The Sailor's Stories

1023 Chapter twenty three – The Sailor’s Awakening.

with 7 comments

Ships log – Time)1315. Date) 06/20/08.

The storm that moved in so fast yesterday, has petered out. I have to admit that I was shocked by it’s speed and ferocity. I have never seen a summer storm like that in my life, the winds and rain nearly sunk us a few times. The radios, radar, and sonar were down this morning, it appears that we may have taken a lightening strike during the night. With the radios down, I have no idea how bad the storm was, or whether it is still raging elsewhere. It appears to have drifted to the northwest, judging by the cloud formation.

Dale managed to get the radar, sonar and short wave working, about an hour ago, but we can’t seem to raise anyone. The radar and sonar, just needed the breakers reset…, we were lucky there. Dale is continuing to work on the rest of the radios, but at this point no luck.

Boat and crew appear to be unharmed. It seems the high walls of the cove, managed to shield us from the worst of it. Last night was really bad, and we all got pretty sick. It wasn’t too bad early on in the evening, and  I was tempted to try to get the boys ashore on the rib. However,  as the wind picked up, and the lightening started to come down, I felt it safer to just stay onboard. I did, however, drop the two reserve anchors, to try and hold us in place. We are short of supplies now, so we are going to head into the nearest port, to pick up more and for some much needed maintenance.

With a bit of luck,  the storm really has moved off, and we will be able to beat it to port, if it turns in on us again. We sail in 30 minutes. I have decided to hug the coast, instead of the straight run across the lanes we normally take. It should be safer this way, though it is going to take a lot more time…

As we pulled out of the cove, I had Carl and Corey up front with binoculars. With the primary radios still down, we had no way of getting any information on the shipping traffic. The last thing we needed was to get run down by an oil tanker! Not that I really thought that could happen, unless the storm came back in and cut visibility, but it pays to be cautious sometimes. These storms can be really unpredictable, you often can’t tell what they are going to do, until it happens. With the boys onboard, I was not going to take any chances.  Of course there is also the risk of flotsam…, you never know what could have been washed over the sides of a cargo ship, during the night in a heavy storm,  just waiting to grind into the side of an unsuspecting boat. I had no intentions of sinking, today or any other, hence all the precautions.

Looking over to my left, for the “I don’t know how many-eth time”, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of extreme pride, in Dale. As I watched him still feverishly working on the rest of the radios. He may have been a kid, but he could rival most navy techs…, I would put easy money on that. He had already managed to get the short-wave working, but that one was ‘Line of Sight’ only…, we needed more range. A few minutes ago, he had gotten all excited, that’s what had drawn my attention this time…, the main radio had sparked into life. Unfortunately after several minutes, the poor boy, could tune in nothing…, but static. When he looked over at me, I could see the disappointment in his eyes, his body tense with the frustration of the moment…, it looked like the little guy was on the verge of tears…

“I’m so sorry Uncle Cam…, I thought I had it…”

“Hey dude…, it’s all right.., you’re doing your best…, better than I could do…., just keep trying, you’ll get it going.”

I put on my best, most encouraging smile, and after a couple of seconds he smiled back. With a newfound sense of determination, like the little trooper that he was, he ducked his head back down and kept working.  I had complete faith in him, besides…, I could always buy another radio, if it got to that.

As the afternoon wore on…, a very lonely feeling, seemed to take hold of me. I had been hoping that the Coast Guard would’ve had some planes up and about, they usually did, after storms like this. I knew that the short-wave would serve us well there…, at least we would have been able to get some news, however, we hadn’t sighted any planes…, or anything else for that matter, all afternoon. I still kept an eye on the radar, in that vain hope, disappointment, seemed to be the order of the day.

“FUCK!”

With a snap…, a hiss…, and a small lazy waft of rank smelling smoke, Dale threw his tools down in disgust. When I looked over at him, I saw he was sucking on his finger…, I left the wheel for a moment and stepped over to him…

“Dude what happened…?”

“Argh! I thought I had it…, but every time I went to switch it on, the breaker tripped…, so I tried to hold it on…”

He didn’t need to tell me what had happened next…, because aside from the obvious injury he had taken, I had heard the breaker as it exploded on him. Surveying the damage, it didn’t look that bad…, but then I have a reasonably untrained eye, for these sorts of things. At some stage, he had taken the radio panel out of it’s console socket, and had wires trailing over the navigation desk. I could see several temporary repairs, to several of the wires, with not a few scorched ones, having been discarded. I took all that in an instant, mind you…, as my mind was occupied with concern for the young man standing in front of me…

“Let me see it….” I said, holding out my hand.

