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.
A couple WhatIf?s first –
What if there were vampires in the crew of a spaceship on a years long migration voyage with the humans in stasis. Part of the deal was for the humans to donate blood for the vamps in exchange for them to maintain the ship and the migrants as well as navigate and handle problems. But What If? something went wrong and all the humans died. Vamps may be immortal, but they still need blood. What happens when they don’t have any and they are years away from any human contact? If there was only one left what would his or her last message be to Earth or their destination?
What if a man (man1) doesn’t know he’s immortal until he dies. During the short time he’s dead he loses his chance with the woman he loves. For years he searches for her only to learn that she has died. But then he sees her and realizes that she is immortal, too. But, thinking the immortal man is dead, she is with another man. What would man1 and the woman do? Murder, affair, wait? They do, after all, have forever to be together.
Windhaven was into the Southern Sea under a grey overcast sky. Those on deck, Noah and Thomas, wore full raingear with plenty of warm clothing underneath. A forty knot wind held steady behind Windhaven, driving the sailboat through dark, foam streaked ten to twelve foot seas at the boat’s maximum of twenty-two knots. Spray continually soaked the deck.
Thomas fought the helm as the waves seemed to come from different direction. Noah hunched on a cockpit seat nearby trying to avoid the spray each time the boat slammed into a wave.
Below, the rest of the crew huddled around a computer on the settee table for a streaming session with kids, including Everheart Middle School.
“You picked a nasty day to call us,” Ivan, his long face bristly with a thin brown beard, told the children. “It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s blowing forty plus knots, it’s rough, and it’s gonna be pitch dark soon. But,” his whole face grinned, “we’re making twenty-two freaking knots of speed and I’m loving it.”
A particularly large wave slapped the boat sideways, the spray sounded like a bucket of thumbtacks thrown on the deck. Propped against a support post Larry held a video camera recording the live stream the kids saw. The wave knocked him to his knees.
Before he could recover his stance he heard a few screams form the computer and a small voice asking, “Are they sinking?”
Alain, one hand gripping a coffee mug, one gripping the table, smiled and shook his head. All the men had beards, his was the only nicely trimmed, said, “Non, do not worry, we are not sinking, mes amies. It will take a much larger wave than that to sink this petite bateau.”
A student asked, “You look comfortable there, what about the others on deck?”
Red tells Larry to go see.
Larry already has his rain pants on. He hands the camera to Ivan. “Ivan tell the kids how you keep us from getting scurvy.” While Ivan makes up a story while making himself the hero Larry donned his rain jacket and toque. Ready to go on deck he takes the camera from Ivan. Holding it out to video a selfy, he says, “Hey kids, don’t listen to a thing he says. Just eat your fruits and veggies and you’ll be all right. Let’s go topside.”
Larry climbed the companionway ladder and bracing himself in the middle of the cockpit did a three-sixty turn, ending focused on Thomas behind the wheel and Noah sitting beside him. Ricky stood in the companionway with the laptop facing out so the two men could see the kids.
Whoever was videoing at the school did a slow, closeup sweep of the kids ending on their teacher, Linda Sopia.
Noah leaned forward as she gave a little wave to the crew, meaning Noah. Noah’s gaze locks onto her. “Hi, you must be the teacher.”
“Yes, I am.” She smiled warmly. “Nice to see you, without the seaweed.”
“Ha. It’s much nicer to be an Old Salt rather than a Pollywog.” He turns away to avoid a slap in the face by spray. “Though the weather was better then.”
“It looks that way. Steering a sailboat is different from steering a car. Can you explain to my students?”
“I’ll try.” Thomas, barely recognizable under a heavy layer of raingear, stepped away from the helm and bowed to Noah.
Noah took a moment to connect with the speeding boat’s motion. Larry sat on a cockpit seat to focus on him.
Noah had to shout over the noise of wind and waves and the susurrus of the boat slicing through water at twenty-two knots plus. “It’s mostly a matter of feel. You have to feel the motion of the boat with your feet on the deck or the seat of your pants on the helmsman’s seat. As it rises up on a wave the water and the wind on the sails want to push the boat around. Your job is to anticipate where the boat is going to be pushed, and then to turn the wheel enough to push it back before it goes off course.”
As he talks he does as he says. Sometimes a little movement, sometimes bigger, but all smooth. The bumpy ride becomes a bit less bumpy under his hand.
“Like most things it’s about anticipation, practice,” he sticks his rear out and points to it, “and driving by the seat of your pants.”
Larry laughs. “And there you go, kids, a lesson in life and steering by our master helmsman, Noah.”
Noah waves. “Okay guys, good to talk with you.” He points directly at Linda. “Good to see you again.”
“And you,” she says. “Maybe when you return you will come and visit us.”
“Count on it.”
Standing in the companionway, Red says to the camera, “Okay kids, time’s up. If we keep up this speed Noah will be in your classroom in no time at all. We’ll be heading deep into the Roaring Forties where the weather and seas can get pretty rough. But, we have a good crew and a good boat so no worries.”