Rapp 66

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Trouble on the starboard side

The sun comes slowly to this earth when you’re waiting for it. Even as it starts, it takes forever to fully illuminate the sky. The wind had calmed so much that they were gaining on their target, only running the cat. By daylight Wendy had adjusted the Ramona’s course so that she was once again headed in the direction of Cancun. Wendy had to adjust their speed twice to keep from overtaking their mysterious new friends. The sun peeked over the horizon and acted like it was struggling to jump into the sky while everyone strained their eyes to spot the other boat’s sails.

Once there was enough light Tennessee studied the boat through the binoculars. It was sleeker than the Ramona and showed a smaller profile on the water. The sails weren’t tight, but rippled with what little breeze was available. Her name was Southern Cross and her port of call was New Orleans. One lone guy, tall and blond was at the helm. He stared forward and occasionally lifted his own binoculars to peer ahead. Tennessee could only imagine he was looking for them and wondering where the hell they had gone.

“Ok, what do you see?”

“Just one guy, he seems to be searching for us.”

“Let me see.” Tennessee handed her the binoculars.

“Alright, now I need you to tell me what you see as a sailor.” Tennessee said.

Wendy placed them to her eyes. “She’s a racer, about a twenty five footer, which means they have no shower and very little comfort. That’s a small boat. They’re really just camping on her. They don’t know much about sailing or at least the one on watch right now doesn’t. He’s looking for us alright, but it’ll be hard to pick us out with no sails set. We don’t stand out in all this water. Who do you think they are?”

“I don’t have a clue, but at least now we’re in control not them.”

Tennessee slowly scanned the horizon in all directions. To their east, thunderclouds were building. They looked ominous, but they were still a good ways away.

“Well Captain, what’s the plan?”

“I say we maintain what we’ve got until the crew gets up and see just how many they’ve got onboard. Then we make a decision, but it’s really up to you baby. Whatever you think is best.”

“I agree, let’s give it some time, it shouldn’t be long. Can we catch her if we want to?”

“Under normal conditions no, but they don’t have the sails trimmed well. So right now we could. We’ve also got a racing spinnaker in the tackle room, forward. If we hoist it we can at least run with her. It all depends on the capabilities of the sailors onboard. I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but Sabrina is one of the best on both coasts. We get her and the spinnaker up topside, we can overtake her easily.”

“What do you think about this?” Tennessee motioned his head toward the heavy black clouds building to their east.

“Shit, where did that come from?”

Wendy reached over and turned the radio on, putting it on the weather band and adjusting until she found what she was looking for. “Some fucking Captain I am, I didn’t even see that shit.”

“You were kind of occupied.”

“That’s no excuse. Stick your head below and yell all hands on deck. Better do it now.”

She turned to shake Susan awake while Tennessee headed for the hatch. Tennessee stuck his head inside and didn’t even get it all out before Sabrina came out of Whitie’s room still wearing nothing and pushed past him. Whitie came out, but he moved a little slower.

Sabrina took the helm and glanced toward the storm. No fear showed on her face, defiance maybe. Wendy went to the side and kept the glasses trained on their new friends.

“Alright, there are six of them as best as I can tell, five men and one woman. They aren’t sailors and right now there’re becoming aware of it themselves. We don’t have to worry about them seeing us. This storm has their attention at the moment.”

“So what’s the plan chickie?” Tennessee asked.

“Well, we drop the cat and set minimum sails and ride it out. The radio says it ain’t that bad. It won’t last too long, we’ll be fine.” Wendy looked toward Sabrina for confirmation, she nodded in agreement. “Sabrina, take Whitie below to the sail room and bring up that spinnaker. When we get through this, Tennessee wants to overhaul these fucks and leave them behind. Can we do it?”

“Hell, yeah.”

It was clear she was up to the challenge and she headed below with Whitie in tow. Soon, with considerable effort they were dragging a large sail bag out of the hatch. Sabrina grabbed some rope and with the confidence of a sailor and the look of a rodeo cowboy she secured it to the boat, so it would not be lost during the storm. Wendy stood looking through the glasses.

“Shit, that’s Glenda and Steve.” Wendy said, letting the glasses rest on her chest.

“Who the hell are they?” Tennessee asked.

Sabrina grabbed the glasses and moved them over Wendy’s head.

“We had drinks with them the day you were in Seattle. They said they were on vacation in New Orleans. They asked about our boat, but never mentioned they had one. The other four guys onboard all look like him, they could be brothers.”

“That’s them, alright.” Sabrina said. “He was German, right?”

“Austrian, I don’t like this shit at all.” Whitie put in his two cents worth.

“Well, they still don’t know what happened to us, but that’ll change when we set sails.”

