as it ascended form the almost flat Caribbean. Sam made ready to sail while Irene made their breakfast. The eggs they had gotten in Cancun, were splattering happily in the frying pan and the biscuits were almost the perfect shade of golden brown. Irene slid the eggs onto the plates, and added the sausage patties and a couple of buttered biscuits. Grabbing two cups, she fixed their coffee and whistled for Sam.

    “This looks remarkable”, Sam praised her, “as soon as we finish, we will head East and should see some islands in about three hours.”

    The coffee was hot and the biscuits were light and flavorful and the fresh eggs were surprisingly good. Sam could not help but give Irene a kiss on the cheek and thank her profusely.

    “If you can handle the clean up, I will get us on the way,” Sam said.

    “Do whatever you need to do”, Irene responded, I will be up on deck with a fresh cup for you as soon as I get these dishes taken care of.”

    Sam climbed up the four steps to the deck and remarked to his self just how lucky he was, not only for missing the devastation to his home, but to have found Irene. He was certain this was a relationship that would pass the test of time.

    While the couple was on the foredeck, enjoying their second cup of coffee, Sam suddenly cocked his head to one side. “Listen,” he said.

    “I don’t hear a thing,” Irene replied.

    Sam quickly placed his index finger across his lips in the universal signal for quiet.

    “Quickly, Grab the rods and get a line in the water,” Sam barked as he started pulling down the sails. “We need to look like a couple on a fishing trip, and we might need to be very convincing.”

    Irene was quick to follow Sam’s instructions, and was paying out the line, when she heard the unmistakeable sound of a motor powered boat getting louder by the minute.

    Sam hailed the boat as it pulled along side. It appeared to be a couple of locals but Sam was not taking any chances.

    “How can I help you”, Sam asked the older of the two men.

    “No help needed man”, replied the old man. “We thought maybe it was you that was to be needing some help.”

    “We’re find,” Sam replied, “Just looking to catch a little something for dinner. Where might you two fellows be out of” Sam asked?

    “We are from Cayman Brac” the old man replied, “We are looking for a friend that went out last night and hasn’t made it back to his home. You haven’t been seeing anyone have you?”

    Sam replied, “We left from Cozumel, and are heading to Grand Cayman, and you are the first boat we have seen. Tell me the name of your friend, and I will radio the harbor master if we see him.”

    “Thanks, but it is likely the demon rum has a hold on him. This isn’t the first time we have gone looking.”

    Sam had one more question, but wasn’t sure how to ask it. “It seems the misses and I have somewhat overspent on our trip. We can’t afford the hotels on the Cayman Islands. Do you know of a small island where a newlywed couple could camp and have a little privacy?”

    “I know just the place, man. Han me you chart and I’ll mark it for you. Nothing but the lizards, birds and turtles.”

    Sam handed the man the chart and the two of them discussed the best entry point. The old man told Sam there was a deep water cove on the East side of the island so it would be best to sail around.

    “Once you are in the cove, the trees will hide you boat,” the old man said, “Maybe you will hanging some palm fronds from your mast, just in case.”

    Sam thanked the old man as he deftly jumped back on his boat and Sam and the younger of the two men pushed them apart.

    “Sam,” came an urgent call from Irene, “Help!”

    Sam turned to see Irene holding the nearly bent double rod. He quickly eased the drag off some and let the fish take some line. When he was able, he took the rod from Irene, and after a short time, he brought a giant grouper alongside the boat.

    “Cut the line,” he told Irene.

    “Why, aren’t they good to eat”?

    “Not when they get this big,” Sam explained, “Cut the line and let him go.”

    As Sam was stowing the fishing gear, he told Irene,”There is a disease that fish can transmit to humans. It is called ciguatera. The fish get it from eating algae. That grouper may have been OK, but there is no point in taking an unnecessary chance. The most likely fish to make you ill is a large grouper, besides, we still have plenty of Tuna.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    2,382
    Thank you, fast thinking there.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    4,983
    Great addition. Please keep going. I look forward to each new addition.
    My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don't get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It's what makes us unique and all valuable as a group.