He looked up at me with a slight grimace, as he took his finger out of his mouth. Looking into his eyes, I could see that he was fighting back tears…, but this time, I could see they were tears of pain. His finger was bleeding, and there was a relatively serious, black electrical burn, on the edges of a long ragged cut. A cut that went from the middle knuckle, up and over the last knuckle and onwards towards his thumb. My parental instincts kicked in, as I called out to Corey to take the helm. I wasted no time waiting for him to come in to the wheel house, as I took Dale down into the main cabin. As we approached the galley, I pulled him towards the bench, slid my hands under his arms and hefted him up onto it…. he was a lot heavier than the last time I had had to do that. I reached over to the rack and grabbed a clean dish towel. With him now sitting comfortably on the bench, I started to clean the wound…, it was a pretty deep cut, I realized as I looked at it closely, though the burn had fused a good length of it…, was gonna leave a pretty nasty scar. I got him to hold the towel on his finger, as I fished in the cupboard for the first aid kit.

Now I am no doctor, that’s for sure…, but as part of training, we were all taught the rudiments of field medicine. I could use needles, and do the odd stitch if I really had too. On reflection I thought, as I opened the kit on the bench, and took his hand back again…, maybe not stitches. Instead I took out some antiseptic wash, and a tube of super glue. He looked at me a little strangely, as the realization of what I was about to do struck him. He grimaced with a scream of pain, while I flushed the wound. Then he really started to cry, as he watched the blood bubbles form from the peroxide I had used. I could see the fear in his eyes, as he started to pull away from me…, the effects of a peroxide wash, had the habit of doing that to people, if they had never seen it before. I couldn’t let him break away, however, as a persons first instinct, was always to try and wash it out. So I turned my body into him, pressing my arm and shoulder, against his naked chest, taking a firm hold of his wrist….

“It’s alright little guy…, just trust me…, let it do it’s work…, I won’t let it hurt you I promise…”

I could tell by the fact that he was continuing to struggle, that he was not convinced. As the bubbles died down, I could see he was still in considerable pain, so not wanting to draw this out, I quickly unscrewed the cap of the glue…, I had to use my teeth, as I only had one free hand…, and squirted some into the cut. I held him there, pinching the wound closed for about a minute, as the tears continued to flow…, I said nothing more throughout the ‘Operation’…, I couldn’t afford to lose my resolve. Happy with the bond the glue had made, I let him go and pulled him into my arms. With the skin to skin contact…, we were all shirtless, as the day was exceedingly hot, probably due to last nights storm…, I could tell he wasn’t cold, but he was shivering regardless. I just kept holding him, as he sobbed out the pain…, his little body shuddering every so often. Holding him a little tighter, I started to slowly rub my hand up and down his back…, whispering soothing words into his ear, as the tears flowed from his face, and trickled down my shoulder.

I really hated hurting my boys…, all of them…, but sometimes I had too…, as a necessary evil, and it killed me every time to do it. This was one of those times. That didn’t mean I liked myself any more for it though. And I especially didn’t like myself, for what I did next…

“We need to have a talk later…,  just you and I…”

“What about?” He said, still holding on tight to me.

“You and Carl…”

“Oh! … Ah.., what do you mean?”

It wasn’t the best time for this, and I knew it…, but I hadn’t had a spare moment, alone with him, in the last few days of our little trip. Not my best ever move, but I have never been one to pass up an opportunity…, when fate presented itself.

“You sure you want to do this now? … It can wait…, until you feel better.”

I slipped out the of hug just then, as it seemed that the worst of the sobs, were over. I held onto his shoulders for a few seconds, as I looked deep into his eyes…, ready to grab hold again, in case they resurfaced. When I was sure that they wouldn’t, I let go and lent over to the fridge, to get him a soda. I chose a coke, knowing that the sugar, and caffeine would stave off the effects of nausea and shock. As he drank it down, I proceeded to wipe the wound clean, before I wrapped it in a band aid. With that done, I looked expectantly into his eyes. There was a little concern there, but mostly I could see resolve. You know the look…, the one where you know you have been caught, with your proverbial hand in the cookie jar…

“Nah…, I’m ok Uncle Cam…, what did you want to talk about?”

“I heard you two together the other night…”

“Oh shit!”

“Oh shit is right…, I thought we had a deal?”

“We did…, I mean…, we do…, it was just…”

“Aww, come on short stack, you’ve never lied to me before…, don’t start now…”

“Sorry Uncle Cam…”

“How long?”

“Since the camping trip.” He said, as his head dropped. “I figured you knew…, that’s why you gave us the main cabin…, does Corey…, know?”

Deciding to let him stew a moment, I left him hanging on his last word…, I wasn’t mad, hell…, I wasn’t even disappointed, to be honest I don’t think I was anything really. As the moments slipped by, I decided he had had enough…, so placing my hand gently under his chin, I raised his head to face me. To my horror, I realized I had left it a little too long…, tears once again streaming down his face. I could do nothing but pull him back into a hug…

“I’m not angry Dale…, not even upset…, and I am not going to stop you either. I just wish you had come to me first…, but we can’t turn back time, now can we…”

“Thanks Uncle Cam…, but what about Corey?”

