If you have any ideas for a title to this latest story let me know through the comments…thanks.
I walked back to G dock down to G35, and waited alone, contemplating as to my near and future prospects in this marine environment, an environment that was entirely foreign to me. Why on earth did they ask me to do this I thought. I know diddly-squat about sailboats. I don’t know Nigel at all, what he looked like, sounded like or thought like. Nothing in common I would think between the two of us. And where the hell was he? He knew when I was arriving this day, this hour, this time. Not a great impression on me for sure. Of course my sister and brother in law had already left and were currently in Japan I would have thought. But no note no letter just some vague instruction as to where I should go on landing.
“You must be John”
A voice, a Brit voice. behind me. I turned, shielded my eyes somewhat and there coming down the dock, about 10 feet away, was this bronze looking but scruffy looking dude coming toward me.
“Nigel?” I queried.
“Yup, in the flesh.”
He was carying a small bag, groceries I imagined, but no groceries, some beer, a six pack of Oly’s and a bottle of scotch. We shook hands.
Nigel was scruffily dressed in faded knee length brown, I think, shorts cinched at the waist by a length of hemp. I can say this because his short sleeved, rust coloured shirt was unbuttoned, open at the front exposing a hairy chest that was pidgeon like, with its tail flapping somewhat in the late afternoon breeze. He was wearing dark blue flip-flops that flip and flopped with every step. He walked right by me, climbed onto Krofune, jumped into the cockpit, put his things down then opened the hatch to the gangway and cabin below.
“C’mon onboard.” he said
I complied and shyly looked into the cabin below. I could see Nigel from his backside placing his bag onto the table top on the starboard side of the interior.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck and more fuck, for fuck’s sake. he yelled at the bulkheads. I left the god damned hatch closed. It’s a bloody fucking sauna in here.” as only a Brit could say, in understated understatements.
You don’t fuckin say I thought. Sure enough it was hot, and not just from the stale air under the cabin sole. In the next breath, Nigel turned, looked at me sheepishly, apologized for his outburst, grinned, and then giggled somewhat nervously and somewhat like an English school girl revealing a mouthful of yellow stained and ancient eye teeth and molars.
“Got to keep that forward hatch ajar and this hatch vent opened for cross circulation. Or it can get as hot as Hades in here in this heat.” He paused. “Here, have a beer?”
“We’ll have her up there in the cockpit. Wear this hat. You’ll need it until you get used to this heat.” Never heard of a beer referred to as a her!
“It’s really camel piss this liquid shit. But its cold.”
Oly’s, short for Olympia Beer, a Pacific Northwest favourite, along with Rainier Beer. Hawaii has to import everything.
We sat there in uncomfortable silence as Nigel didn’t know what to make of me and me of him. He took a huge slug from his can, looked at me, sighed, depressingly like, looked around at the surroundings.
A classic song by a classic lass