  11. #131
    Thank you for more of your great story I am really enjoying it fastback08.
    Wayne

  12. #132
    Chapter 15 (continued)


    Sam got the sails back in the air and set course for the small island the older man had spoke of. Irene took her turn at the wheel while Sam consulted his charts and occasionally look at the sun and his watch and have Irene change course by a few points here and there. Finally he climbed as far up the mast as he could and scanned the horizon with his Steiner binoculars.

    “Land ho,” he shouted down to Irene. “We are within sight of the island.”

    “What do I need to do,” Irene Asked?

    “Nothing, for now,” Sam replied, “we are going to get closer and then go to the North end and go around. At that point we may anchor and take the dinghy and look for the hidden cove entrance the old man told me about.”

    When the small island was in full view, Sam took the wheel and brought the boat around. The unfavorable winds were going to make for a series of tacks, so Sam and Irene brought down the sails and fired off the little diesel engine. When they had made their way to the Eastern side of the mountain, Sam killed the engine and dropped anchor. He and Irene lowered the dinghy into the water and Sam climbed in. Telling Irene to wait, he took the tiller and powered the little boat along the shore. Once he made it about one third of the way around, Irene could no longer see him, but they could keep in touch with the Handy Talkies. Sam carefully watched the coast of the island when he noticed a sort of rip current in a place where there really shouldn't have been a current. Steering the boat toward the disturbed water, he noticed it was an outflow. He put the boat's nose toward the flow and powered forward. Ducking under some brush, he found himself in a lush lagoon. He quickly figured there was plenty of room for the sailboat and he turned around and motored back to Irene.

    “There is a perfect spot for us to hold up for a few days,” Sam started, “We need to get the sails put away and crank the masts over so we can fit, but it will be perfect.”

    As soon as the words were out of his mouth, the work commenced. They took the sails and secured them below deck, they brought the two masts down and secured them to the deck, and finally Sam, started the engine and moving dead slow, he pushed it into the inlet. The plants were rubbing on the sides of the boat and it was very tight, but there was plenty of depth for the lee board to clear the smooth sandy bottom. Once inside he maneuvered the boat around until the bow was facing the entrance, just in case a speedy exit was needed. Irene joined Sam in the dinghy and paddled to the edge of the lagoon.

    “Let's have a look around,” Sam said, “If we can find a good spot, we can set up the tent and sleep on something solid.”

    “As much as I like sleeping on the boat, it might be nice to sleep on something that isn't moving,” Irene said.

    The couple moved through the dense brush at the edge of the lagoon and were surprised to see it suddenly open up to a small wooded area with a sandy but not overgrown floor.

    “This looks like a good spot for a tent, said Sam, “I will help you move everything over here and then I want to try and get an antenna set up.”

    Sam ran a line from a small palm tree to the boat and they used the line to pull the dinghy back and forth. When the dinghy full of camping gear was pulled to the shore of the lagoon, they unloaded it and both of them made the short hike to the campsite. Satisfied that Irene had everything under control, Sam fashioned a rope around his ankles and after tying a light line to his belt, he climbed the tallest tree available. Using the rope around his ankles to give him a better grip on the trunk, he scampered up like a monkey, he was told later. He screwed an eye bolt into the tree's trunk and threaded the line attached to his belt through the eye. He let out line until both ends of the line were touching the ground, the he climbed down. Sam went back to the sail boat and attached another line to the pulley on top of the mast. He then raised the mast and using the line, he pulled up one end of his antenna wire. Pulling himself in the dingy to the center point of the antenna, he connected his coax cable and then attached the other end of the antenna to the rope in the tree. Using the free end of the rope he raised the antenna until it was almost flat and even with the end attached to the mast. He added a weight to the end of the line that would hold the antenna straight, but would allow movement should the boat move or the wind got up. He attached the end of his coax to the antenna tuner on his radio and after a couple of minutes he had a good SWR reading on all the bands he would be using. He shut everything down and went to help Irene.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    2,382
    Thank you, good work setting up the antenna.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    4,983
    Beautiful lagoon, secluded camping spot and now radio capabilities..................sounds like the perfect camping spot.
    My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don't get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It's what makes us unique and all valuable as a group.

