Dad's View in Great Wide Sea

By , Blue Bell, PA
Spanish Cay was magnificent, like all the other islands. Lonely, small, and quiet. After island- hopping for almost one month, one must have an enjoyable day on the beautiful island. But, I had a plan. We couldn’t stay on the island for long, because we had to go to Bermuda and move on and explore, possibly the whole world. So, we were having a most pleasant lunch, with the midday sun shining down on us, warm and bright, I decided to announce the plan.

I announced, “Boys I’ve made up my mind.” First, my three sons looked up and stared, confused. I could see why. Who would in the middle of a meal say such a thing like that? Just like a lightning bolt, I knew it was a stupid way to start up a conversation. Well, I just had to put up it. I didn’t speak at all for a while.

Ben finally asked, “About what?”

I decided I just had to reply. Better now or soon than later. So, I finally replied, “You are an excellent crew. Ben, you’re a born sailor. Dylan, your navigation is perfect. Gerry, you try hard and you’re learning. I’ve watched you all and I know you can handle it. You’re the best.” And, what I said was true. My three sons that I loved so much were all good sailors and learning and maturing. I am so proud of them, and Christine would if she was still here. God, I miss her. I miss her voice, her kissing, and her always caring for others.

I saw, out of the corner of my eye, Dylan moving to the cockpit and Ben sitting up. They were wondering what was going on. I had to say once and for all, soon. So, I continued, “And, Chrysalis is a good boat. She’s not pretty and she’s not new, but she’s strong and seaworthy. She can take us anywhere.

Still confused, Ben asked, “What are you saying?”

Well, now I’m ready to finally announce the plan. “I’m saying that if we wanted to, we could cross the Atlantic Ocean. We could sail around the world.”

“We don’t want to,” Ben replied. I knew my sons would disagree, but this was my dream, since, like forever.

So, I said, “No, Not now. But later. First, we’ll just go to Bermuda. Tomorrow, we’ll turn back to Marsh Harbor. We need to get the radio repaired. That guy in Nassau didn’t know what he was doing. And I’m still not happy about that noise in the rudder. So, we’ll spend a few days in Marsh Harbor making repairs and stocking up. Then, we’ll head to Bermuda. It’s not quite nine hundred miles from here. It’ll take us five to seven days to get there, I’d guess.

Ben quickly replied, “You’re joking.” How could I be? How could I joke about a thing like this?

I answered, “No, I’m perfectly serious. Look what we’ve done what we’ve learned. Now we have a chance to do even more, learn even more.” I almost decided to say something more, but looking at my son’s faces, I decided not to.

“What about money?” Ben asked.

“We’ll work. People do that. Like what we did in Nassau. You work where you go, and if you don’t like it, you leave. I could probably teach in Bermuda. You guys could sit in a classroom if you wanted, or we could keep on with the homeschooling. It wouldn’t matter. After storm season ended, we could go to- I don’t know- Spain maybe. Learn Spanish. Or to Portugal, where the great sailors came from.” I chuckled at the idea. “It’s always what I’ve wanted to do, and now we can do it.” I stood up, stretching my legs. We’ve been sitting for a long time. “Storm’s coming boy. Better get the boat ready.

I started going down, but the boys didn’t. What was up with them?

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small sailboat motoring into the harbor. The couple dropped the anchor, brought up drinks, and sat to rest under the Bimini. Why couldn’t our family be as happy as they, loving the warm breeze and the beach.

Ben suddenly piped up, saying, “You said one year.”

Frustrated with Ben, and his behavior, I replied, “Get moving. We don’t want everything to get wet.”

By the time we were back in the boat, I realized we better hurry or the storm will blow us away in one gush. With my instructions, the boys and I swept through storm routine in double time. We had Chrysalis locked up tight and storm safe before the first drops hit. Down below, I could sense the fear waves coming through Gerry and there was no sound, at all. I was reading one of the guidebooks set up in the main cabin, titled Storms. I guessed ben was at the navigation table, looking at the chart, possibly for Bermuda, but more likely, for Florida.

Suddenly, Ben came down, and said, “Dad, you can’t do this. You just can’t decide.” I opened my mouth to say something, but Ben interrupted, “It’s just like before. You just can’t-“

Just then, the other boat hit us, like two cars crashing. I thunked against the side of the boat and Gerry, poor Gerry fell off his bunk. The storm was about to start!





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