The two pirate ships sailed toward the setting sun, it was their second full day at sea and they were many nautical miles from their home port. With the sun not long from disappearing below the horizon and the wind dying down to little more than a breeze the Good Captain knew they could sail on slowly into the night. However he also knew of a small cove not more than an hour’s sailing from where they were located, a quiet, protected bay where if the weather turned during the night the crew and the ships would be safe.
They might have been heading for a land far away where the mystical brew known as Buckfast Powersmash was brewed but that didn’t mean they should refrain from a little celebration. What were they celebrating? It did not matter, they were pirates they did not need an excuse to celebrate.
The Good Captain ordered the blue flag to be hoisted up the mast, it was the flag he used to get the attention of the The Revenge which sailed about half a mile ahead of them.
The separated sailing group had initially been a way for the Good Captain to give Captain Bildgepoole of the Revenge the responsibility of the leading the crew, to show a faith in him that would help him become a pirate captain of the calibre he wanted to be. However after many long months of captaincy, including multiple successful solo runs the Good Captain was so proud of his protégé that taking the trailing position in their sailing fleet was becoming second nature.
There was certain communications that the two ships could have done with hand signals but the blue flag flying, on either ship, was the message for an all ahead stop. Whether it be seen by the naked eye or through an eye piece when the two ships were at a distance all crew members knew what the flag meant and the first to notice the other ship flying the flag would immediately report to their captain.
When the call came down from the crows nest aboard the Revenge that the Privateer was flying blue Captain Bildgepoole called for an immediate stop. The big ship would take some time to stop even with the bulge taken from the sails but no ship wanted to be stopped dead in the water immediately.
As the two ships came up side by side Captain Bildegpoole moved to the port side of the ship and awaited the Good Captain doing the same thing. Two planks were placed between the two drifting ships, not for crew transferral, although they could be used for that task if needed, but to keep the ships a short distance apart. Even in relatively calm waters with little swell like they were in keeping the two ships from cashing into each other was paramount, not only to avoid damage to the hulls but there was also the sails, the masts and the outriggers to be concerned with given that damage to any one of them could render a ship crippled.
The two captains stood at the sides of their ships, less than thirty feet apart, their voices would need to be louder than talking amongst friends but unless the wind picked up there would be no need for yelling to get their messages heard.
The Good Captain told Captain Bildgepoole of the cove he knew of and his thoughts that it should be their overnight stay rather than pushing on through the darkness just for the sake of reaching their destination a few hours earlier than first planned. Captain Bildgepoole agreed and within twenty minutes the two ships were pulling away from each other.
For the first time in many months the Privateer took the lead role in a joint journey. It wasn’t that the Good Captain didn’t trust Captain Bildgepoole to navigate to the cove it was simply that it was his plan and his ship would be the first to sail into the unknown cove.
The Good Captain did not expect trouble in the quiet bay, the last time he’d been there, some eight years earlier, there had been no inhabitants, he did not expect that to change.
Because the bay was not huge and the shoreline was largely barren even in the last breaths of daylight it could be seen from the crow’s nest that the area was abandoned.
From the depths of the island fire wood was found. From the galley of the ships food was retrieved. And from the hull of the ships barrels of rum were brought ashore. By midnight the crew were all dancing and hollering around the huge bonfire, rum in hand and singing folk shanties at the top of their voices.
Th’ time has surely come
It be th’ time fer some rum
But we no wants ya whiskey or gin
We wants ya rum so full of sin
Jus’ gimme one drink
That gets me totally drunk
Numbs me ’til me head starts t’ spin
‘tis our mission t’ get totally drunk
And We ‘ave got naught t’ lose
Rum be th’ power
Rum be th’ key
Rum be th’ thin’ that shall set us free!
The party fired on well into the morning and when the sun rose there was bodies laying all over the beach, the fire was smouldering and the empty barrels that had not been burnt were lined up beside the remnants of the fire waiting to suffer the same fate as their predecessors.
Three hours later the two crews were making their way back to the ships. Other than footprints in the sand the only traces of their visit to the island was the remnants of the fire which was a wet, black and charred pile.
Previous Pirate story here.