  15. #135
    Thanks for more of your great story fastback08, it is always a good day when i find another post form you.
    Wayne

  16. #136
    Thanks for another dose. Now.... what will he hear on the radio????

  17. #137
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Southwest Michigan
    Posts
    16
    thanks for the story - can't wait for more

  18. #138
    Thanks FB for the chapter....
    Now what will befall the couple while on land since the two locals know where they are at????
    Texican....

  19. #139
    Chapter 16


    Sam could think of no good reason to move the food and camp stove to the campsite, since the boat had a functioning galley and a propane refrigerator to keep things cool, so he and Irene decided they would cook and take their meals on the boat and sleep ashore. About an hour before sunset, Irene started their dinner and Sam connected the radio to his antenna. Sam was impressed by the large number of signals he heard. From what he could tell, the bombings had occurred in a lot of countries. The common denominator was all the affected countries exported oil and they all had economies that were in poor shape. Almost every single bombing took place in a port city and seemed to be designed to disrupt shipping. This led Sam to think the bombs were Middle East in origin and the locations were carefully chosen. If the oil exporting countries were suddenly unable to sell their product, the economy could only worsen. Sam's thoughts were somewhat confirmed by the reported astronomical increase in oil prices. The oil rich Middle East, could sell their oil at the new price and the rest of the country, while they had oil, could not ship it. The poorer countries like North Korea, simply could not afford to import any. They had nothing of value to trade, and word was, little Dear Leader, was in hiding from the hordes of starving people. The soldiers, no longer being paid, simply threw down their weapons and went home. The Southern border was deluged with people seeking to enter.

    Irene called Sam to come eat, and he left the radio tuned to the BBC and they listened while they ate. There was no news of retaliation, and there seemed to little news of anyone claiming responsibility.

    “This is certainly strange, Sam opined, “If a dumb ass like me, can figure it out, there must be a consensus among the US leaders as to what happened. Why aren't we doing something?”

    “I am not the sharpest on world affairs,” Irene began, “but it seems to me, someone in a leadership position could be made very rich by oil money, if they drug their feet a little. The longer it takes to get things repaired and shipping restarted, the more we pay out for foreign oil, and the more money the Saudis make.”

    Sam finished and returned to radio. There was some good news, the loss if life was a great deal less than it could have been. It seems the bombs were very low yield as if they were designed to do a specific job. They destroyed the shipping and refining industry while leaving a great deal of the infrastructure largely undamaged. The people, at least, were calling for a swift payback for the perpetrators, but it was falling on seemingly deaf ears. Sam checked into the Interconn Net, mainly to check his transmission capabilities and was pleased to receive a favorable signal report. He shut the radio down and noted the solar panels were doing an adequate job of keeping the batteries topped off.

    “Let's check out the campsite,” Sam suggested, “I would like to build a small fire, before it gets completely dark.”

    “Do you think we need a fire,” Irene asked? “It seems pretty warm to me.”

    “Of course we don't need a fire,” Sam replied, “but we are camping and a campfire is called for.”
    After a couple of hours of sitting around the fire and discussing their plans for the coming days, Sam and Irene climbed into the tent and cut off the light and let the sound of the waves put them to sleep. Sam was the first to awake and he headed to the boat to get the coffee started. The percolator had barely started when he saw Irene coming through the brush. Grabbing the rope, she pulled the dinghy over the shore and then used the other rope to pull the dinghy over to the sailboat.

    “Coffee about ready,” she asked?

    “Waiting on you,” came Sam's reply, “How'd you sleep last night,?”

    “I think I missed the rocking of the boat,” Irene said, “now that I am used to it, it seems unnatural somehow for the bed to not be rocking.”

