Windhaven 6

I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever.  The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome as long as you know that I may or may not follow them.

To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE.

What Ifs?

I had bees in my kitchen the other day. They came in through a vent, but appeared in midair as if from another dimension. I’m not that wild about multidimensional stories, but, What If? they were from another dimension? How would you know? They might be little robot reconnaissance insects. We have tiny mechanical flying insects, why couldn’t THEY? What would they be looking for? Are they friend or foe? If they were friends they should send butterflies instead of bees. Either way, not in our kitchen, thank you very much.

What If? Windhaven, or another boat, Windhaven has enough troubles, in the middle of the ocean sails through a dimensional rift with out knowing it? The sea is the same, it’s when they get to land that things get strange. Maybe they’re arrested as spies, their boat confiscated. How do they get it back? Maybe the people think they are heroes of some sort, but the perks of heroism are not what they seem. In either case, how do they get back to their home dimension? And do they want to? 

Windhaven 6


WNoah waved at the follow boat and turned to the task at hand, leading their closest rival, Global. The sixty-eight foot boat was fast with a well experienced crew, but Windhaven had Larry Brockard. Larry stood beside Noah his gaze intent on every wind ripple, every wave, every wisp of cloud, how the other boat’s sails were trimmed. Though only twenty-six, both his parents had degrees, mother a PhD in weather science and father a masters degree in weather science and oceanography. They’d been sailing and teaching Larry since he was three. Larry could read every nuance of wind and water and make sure Windhaven took advantage of them.

Over the next hours the racers spread out as they headed in what they believed was the best course for them. As evening enclosed them Larry looked up from his charts and computers and declared that Windhaven led Global by almost a nautical mile. Insignificant in light of the thirty thousand plus miles ahead, but good for moral anyway.

After almost five hours on the helm, Noah sat at the settee table scarfing down one of Ivan’s pasta dishes. Ivan, Leigh and Red, all sun burnt and tired, sat with him.

“You did good today, New Guy,” Leigh said.

“Thanks. You guys make a good crew. It’s easy to work with you.”

Red said, “I told ya.”

“He’s got the magic seat of the pants,” Ivan added. “His ass is one with the water.”

“Thanks for that lovely endorsement of the New Guy, Ivan.”

Tired, and a bit cranky, Noah said, “Ordinarily, I’d ask how long it takes for the new guy to get a real name. But I’m pretty beat today so I won’t.”

All eyes on him, there was a long silence. Noah managed a smile and a shrug and kept eating.

Finally, Leigh said, “You did good today, Noah.”

“Thanks, Leigh. I appreciate that.”

Noah got up soon after and headed forward to a narrow corridor on the starboard side. His narrow bunk was the second fold down in a line of three. The port side had a similar set up with the head in between. He used the head and slumped onto his bunk. He’d barely slept since that phone call. The tension and excitement of five hours on the helm had been the limit. He spared a minute to think of Linda and was out. He was on watch again in a few hours.

And so it went. He quickly joined the rhythm and routine of the boat. Red assigned the watches – two crew on each watch, two hours on, six off, though if there were changes to be made it was all hands on deck.

They crossed the Gulfstream and worked their way south. Larry seemed to divine favorable winds with a glance at the sky and several screens on his wall of electronics.

Noah and Thomas stood watches together.

“I’m just a basic flunky deckhand,” Thomas told Noah one fine clear night with a Cheshire Cat moon grinning down from the East. “I used to work building or repairing fishing boats. Worked with my father mostly.” A sentimental grin softened his face as he gazed straight up at the stars. He chuckled. “I know it’s a cliché but he did teach me everything he knew. Which, except about boats, isn’t much. He made it to tenth grade then went to work. Not much real education, but he had common sense and lots of boatyard smarts.”

“What about you?”

“Huh. If I had any common sense I wouldn’t be on this big ass sailboat racing around the world.”

“Well, I guess we have that in common,” Noah allowed.

“You, me, and every freaking long-distance sailor I ever met.”

“So how’d you make the transition from leaky fishing boats to a million dollar sailboat?”

“A friend of the yard owner had a forty footer with engine problems. I fixed him up and while we were testing the engine he put up his sails and shut down the engine, which ran perfectly, by the way. I’d never been on a sailboat before. It was a beautiful day, sunny, nice breeze, quiet. He gave me a beer and I was hooked. Every captain wants a crew who does what’s he told, doesn’t get seasick, doesn’t whine when the weather turns shitty, and can fix an engine. You?”

“I was sixteen on a family friend’s boat, had the same day you did. Started asking around. I was the same crew you were, except I can’t fix an engine. And here I am.”

Quiet for a while, they took in the easy roll of the boat, the susurrus of the passing water and the ever warming breeze. What sailing is all about.

Thomas asked you writing anything I might have read?”

“What kind of books do you like to read?”

“None.”

“Then no.”

And so it went. Crossing the equator was slow going. It was also their first scheduled live streaming to school kids.