The wind was starting to pick up and the Ramona was starting to roll a little more. “Set sails.” Wendy yelled, as she shut down the cat and made a slight course adjustment to the southwest.

Sabrina manually raised a small, storm sail forward of the main one and reefed it so that they were only flying a small amount of cloth. She was beautiful to watch as she moved ever so gracefully to accomplish her task with very little help from Whitie or Susan. The fact that she was still naked added to her grace and beauty. In fact, it was such a lovely scene that the fact that she was naked turned from being sexy, to a thing of pure beauty.

“Why are we turning away from them?” Tennessee asked.

“Right now we need to worry about this storm. We’ll worry about them when it’s done. If there’re smart, they’ll soon change to the same course.”

The swells continued to gain strength and size, as the Ramona rolled toward the coast that was somewhere in the general direction they were headed. The rain started and sight of the Southern Cross was lost, but they still had her on radar. Susan was sitting on the bench behind the helm holding on for dear life. After what Whitie and Tennessee had gone through in the Philippines, they were unfazed. Wendy concentrated on everything at once and only spoke to give orders to the crew, which really meant Sabrina.

Whitie got up and moved forward to stand with Sabrina, who was stationed on the bow to be ready for whatever Wendy asked her to do. Sabrina standing on the bow naked in a storm that would probably scare the shit out of the average person and in fact, was doing just that to Susan, was the most beautiful thing Tennessee could imagine in the world. Tennessee wished he had a camera and could catch it on film. She moved about the amidships with her blond hair stuck to her head from the rain. Although petite, she looked like a savage Amazon woman. The sea was giving the Ramona hell, but everyone onboard, with the possible exception of Susan, knew they were Ok.

Wendy turned and said. “It’s over; we’ll be out of it soon.” She was still yelling over the wind. “We need a little music for the rest of it, now it’s just fun.”

The strange thing was that Tennessee understood exactly what she meant. She piped the radio into the P.A. system and found them a radio station out of Mobile, Alabama. They jumped and jived to Sweet Home Alabama, as the Ramona tossed and turned through the leftovers of the storm.

Susan looked a little better. Wendy’s voice cut through the music briefly when she told the crew to set the main. Soon they were sporting full sail and were healed over to starboard so that the water was slipping along just under the gunwales. Wendy was coming back to a southeast course to get back on the Southern Cross’s tail.

“What do you want to do?”

“I want to get back behind her and then I want to pass her so close that we can hail her, within ten feet if we can. Can we do that?”

“Hell yeah, we can do that.”

She was smiling with the thought of it. Soon they were back on station about two miles to the rear of the Cross and sailing under full sail gaining on her.

“Her main got blown out during the storm. They’re catching hell right now.”

Wendy dropped the glasses again. Everyone moved to the helm now that the danger was over for the most part. “Sabrina can we set the spinnaker yet?”

“Yeah we can get her up, but we’ve just got to be careful. Man, this bitch will fly with all that sail and this wind.”

“That’s the idea. We want to blow by her at about ten feet to her port and wave as we pass.”

“Hell yeah, I’m in for that shit. Fuck a bunch of Germans anyway.”

“They’re Austrians and don’t you want to put on some clothes?” Whitie asked.

“Fuck a bunch of Austrians, and no.”

Wendy put Susan on the helm and the rest of them went forward to hang and set the large spinnaker. When it finally popped out tight, it sported a large dragon head on it that was belching smoke and flames. It was quite impressive.

“Remind me to call and tell Sammy how much I love him.” Wendy said.

The Ramona leapt forward. All conditions were perfect for speed and they sliced through the swells, gaining speed as they rode up and then down the other side. The crew of the Southern Cross was too busy to have noticed them while they rapidly closed the gap. Tennessee took the glasses from Wendy and watched the crew.

At a hundred yards they still hadn’t seen the Ramona. They were getting the shit kicked out of them by the rough seas. This was intensified by the fact that they had no forward movement. Whoever they were, they had bitten off more than they could chew. Now, six knots isn’t moving very fast, but when you overhaul another vessel so closely it seems like you are hauling ass.

They finally noticed the Ramona at about fifty yards off and stood hanging on, as they watched her approach in surprise. They watched her go by. Wendy’s crew didn’t need glasses to see the look of defeat on their faces.

Sabrina yelled. “Hey ya’ll, watch this.” She stood on the bow and shot double birds at them when the Ramona passed by close enough to make both crews doubt the two boats would not meet.

As they slipped away astern Tennessee yelled, “Damn girl you should have been from Georgia.”

Tennessee was sure she was a sight that none of them would ever forget. Soon the seas smoothed out to some extent, but the trip to Cancun was a little rough. In two days they pulled into port having never seen the Cross again.

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