    “That could be taken several ways,” Sam laughed.

    As they were putting the breakfast dishes away, Sam heard a boat motor. He knew it was a small outboard form the sound, but he gave Irene a rifle and sent her to the woods and told her to keep a sharp eye on the boat and him. Taking another rifle for himself, Sam hid behind the cuddy cover and covered the entrance to their cove.

    “Hello on de boat,” came a call from behind a curtain of brush, “Will you be welcoming guest today?”

    Sam recognized the voice and told him to come on in. It was the old man that had told them about the cove while they were fishing.

    “I thought I would come by and see if you were needing anything, I am going to the big Island and I can bring you back whatever it is you be needing,” the old man offered.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  20. #140
    fastback08 thank you for the chapter, great story, thank you for taking the time to share it with us I am looking forward to more.
    Thanks
    Wayne

  21. #141
    so loving this story keep it going.
    btw buying a sailboat in a few weeks so this is keeping me sane lol

  22. #142
    Chapter 16 (contd.)


    Sam handed over his thirty-gallon propane tank and Irene gave the man a list of things she needed. Sam hand over some bills and the older man assured him it was plenty. Finally, Sam gave the old man a Hand held two-way radio and gave him a quick course in using it. Sam told the old man to call him when he got close, so he and Irene wouldn’t have to go on guard.

    The old fellow, lashed the propane tank down and slowly putted through the brush cover and headed on to Grand Cayman. Sam took the dingy and he and Irene motored out into the open water to try and catch some supper.

    “We still have a lot of fish in the refrigerator,” Irene advised Sam.

    “This is a likely spot to grab some Spiny Lobster,” Sam countered, “but if you don’t care for lobster, we can just eat the fish.”

    “Let’s at least give them a try,” Irene said, changing her mind.

    Sam laughed and pulled his mask and snorkel out of his gear bag and slipped into the water. “Keep your eyes open for visitors while I am down,” Sam told Irene, “Slap the water with a paddle if you see or hear anything.”

    Irene took her job seriously, scanning the horizon with Sam’s Steiner binoculars, looking for anything that wasn’t water. Sam came up with a nice sized lobster and told her he would be right back. Irene became fascinated by the large number and variety of birds and her attention drifted a little. Sam came up silently with two more of the lobsters and saw that Irene was studying birds instead of keeping watch. He grabbed her from behind and asked if she has seen anything. She gave a small yelp and then felt embarrassment at having been caught shirking her duty.

    “I am so sorry,” she began, “the birds were so beautiful that I guess I forgot that we may be in danger. I promise it will never happen again.”

    “Not a huge problem, this time,” said Sam trying to let her off the hook somewhat, but, you are right, we could find danger anywhere out here. Let’s get back to camp and start the lobster.”

    Back in the Galley, Sam removed three strip steaks from the frozen compartment of the small propane refrigerator and set them to thaw. While Irene started prepping salad fixings and Sam moved the Hibachi up to the deck.


    “Be sure and prep enough for three,” Sam told Irene, “I plan to invite the old guy to stay and eat with us.”

    “What if he doesn’t come back with our stuff and money,” asked Irene.

    “I have a feeling that won’t be the case,” Sam said, “there is something about the old guy that I like, and I think he is genuinely trying to help us. I want to have a serious conversation with him after we eat."
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  23. #143
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    2,382
    Thank you, this always has me looking for moar.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  24. #144
    Thanks. I smell a twist in the story since he may have found a good ally.

  25. #145
    I am truly sorry for the long delay. I am trying to get a small firearms business off the ground and it has kept me pretty busy. I have not forgotten about Sam and Irene and I will be posting another segment either later today or in the morning. I appreciate the patience and ask that you bear with me.

    Rick

    BTW, If you are in the state of Mississippi and I can help you with a firearm, let me know.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  26. #146
    Thanks for the post. This is a very good story. We're <im>patiently waiting!