Comments and suggestions welcome – dcburtonjr@gmail.com

Advertisements

Windhaven 5

I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever.  The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome as long as you know that I may or may not follow them.

To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE.

What Ifs?

What If someone had something against one, or two, of the crew of a sailboat going offshore and they planted a bomb of some sort set to explode at some particular time? Maybe five minutes before the big bang he, or she, contacts them somehow, and tells them what’s going to happen. Boom. All are lost, except one guy survives who had nothing to do with the bomber, and he’s pissed!

Or, What If in the middle of the ocean the crew rescues a mermaid running away from a mean merman. The merman has connections. Maybe the mermaid is Poseidon’s favorite niece so merman has to keep under the Big Guy’s radar. They can’t just sink the boat, but the merhenchmen can reduce the crew, quietly, one at a time. But then Poseidon finds out what’s happening, and he’s pissed!

 What If the above happened in space? You figure it out.

Don’t forget to check out Fear Killer  —————————————–>

Windhaven 5

Chapter?

 At five o’clock on Sunday morning Linda, gripping her coffee with both hands, had hunched over her home computer as an interviewer and camera worked their way down the dock, interviewing crew members of the seven boats. She knew enough about boats to recognize the engineering, ingenuity, ruggedness, and the money involved in the sailboats getting ready to race around the world.

woman_using_laptop

Interspersed with the interviews were short video clips of each boat at speed under full sail. The thrill of those boats powering through the water made her heart beat a little quicker each time, not only with excitement but a bit of fear as the vessels crashed through rough seas. In the night as they lay together in his bunk Noah had admitted he was excited to join the race, but nervous, too.

Windhaven was the fifth boat. Without thinking about it Linda leaned in close to her screen searching for a glimpse of a man she only knew for twelve hours, but had been on her mind for the two days since. Crazy. She’d probably never see him again, he’d forgotten all about her. A one night stand before going off the sea. But, the way he had treated her with respect, cared about what she felt, kissed her, maybe he wouldn’t forget her. She’d stick with that thought.

There he was, coiling a line behind the Captain. All business, she thought. Taking it seriously. Keeping himself safe. The thrill in her chest had nothing to do with sailing.

The interviewer asked, “I hear you had to replace one of your crew only two days ago. Is that a liability? Most of the crews have sailed together for months or years. What if he doesn’t fit in?”

Red shrugged. “That is possible, but I’ve sailed with Noah before. He knows how to fit in. We did a short sail yesterday. He caught our rhythm quickly and worked well with the crew.” He motioned to Noah to join him. “And the crew agrees. They welcomed him in true Windhaven fashion.”

Noah laughed and shook his head. “I just hope I don’t get pneumonia from being so ceremoniously thrown in the water. But I guess I can live with them.”

Thomas came into the picture and clapped a beefy hand on his shoulder. “Always good to know the new guy can swim and swear properly.”

“I hope I don’t have to swim again for awhile and if I have to swear it’ll probably be at you.”

Thomas busted a laugh. “Damn effing right.”

A woman, pretty, short hair, no nonsense, called from the companionway, “Thomas, come and help us. You’re not on a Disney cruise, you know.”

Holding his hands out in a what-can-you-do gesture, Thomas said, “She calls,” and went to help with last minute stores.

“Noah,” the interviewer asked, “You were called up on very short notice. It must have been hard to leave your family and home so quickly.”

“I did have to scramble a bit to get stuff in order. But there’s not much of family left so that wasn’t a problem.” He let out a deep breath. “Though I did meet someone… ah, recently. Maybe she’ll remember me when I return.”

“I’m sure she will.”

Linda sat back with a wide grin on her face. “I’m sure she will, too.”

–:–

She watched for hours as the boats threw off their dock lines and headed out to the imaginary start line. The wind had picked up and at noon Eastern time the seven sailboats with all sail up charged over the line in a beautiful display of grace and power.

Powerboats followed them for a half hour, cameras taking a last look at the crews working for that extra half a knot of speed.

Noah stood at the helm of Windhaven. He waved to the camera boat. Linda caught herself waving back. I’m such a fool she thought, wiping a tear off her cheek, her lips tight against any more.

 

 

Comments and suggestions to: dcburtonjr@gmail.com

Website – https://davidburtonwriting.com

Windhaven 4

What If?  — For writers and readers with imagination. Use your head.

What If Noah planned  the accident of the one crew member so he could be in the crew. Maybe one of them was a murderer of someone close to Noah and he plans to discover who once out at sea? Agatha Christie anyone?

Or, What If the opposite is true. The crew has some nefarious plans for him a la the Orient Express. But he catches on and subtly fights back.  And then there was one, or, if the crew was clever – none.

Or, What if the crew were demons and wanted some power that Noah didn’t know he had. Or did he? Or, What If they were all on a space ship and the crew were aliens, bad guys, good guys, demons, vampires, angels, cyborgs, robots? Mix and match. Fun!

spaceship1

———————————————————————–

I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever.  The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome as long as you know that I may or may not follow them.

