Marshall gave the order to cast off and they were away. It was an unusual feeling for Marshall to be leaving a port in daylight and one that couldn’t happen anywhere else in the world as far as he knew. He had got used to memorizing the port map and not having to rely on visual clues like a normal captain would. But Marshall was no normal captain. He was a pirate captain. And he was very very good at it. Three, Two, One…
“One and a quarter turns Starboard” he shouted out.
Marshall entertained the possibility of scaring a junior rigger by doing the whole thing with his eyes closed. But there was no point. He couldn’t convince his old bones to have fun like that. His brain was still alive to the prospect of such fun. But his bones feared his brain.
The bones knew it was best, even in a safe port like Santa Dominique, to keep your eyes peeled.
Marshall turned and looked back towards the port. Nothing there. Five, Four, Three… He swiveled back towards the wheel. Two… There had been something… One… Something on the horizon.
“A third turn to Port”.
He wasn’t even listening for the confirmation. His eyes were searching for that glint out on the horizon. A shape that had made him start. A sail in the wrong place. It was not a normal route into port. It wasn’t a tack he’d seen anyone attempt. Or rather anyone else. It was his route into Santa Dominique, his route over the shallow rocks only Marshall had the map for. So either that ship was soon about to go down all hands or something very troubling was going on.
[Check back next week for Part 2 of Out to Sea]