The Privateer and the Revenge slowly drifted apart on the calm, inky waters of the ocean. The good captain had allowed the new captain, Captain Bildgepoole, to command the attack, to lead the men of both ships into battle against the mighty Leviathan.
Leviathan, the mighty beast of the deep, 300 feet from it’s head to it’s tail. Many landlubbers believed the legend to be false, most of them through fear, the same fear that saw them stuck on land. However to the band of merry men aboard the Privateer and Revenge the legend was a challenge, for to return home with the head of the feared beast was the ultimate quest in piracy.
Because battling such a beast was an unknown quantity, after all no pirate crew had ever survived to tell the story of battling the mighty Leviathan, there was no right and wrong way to approach the battle. However the plan of approach the second captain had come up on with when offered the chance to stand up and lead the crew into battle on his maiden voyage as captain, was the exact plan the good captain himself had come up with.
“Light th’ fuses!” Captain Bildgepoole cried as the to large ships drifted apart.
Because he waited until the ships were nearly thirty feet apart before he made his call the good captain of the Privateer relied on the raising of the captain’s sword to tell him the command had been given, at that point he repeated the call for his own men.
“Light th’ fuses!”
In was common knowledge among the pirate community that the exact burn time of the delayed fuses could not be guaranteed so dropping them at different times was not going to be a problem, their purpose was to drive the beast to the surface, not kill it.
The barrels of gun powder were heavy and on both ships there was three men hefting each barrel toward the opening in the side of hulls. When each barrel teetered on the edge of the ship the fuses were lit and secured.
The crew of the Revenge were the first to push their barrel over, quickly followed by the crew of the Privateer and with a call from both captains which was then relayed down into the hulls the ships were manoeuvred away from the blast zone.
Within minutes the large ships were in position waiting for the fuses to burn down. Communication between the ships was left up to the two pirates with eye pieces standing in the crows nests and relaying messages down to their crew, had the wind been howling or the sea been roaring such communication wouldn’t be possible but for now the weather was playing on their side.
The captains counted away the seconds. Aboard the Privateer the fair maiden stood beside her good captain nervously hooking her left arm around his right. Like the rest of the crew she was not frightened of the pending battle but she was cautious and anxious for it to take place.
When the first explosion happened deep under the surface they felt the effects of the blast before they saw the plume of water spewing forth from the surface of the water. The wave from the blast had pushed itself up from the depths and came to the surface like a huge mushroom causing circular waves to radiate out from the centre point. Before the waves had reached the two parted ships a spout of water driven by the blast pressure of the exploding barrel shot skyward nearly 300 feet in the air and spray like jets gushed out from the sea in all directions
Before the sprays of water had landed both pirate ships were being rocked side to side by the massive waves. Wave after wave came crashing into the sides of the ships, they were not frequent enough to risk rolling the ships but they were big enough to make each ship list as it rolled up the cresting wave and list in the opposite direction as they dropped into the shallow of the back of the wave.
Each large ship rocked side to side, had they been head on into the rolling waves the ships would have crested the waves easier. However both crews knew they needed to be on alert and ready for Leviathan’s surfacing and they could not be ready to fire the cannons if the rode the waves head on. Having weathered many a storm at sea both crews knew how to ride out unpredictable waves, not every wave in a storm could be ridden head on, and with the waves of the blast not having the howling winds and driving rains behind them they were almost relieved to be riding the waves they were as they waited for the second blast.
Had they been counting both captains would have known there was seven massive waves that rolled their way before the second blast went off, but instead they were both captaining their ships. Each captain standing at the helm steering the ships across the waves, watching their crews and most importantly watching the waves as they approached and as they disappeared.
Because the surface of the water was already broken by the first explosion the second explosion wasn’t as visually stunning as the first. However the plume that rose from the depths of the ocean was just as large and the jet sprays pushed just as much water high into the air. Again the sprays of water didn’t reach either pirate ship but they were still impressive, if only the crew had a chance to watch them.
As the waves of the first blast eased slightly the waves of the second blast began radiating outward. In an instant the smaller waves were being pushed by the larger waves and suddenly both ships were being swamped. Quickly the rolling waves turned into rough water as one small wave was immediately followed by a larger wave, barely giving the large ships time to ride one wave before feeling the effects of one following it.
As the two ships rolled up and down the large waves coming from the blast zone neither of them was in a position to see what was rising through the white water created by the large plume and shooting jets of water.
Previous Pirate story here.