To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE.

Windhaven 4

Before he fell asleep on the plane Noah’s waking dreams centered on Linda. He didn’t really believe in love at first sight. First night, maybe. He ran through the firsts – first smile, first kiss, first time they made love, both nervous, but laughing, first breakfast that felt so true.

He woke about a half hour before they landed. The smile he slept in turned tight and nervous. The woman faded a bit replaced by the boat, its crew and the sea. Plane landed, he breathed several deep breaths and, chuffing at the drama circling in his head, went to meet his fate.

 The first mate, Ricky Kiln, a six foot, broad shouldered guy with unruly dark hair, picked up Noah at the airport. After quick introductions Ricky guided him to a full size SUV loaded with equipment and food.

“How long has the crew been together,” Noah asked once away from the airport.

“All of us, about three months,” Ricky said. “Some of us longer.”

“I’m sorry about your guy breaking his leg.”

“Not too sorry, I’d bet. Now you get to go.”

Noah shrugged. “There is that, though I have to admit I’m a little nervous. This is a big step up from anything I’ve done.”

“Red told us what you’ve done. You impressed on the Bermuda race. Just take it easy at first. You’ll fit in.”

“I imagine your guy is disappointed.”

“He’ll get over it. He has a new girlfriend he’d rather hang out with than a bunch of crazy sailors.”

Noah crossed his arms and held himself tight. “I know how he feels.”

Windhaven floated like a sleek water beast yearning to be sent home to the sea. The sight of her rocking gently against the dock lines sent a thrill through Noah. He took in the seventy feet of racing sailboat with light blue streaming lines spelling out Windhaven on a dark blue hull; A fine bow and a fat stern with a low cabin and long cockpit. Twin wheels and polished stainless steel hardware all gleamed in the afternoon sun.

Ricky gave him a minute to take it all in. “What do think?”

“Beautiful.”

“Yeah, she is. Wait till you see her under full sail.” Ricky clapped him on the shoulder. “Come on, new guy. Meet your new best friends.”

Noah took a deep breath and descended the companionway ladder. Like the stark, all business deck, down below was also set up for business, but with a bit more flare. Mostly white with teak trim and shades of blue in the cushions and even a few small curtains over the small cabin side windows.

A navigation station from a space ship filled with instruments, computers, and communication equipment set to port of the ladder. A space with two bunks opened aft.

Starboard were two more bunks and a long, narrow galley. Forward of the galley was a U-shaped settee. Six people, five men and a woman, sat there, inspecting him. A stocky man with a round shaved head stood up.

“Noah,” Captain Redfield Smathers said, reaching out to shake his hand. “So glad you could make it. It’s going to be an adventure.”

“I imagine it will be,” Noah said, failing to match Red’s strong grip.

Several of the crew shifted to give him space on the settee. Noah studied the group. One man he knew. “Ivan, I see you’ve gained about three ounces since the last Trans Pac. Been eating your own food?”

Ivan, rail thin with cocoa skin reached a long arm across the table. He grinned wide. “Noah, good to have you aboard. I see you haven’t been eating my food, you’ve lost a few pounds.”

“Why do think I came along?”

The woman sitting next to Ivan, maybe forty, maybe fifty, skin dark with years at sea,  short of stature, especially next to Ivan, short of hair, broad of shoulder shook with Noah, her calloused grip matching Red’s. Leigh Tag said, “Ivan and Red say your okay, I hope they’re right.”

“I do, too,” Noah said, not quite able to meet her icy blue stare.

Sitting beside Leigh a young man, say mid-twenties, with a long face and a shock of blond hair gave a quick wave with a thumbless right hand. “That’s Larry Brockard,” Red said. “He’s our navigation and weather wizard. Just a kid, but he knows his stuff.”

“Well, that’s good. I’d hate to get lost out there.”

“No worries, mate,” Larry said with a mild Aussie accent. “I’ll get ya home.”

“Glad to hear it.”

“Next is Alain Bienvenue, all around deck man and our resident monkey. If someone has to go up the mast, walk the boom or hang off the side, he’s the man.”

Alain, slight, wiry with dusky skin and slicked back raven hair reached across to shake Noah’s hand. “Bonjour, Noah. Un plaisir. I hear vous êtes très compétant behind the helm.”

“I can usually keep going in the right direction.”

“Fast or slow if you ain’t goin’ in the right direction it’s not good,” the well-muscled man next to Noah said with a Texas accent. “I’m Tom Whitmore, deck man with Alain. He’s the brains, I’m the brawn. Least that’s what I tell him.”

“Plenty of need for both,” Noah said. “Even though I’m an old fart at forty-six I’ll do my best to help you win this little cruise.”

“Can’t ask for better than that.” Red raised his beer. “Well, this is our crew and here’s to us. Fair winds.”

The whole crew clinked bottles. “Fair winds.”