The Good Captain and his crew were testing the new modifications to the ship. It had been major work which had necessitated the building of a single dry dock area beside the jetty at which all his ships were moored. It was a marvel of engineering that few Navy’s in the world could afford or had the knowledge to build properly and efficiently, yet the Good Captain’s crew had managed it in a matter of months.

The speed modifications on the ships had required them to be high and dry in order for the crew to get to the keel. But the work was basically untested on such a large wooden pirate ship like the Revenge or the Privateer because the modification had come from the future documents of his father’s journal. How far in the future it was not clear but it was noted that by the second millennium many a sailing craft would use such designs on smaller sea bound lugs used for racing.

The first day of testing have been wonderful, the wind was blowing up from the south at a solid rate, not gusts just constant winds able to push the boat along at a steady speed. Despite the stronger winds the seas several hundred nautical miles from land were smooth and the swell helped push them along. It had been ideal for speed testing and whether they were heading into the wind or sailing along with the wind the tests replicated exactly what the Good Captain’s father’s notes had told him.

For the second day however the winds had changed to become little more than a nuisance. They squally, erratic and inconsistent, they created a chop across the oceans and when there were not white caps on the small waves the sea turned to glass. The Privateer still preformed well but testing was not on the agenda.

Instead it was a time to relax, for the most part the ship would sail itself. They were in open waters a long way from anywhere that was heavily trafficked and with the all clear from the crows nest the crew were able to enjoy themselves a few swigs of rum, a game of cards, or even for some a bit of much needed shut eye. Although they were not expected to be needed, several crew remained on watch in case their situation changed and those crew would be rotated regularly but for most of them it was a time of ease.

While the ship was in the hands of the first mate the Good Captain sat back and enjoyed his time of relaxation, so much so that as the rays of the sun beamed down upon his closed eyes and partially shaded face the words of a song from his father’s book came to mind.

At first the Good Captain simply hummed the tune to himself, it was an easy tune and one that was as therapeutic as it was wonderful, but soon enough the Fair Maiden asked about the tune and he found himself singing the words of the song to her.

“I’ve had t’ translate some o’ th’ words ‘n adjust th’ tune t’ suit wha’ I found ’cause me fathe’s words were nah entirely clear through th’ entire shantey, but here goes.” The Good Captain said to his Fair Maiden. “It starts off a wee bit like this.”

Without the aid of any music the Good Captain recited the words as he remembered them.

“Waves they be a-poundin’ on th’ hull
In th’ wind above blows th’ bones ‘n skull
We seek th’ seas t’ lay our hands on easy prey
We seek th’ seas t’ take th’ loot from those we slay”

Rum in our bellies ‘n powder in th’ air
Rapacious we be when we face every dare
Our cannons fire be always justified
We be pirates ‘n we take down every ship wit’ pride

Without effort and without the need to take a breath or think about the words that would be coming next the Good Captain broke into the chorus of the song.

Aboard this ole poppet we be one wit’ th’ wind,
Aboard this ole poppet we be one wit’ its glory
While we be at sail we be one wit’ th’ waves,
While we be at sail we be one wit’ th’ sea

Atop o’ th’ mast our Jolly Roger be flyin’ high
Th’ sails are full ‘n th’ riggin”s reachin’ fer th’ sky
We be forever ridin’ on th’ tide
Our life long freedom we loot wit’ pride
United we be this crew battles side by side
We be forever ridin’ on th’ tide

This time as the Good Captain got to the end of the chorus he took a deep breath. He knew the last verses were the hardest to remember because in parts upon the page the words were scribbed the text was either smudged or missing but he’d give it his best shot.

“Now here be th’ last verse afore we repeat chorus.” The Good Captain said before starting.

“Cat ‘n mouse”, it’ a game we love t’ play
We’ll hunt our foes ’til thar final day
We deliver justice th’ seas will call our name
These balls o’ lead th’ tool we use t’ tame

Thar be no crew that shall out run this ship
No matter into which cover they slip
Our ensign will be th’ last thin’ they see
Fer them thar be no grave but th’ sea

Now we sing the chorus one more time.

Aboard this ole poppet we be one wit’ th’ wind,
Aboard this ole poppet we be one wit’ its glory
While we be at sail we be one wit’ th’ waves,
While we be at sail we be one wit’ th’ sea

Atop o’ th’ mast our Jolly Roger be flyin’ high
Th’ sails are full ‘n th’ riggin”s reachin’ fer th’ sky
We be forever ridin’ on th’ tide
Our life long freedom we loot wit’ pride
United we be this crew battles side by side
We be forever ridin’ on th’ tide

Previous Pirate story here.