The crew of the Privateer had been several days at sea testing the new modifications to the ship. They were mainly speed modifications, changes that were ahead of their time thanks to the Good Captain’s father and the detailed notes he left in the ledger.

On the open water the Privateer skimmed across the seas perfectly. On the flat water she was able to travel at the speed unmatched by any ship of her size, she skimmed across the top of the water almost as if she was on a downward slope of ice.

On the rough water the ship held like she stuck to the water. She rode the waves head on pushing up the face of the wave until the bow crashed through the curls of white water, then she would crest the wave with ease and sail down the back side and into the trough as if the wave was not there. Even across the face of the waves, something most ship captains avoided in case the crashing wave over took them and left them helpless in the curl, the Privateer handled the water well without the hull rolling and twisting against the force of the water.

The new sails and the configuration on the masts would be copied by pirate captains for the rest of piracy’s years but without the specific material and construction only known to the Good Captain and his men their ships would never see the same kind of speeds of the Privateer, and when the work was done, the Revenge.

It was the same under the ship, unless a rival pirate crew were able to get divers under the hull of the Revenge, which was unlikely no matter where the crews ended up, they would never know exactly what it was that the Good Captain’s father had shared for the keels that offered the speed and manoeuvrability that was available to the Good Captain’s ships.

In all the few days at sea testing the Privateer had been a huge success and when the Good Captain returned her to port he would be sure to relay to Captain Bildgepoole just how much better the ship sailed. Within twenty four hours, depending on the tides being high and allowing them clear access from the port to the ocean, Captain Bildgepoole would be taking a crew of his own out on the Revenge preforming the same sort of tests and the Good Captain was sure he was going to be impressed.

The Good Captain sat back against the railing of the navigation deck, the first mate had control of the ship and he was free to simply enjoy the ride home. Sitting with the suns rays beaming down on him and the cool sea breeze blowing from behind he couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy things. The Good Captain closed his eyes and began to feel the ship and what she was doing.

The waves, although there wasn’t many of them and their swell was really quite minor, less than three feet, were setting the rhythm for their trip. They came in on an angle from the rear and with the aid of the wind they gently pushed the ship ahead. Because of the angle of the waves the Good Captain could feel the hull dancing first left, then right, then back to the left and back to the right. It was only minor and something that was barely noticeable to the naked eye, but without the aide of vision the Good Captain could feel it.

They were heading towards the night and the darker the sky got as the sun disappeared over the horizon taking daylight with it sky began to come to life. Like a million tiny fires in the sky stars twinkled above, their glimmer very much like the glimmer of the jewels in the store rooms at the Castle In The Air. The moon was full and bright and from the right angle the skull and crossbones flying proudly atop of the crows nest seemed to reflect in its light.

The beat of the sea against the hull almost matched the beat of the Good Captain’s heart in his chest. He’d felt no reason to move from his seat as day turned into night even as the temperature dropped. It was not a cold night but the sea at night had a way of lowering the temperature and making a pirate feel colder than it really was.

The Good Captain could see several flaming barrels across the deck of the ship, lit for the warmth of the crew working above deck. Such a luxury might have seemed odd to some on deck given that the ships they were sailing on so heavily relied of burnable timbers for their construction but given the deck was sealed and spent a good portion of it’s time wet the flames were not the risk they might have appeared and providing they were manned at all times, or extinguished when under attack, the Good Captain saw no reason for his crew to feel the cold. The crew on deck were singing as they worked which proved the Captain’s thought that a comfortable crew is a happy crew.

“Sailin’ fires, th’ flames are burnin’ in our hearts
Sailin’ fire, more than jus’ a guidin’ light through th’ dark.”

Even when the icy air drifted in the Good Captain didn’t move from the navigational deck. He enjoyed sailing but he enjoyed his ship even more and with the wind blowing the sails and the waves pushing them on towards home he knew life did not get better than he had it.

The Good Captain fell asleep with the beat of the sea against the hull matching his. The compass was true and clear as it had been from the start of their journey and the crew were happy and content. The last thing he remembered hearing before nodding off in the darkness was the light winds, the thump of the waves and his crew singing.

“Sailin’ fires, th’ flames are burnin’ in our hearts
Sailin’ fire, more than jus’ a guidin’ light through th’ dark.”

Previous Pirate story here.