As the pirate crew sailed both ships south below the equator the weather got warmer, however it was also becoming more unsettled. It was a mentally deficient captain who sailed his crew where the Good Captain was sailing his crew and did not expect that unsettled weather, or worse.
Regarded as some of the toughest sailing throughout the world the Good Captain knew sailing both ships around Cape Horn, below the southern tip of Argentina in the South Americas was not without risk. He also knew that with the weather about turn on them, before they rounded the Horn, it could be the hardest fought battle any of the crew had been involved in.
Since their battle with Leviathan word had spread far and wide and enemies willing to face the feared pirate crew were few, especially once their ensign was seen at the rear of the ships, be it flailing in the wind or hanging loosely in a dull breeze.
However the further south they sailed it was clear they were going to get no reprieve from the weather. Facing enemies in battle, cannons firing from long range or hand to hand combat against a fearful band of rapier wielding landlubbers would have been preferred to what they were facing for the following night and day, and night.
When the first of the storm hit the two ships were sailing side by side, separated by more than fifty yards, but side by side. The sun was belting down upon all those aboard, exactly how hot it was they did not know but even standing in the shade of the large sails one could not stop sweat pooling below their lighter clothing. Even those working in the lower decks out of the direct sunlight were sweating more than a reasonable man should ever need to sweat.
It started with a single wind gust that came up from the south east, hard, hot and strong enough to push the ships off course had both captains not been at the height of them game. It was quickly followed by a gusting wind that circled the ships. Captain Bildgepoole immediately dropped the Revenge back several boat length, the ships may not have been sailing the same line but a safe distance was what such weather demanded.
Strong winds swirled and quickly became squalls as the weather front coming up from south clashed hard with the weather front coming down from the north. Strong hot winds clashed with cold winds as the two ships sailed under dark black clouds.
When rain began to lash the two ships it didn’t start with just a few sprinkles, it started with teaming rain that pelted down from the sky. Large icicle like raindrops hit hard and drenched any pirate unlucky enough to be on the upper decks to the bone within seconds, but not a single pirate gave up his post.
As the storm began to take force with whipping winds, swirling and hammering the ships and hard driving rain pounding down on the crew the ocean also let the crew know just how small they were. They might have beaten Leviathan, the beast from the deep, but the ocean was a beast that no one could defeat, and each and every pirate knew that. The were but passengers of mother nature.
The large ships rode the choppy waves well when they were only pushed from one direction but as the winds squalled around the ships waves pounded into both port and starboard sides at the same time making the ships rock, roll and bounce on the rough sea. Water splashed onto the decks in large plumes throwing with it white water and froth. Each cresting wave stood beyond thirty feet before it rolled over and broke, which in itself made it hard to navigate, but when those waves came only seconds apart and from multiple directions it took a skill very few had to keep the ship’s bearings.
Even though the Good Captain had read countless accounts of pirates rounding Cape Horn, including one of his father’s own voyage as captain, what he was seeing around him was still beyond his expectations. But there was no way he was going to back down, and he knew neither his crew, the crew aboard the Revenge, or Captain Bildgepoole would back down.
In a strange quirk of coincidence while the waves crashed, the wind roared and the rain pelted down aboard the Revenge Captain Bildgepoole heard a voice coming through the noise of his surrounds. Where the voice was coming from he was not sure, but as he fought hard to keep the ship straight he did recognise it was the voice of Free Bootin’ Tarfinger, so named because he forever walked with a rhythm others didn’t always hear. It was that rhythm that was showing through as Captain Bildgepoole heard his sweet singing voice through the rain.
“When th’ stormy quest be o’er, when this battle wit’ th’ weather’s won.
Thar be a land down in th’ south, a land where we must go t’ ‘ave our fun
Th’ wenches in th’ bar, they be plenty, aft a long journey on th’ sea.
‘n ’tis a party lasts all through th’ night ‘n th’ spirits they shall be free”
Although Captain Bildgepoole missed a few words when they were drowned out by a crashing wind or a howling gale he listened intently to the words of Free Bootin’ Tarfinger’s little ditty. Unbeknown to him aboard the Privateer less than twenty four hours earlier the Good Captain had heard a crew member of his own singing as the stormy weather cracked around them. Even if he had known the chance of him connecting the two things as anything more than a coincidence was slim.
Were they any more than that?”
Previous Pirate story here.