  27. #147
    Chapter 17


    The shadows had started to lengthen and Irene was telling Sam that the old guy had probably spent their money on rum and was having a good laugh, when they heard the putt-putt of his small boat motor. Sam got into position with his rifle, just in case it was someone else. The old main yelled to them through the brush filled entrance to the cove to let them know it was him. Sam returned his rifle to the rack inside the cabin door and hailed the old man to come on in. The small boat was brought alongside the larger sailboat and Sam lifted the large propane tank onto the deck and secured it temporarily to avoid it rolling on the deck. Irene helped unload the fresh fruits and vegetables and Sam helped the older man onto the sailboat.

    “Before we get any further,” Sam said to the older man, “I am embarrassed to admit, I never got your name.”

    “Tommy,” said the old man, “Tommy Tompkins, but all my friends know me as Tom.

    “Tom it is then. “My name is Sam and this is Irene,” Sam said as he swept his hand toward Irene. We would be honored, if you would join us for dinner.”

    “And I would be a foolish old man to decline such a generous offer,” said Tom, “but first, I need to clean up a bit.”

    Irene showed Tom to the head where he could wash up. While he was cleaning up, Sam put the steaks on the hibachi and Irene started the water for the lobster. Together they made a salad and Sam whipped up a vinaigrette dressing. Sam looked at the steaks and advised Irene that it was time to drop the lobsters into the pot of boiling seasoned water. Tom looked on and asked several time if there were any way to help.

    While enjoying their meal, Sam, out of the blue, asked Tom, “Just what in the hell is going on in the world, Tom?”

    “Well sir,” Tom began, “I really don't know where to start. Ting's they be going on pretty much like always on the island. Everybody goes to work, everyting be open, and as far as I can tell, except for de prices, everything seems to be de same, but there is something that I can't be putting my finger on. Somehow, der is a difference.”
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  28. #148
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    4,983
    Thank you for this addition. Please keep writing.
    My posts are simply my opinion, understanding and perceptions. Nothing more, nothing less so please don't get offended if mine sometimes differs from yours. It's what makes us unique and all valuable as a group.

  29. #149
    Thank you for taking the time to feed our addiction.
    And, best wishes on the new gun shop.

  30. #150
    Thank you FB for the chapter....
    Texican....

  31. #151
    Chapter 17 (continued)



    "Tom, it is very important to Irene and me, If you can think of anything that could help us, please share it with us,” Sam said.

    “Well, I don’t know if this means anyting, but the warship she been sitting offshore for a munt or more. De flag she be waving is red wit a star of gold. Dey haven’t been to shore dat I know of, but everyone be staying clear, you know. One more ting dat might mean someting, de Americans have all gone. Dere were some here on the tourist boats, but all of a sudden dey we loaded up and left.”

    “What does this mean, Sam?” Irene questioned, “are they taking Americans prisoner?”

    “I don’t know Irene, they may have been evacuated to a place of safety. Tom, did you see the boats they took the Americans on?”

    “Ya man,” started Tom, de boats all had the American flag, but there were no war ships, dey were like the big tourist boats.”

    Tom said he had to get back to his home and he bid his new friends goodbye as he set out, vowing to back in three days or less. Irene and Sam cleaned up the dinner dishes and put everything away, Irene learned quickly that everything on a boat had its place and there was a place for everything. There was no room for anything out of place. Sam cranked up the radio and called CQ Europe until he got an answer from a HAM in Ireland. They exchanged info with Sam being somewhat cryptic with his location. He gave his position as being in the South Atlantic. He knew if the Chinese ship was monitoring, they could pinpoint him, but somehow he felt it important to not be too obvious as to his whereabouts. The Irishman talked at length of the bombing in the Americas and how things were slowly starting to be repaired, but he also said there were some areas that would be too hot to inhabit for quite a while. Sam asked about the US Government and what had been their response to the attack. Sean, the Irishman, said to date, there had been no response. The official position was, they had no idea who attacked or why. Sam and Sean agreed that that was Bravo Sierra. Sam signed with Sean, and relayed what he had heard to Irene. They discussed what implications the Chinese warship held for them and decided that for the short term, they would hold tight where they were.