“I’ve already had a talk with him…, I’m not sure if he understands it all, but I don’t think he cares…, he knows you two love each other…, and I know he loves the both of you…”

With a trail of snot mixing into his tears…, in a move that was just so Dale, he reached down for the left side of his hoodie. Only this time he wasn’t wearing one…, so with a light, but heartfelt chuckle…, I picked up the dish towel, folded away the bloody side and wiped his face. As I pulled, the now disgusting excuse of a towel away, his expression had changed dramatically. His cheeks were a little flushed, but his smile was warm and full of mirth….

“Jesus Uncle Cam…, when was the last time you did that?”

“Ha! … I dunno kiddo…, a while at the very least.”

“It felt kinda good…, sorta like I was a kid again…, sometimes I really miss those days.”

“Don’t we all buddy…, don’t we all… Look.., I know this is probably pretty embarrassing for you…, but is there anything you want to ask…, anything you need to know?”

I stepped back a bit, so I could see his reaction…, there was a thought brewing in his mind, if the expression on his face was anything to go by, but fate had other plans. As he was about to speak up, Corey poked his head around the corner…

“Uncle Cam…, SHIT! What happened?”

I watched, as in an almost comical fashion, his eyes went from the scene as a whole, to the wet and bloody rag, then to me, to Dale, then back at the both of us. The concern on Corey’s face though, made my heart melt…, they may have had their differences in the past, but at that moment, I just knew that when the chips were down…, they would always be there for each other. It was quite a humbling feeling…, and I found, still in that same moment, that my mind drifted towards memories of my sister. They were short lived, however, as I could no longer ignore the insistent looks that Corey was throwing our way…

“I got cut man, but Uncle Cam sorted it…” Dale said, as he pushed his arm towards Corey…, showing off his battle scar…

“Just a little accident dude…, he’s all fixed up…, he’ll be fine. Didn’t even cry.” I said, winking at Dale, who smiled back appreciatively.

“Yeah, whatever…, Ah…, Uncle Cam the Coast Guard is on the radio.”

“Finally!”

I let go of Dale, and headed up to the wheel house. Both boys in tow. As I got there, I could see the reception bars on the short-wave…, strong, a good signal…

“Civilian craft bearing 0 9 2, this is the Coast Guard search plane to the north of your bearing…, please respond…”

The message repeated twice, before I had managed to pick up the handset…

“Coast Guard, Coast Guard…, this is Lieutenant Commander Trevallian, United States Navy, on board civilian vessel Gillies Dream, good to hear your voice! Over.”

Gillies Dream…, this is Coast Guard…, Navy huh? What’s your situation? Over.”

Ha! He doesn’t believe me…, oh well, doesn’t matter anyway…

“Coast Guard, this is Gillies Dream…, we got caught in that storm last night.., we took a lightening strike, which fried our electronics, but we have most of it fixed…, long range radios are toast though, we have short-wave only. What’s the weather report? Over.”

Gillies Dream…, this is Coast Guard. Weather is good for the next few days, storm has headed farther out to sea, heading west. Gillies Dream…, are you able to render assistance?”

Written by bigct/Octavius

January 11, 2010 at 14:39

7 Responses

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  1. Yep , liking the boat name…. great chapter… he has gotten control back. Go Cam go ….lol breathing … don’t know why but have to hold my breath to read your stories, never know where they going to take ya…. was worth the wait man……………… Lee

    Lee

    January 11, 2010 at 17:10

  2. “gillies dream” What am I missing?
    I don’t get the pun or correlation.
    Please can you fill me in or am I just not in the right circles?

    JAT

    January 12, 2010 at 01:57

  3. Did you have to stop there?!?!? Can’t wait for the next chapter! Thanks a bunch for the story, CT!

    Rick

    January 12, 2010 at 02:25

  4. Lovely chapter!! Just so sweet and kind, a very gentle chapter. And this chapter finally addressed the issue of sex between Carl and Dale. I was wondering when Cam would bring it up, and you handled it with finesse and tact. Awesome chapter! As usual…..

    And the name of the boat? That made me smile so wide, wow! Aren’t you the super sweet guy!

    biki

    January 12, 2010 at 06:51

  5. Just like Cody, you just had to end on a cliffhanger…Great work, lovin’ the story.

    stickypants

    January 12, 2010 at 08:10

  6. Great chapter!

    reddecatur

    January 13, 2010 at 00:39

  7. I can’t get enough of your writing. Superb and mind boggeling. I can see we are in for more adventure on the high seas. I hate the thought of catching up to your latest posting as I am not going to like waiting for new ones. There are so many avenues that are yet to be explored and enlarged upon and you keep adding more. Surely you are a brilliant, talented, and gifted author. I certainly hope that you don’t grow tiired of this story and abandon or corrupt it as I have seen happen to others.

    Tom

    January 24, 2010 at 23:02


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