Thus Far

Excerpt from a story I am working on: “Red Jewel”

Thus far Red Jewel had held out admirably. Thus far she had not been challenged. Thus far Red Jewel had only had to run before the wind so thus far she had not experienced the stresses and the pounding of a beat, or a close reach. Thus far the weather had been forgiving: a moderate breeze at its worst. Thus far the seas were relatively benign. Thus far her sails were intact, her decks whole, her hull’s integrity was sound. Her only flaw, thus far, was that she had a tired look about her.

Thus far everything was working: engine, electrical, lights, radio, stove, running rigging, the whole suite of things. Nigel was in his element. Navigation was exemplary, as he knew it would be. Jim was gaining confidence by the day or so it seemed. He had mastered the knots, the compass, steering, well, the day to day husbandry of Red Jewel. His navigation skills were improving. He was beginning to feel a forth-righteousness that surprised even him. He was knowledgeable enough and not afraid to debate boat management decisions with Nigel…like the Majuro water question. Nigel’s outbursts toward him, his character and his intellect were less robust than they had been. The same couldn’t be said of Red Jewel and Sid. Nigel was unrelenting in his toxicity toward Red Jewel and her condition. It was a condition that he felt Sid had not addressed adequately and they were at risk. Or perhaps he was angry at his own carelessness in dealing with Sid and his boat. “What had it been called again?” He thought to himself. “Oh yeah, Kurofune: The Black Ship.” In Nigel’s mind it certainly was an appropriate name and the thought of that darkened his soul. It scared him.

Jim was acutely mindful of Nigel’s negative rants toward Red Jewel and he was uncomfortable with them. Acquiring a mariner’s superstition, Jim felt that Nigel’s rants were bad medicine and could only spell danger for them both. After every rant or outburst Jim would attempt to placate Red Jewel in kindness and encouragement with emotional rectitude.

“You’ve had too much sun.” Nigel would chastise Jim on these occasions.

“Perhaps, but I wish you would stop your rants Nigel. There is nothing wrong with Red Jewel. She has performed well enough thus far.”

Nigel looked at Jim, askance; a smirk came across his face

“Hmm, perhaps.”

Yes she had…thus far, but that was about to change.

November 10th, 1975. An ominous day for the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior.

Storms of November




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.