    “I think I am just going to crash on the boat tonight, I am starting to miss the soft bed,” said Irene.

    “Do you mind if I join you,” asked Sam?

    “You sailors are all alike,” Irene said as she turned out the light beckoning Sam to bed.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  32. #152
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    2,382
    Thank you, great chapter and much to think about.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  33. #153
    Fastback08 Thanks for more of your great story. I am looking forward to more when you are able to.
    Wayne

  34. #154
    Thanks again. This does make you consider how we'd handle it if something severe happened while we were on a vacation out of the country.

  35. #155
    Chapter 18


    After a night of sleep interrupted by worry, Sam decided over breakfast, that they should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

    “Let's strike the camp and repack everything we can into the boat. I want us to be able to leave here quickly if anything goes awry,” Sam told Irene.

    Irene agreed and the two of them went to the small campsite and took down the tent and started packing everything and removing traces of them having been there. The rocks comprising the campfire ring were disbursed in a haphazard fashion, hopefully looking like random placement. Sam took a small folding shovel and dug a hole next to the remains of the fire and buried all the partially burned wood and ashes. Then taking palm fronds, he swept the area of footprints. When the two finished it looked pretty much like it did before they made camp.

    “Let's get this put away on the boat,” Sam began, “I want to run the diesel for a few minutes and make sure all is ready.”

    “While you are doing that, I am going to check the water tank and see if there is anything we need to get from Tom before we leave,” Irene added.

    In pretty short order, the boat was made ready to sail, and Sam and Irene rested on the deck with a couple of Barq's Root Beers, Sam had thoughtfully brought.

    “I think when we leave here, we need to head South,” said Sam motioning to the Southern horizon. “We may need to spend some time in the Southern hemisphere. Maybe as far as Australia, but for sure we need to be where there are fewer people. If China has declared war on the world, Australia is likely to be fully engaged, but, I think it is still far too dangerous to try and get back to the states, at least until I can make a reliable contact with someone I trust. There are just too many unknowns.”

    Sam connected the coax cable to the radio and began calling on twenty meters. He was looking for a friend from the Navy that he served with. Rowdy, was still in the Navy and was a ship’s radio operator. If he was at sea, there was a chance he would be monitoring their special frequency. Sam and Rowdy had promised they would keep in touch when Sam mustered out of the Navy and they had several frequencies they had decided on. Different bands for different times of day. Twenty meters during time hours and as the day turned to evening they would switch to forty meters and finally to 80 meters at night. The frequencies they chose were slightly outside the HAM bands, but due to the current circumstances, Sam doubted there would be any consequences.

    Sam was listening intently for an answer to his call, when the radio crackled out, “John has a long moustache.”

    Sam quickly answered, “The chair is against the wall.”

    Sam remembered how they had watched Red Dawn together and decided the background radio chatter would be their person recognition phrase.

    “Is it really you,” Rowdy almost yelled into the microphone,

    “It is me and I am a long way from home,” Sam answered.

    “Can you get to a SAT phone,” Rowdy asked?

    “It will take a minute to dig it out,” Sam said.

    “I need to tell you something, and this is not nearly secure enough. Call my phone in thirty minutes, I will be off watch.”
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  36. #156
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    nw mountains
    Posts
    2,382
    Thank you fastback08, nice to have friends with info.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  37. #157
    Wonderful story. This is not something I am familiar with and I am finding it intriguing! Thank you for all of your effort.

  38. #158
    The beans are fixin to be spilled....
    If you have a large enough boat with a water system you can survive for a while....
    Thanks for the read FB....
    Now another chapter would be greatly appreciated by the moar crowd....
    Texican....

  39. #159
    Thanks for the new chapter fastback08, I am really enjoying your story.

    I hope the business venture works out for you

    Wayne

  40. #160
    As the tension builds...

    Thanks, now we can't wait for the next chapter!

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