Red Jewel 1

I am going to attempt to flog my books for awhile. Besides I am really sick and tired of all the Covid / Climate Change BS out there. God only knows where we are headed.

One cannot possibly think that this guy wasn’t a genius.

Red Jewel excerpt:

Jim disconnected his harness and opened the main hatch and went below, closing the hatch behind him. In spite of the motion of Red Jewel, the main cabin was okay, everything remained secured in its place. He found his bunk and fell in but he could not sleep. It was impossible. He was bouncing around like some cork caught up in the middle of a rippled pond. But this was the ocean. It was uncomfortable. It was dangerous. Red Jewel was like that cork but bobbing around on the vastness of the Pacific Ocean.

Suddenly, Jim heard Nigel screaming for him. In what seemed to be a few minutes turned out to be two hours. It was 0245. He couldn’t believe he had slept through all of the motional chaos that was before him. “I must have been tired,” he thought. The cabin interior was jacking and jerking and lurching in every direction it seemed. Up and down she went, sometimes violently, so much so that he seemed to have lost weight in a gravity free environment. He felt his stomach rise up and into his throat and then fall back again as the deadweight lead of his legs dragged his stomach into the lower reaches of his abdomen. He hadn’t felt a sensation like this since his youth riding the “Red Flyer” or the “Rotor”[1] at the CNE in his home town of Toronto. Man oh man.

“Jim…Jim…for fuck’s sakes get up…get up here. I need you…now.”

Jim got up but fell back, unbalanced, into his bunk due to the erratic movement of Red Jewel. Just then he heard a loud bang, followed by another, and another. “What the fuck was that?” BANG! It seemed as if Red Jewel had grounded or had sailed into a wall. After the bang, the interior bulkheads, deckhead and portside walls of Red Jewel vibrated and shook violently: reverberating like a sound wave from the forward anchor pocket down the port side of the cabin to the after compartments.  It was frightening for Jim to feel a sensation such as this. It was as if a large invisible tuning fork had been set off in the confined interior spaces of Red Jewel. He had never experienced vibrations such as this on this trip…or anywhere. He could feel them. They went right through him, touched his very soul. It was frightening for him to experience something that for him was indescribable and inescapable. Every time the hull fell into that unseen trough and wall of water and came out the other side, the same thing occurred. Could Red Jewel stand up to this kind of abuse? Not wanting to see or experience any more of this in the closed confines of the cabin, Jim found his equilibrium, got out of his bunk and went topside. What he saw startled him. Nigel was standing up in the cockpit with both hands gripping the tiller. It took all of his strength to control Red Jewel. The pressure on the rudder could be felt in the tiller.

“Holy shit.” Jim couldn’t see anything as it was still as black as Toby’s arse outside, as Nigel would say. He closed the hatch behind him, grabbed his harness and secured himself to a combing hard point of the cockpit. The wind was howling now. No longer on a comfortable run before the wind, Red Jewel responded to a wind that was coming out of the north by northwest. They were on a broad reach, starboard tack.

They couldn’t see the seas except for the occasion brush of water that came off of the starboard bow. Some spray made its way back into the cockpit. Its saltiness and flare stung. It was cool to the face. Jim could just make out Nigel’s features. They were tight. His eyes were intense…entirely focused. His brow and sight lines were furrowed. His jaw was set, firmly, and with purpose to the task at hand.  Occasionally you could see his teeth: clenched as they were. He couldn’t relax. His whole body was tense, like a spring about to recoil. The conditions were taxing and becoming more-so. His hair flew back, almost horizontally, as the wind’s strength increased. His expression was maddening for he looked concerned at the manifestation of the elements that were before him.

“Gawd, I’m tired Jim.” You will have to spell me off for awhile. I cannot control her much more.”

I got up and placed myself behind him. Straddling the tiller I grabbed it and was shocked at the amount of pressure on it. It took everything in my power to keep Red Jewel under control.

“I got it Nigel.”

Nigel moved forward until he was clear of the tiller. He dropped on to the starboard side bench of the cockpit. He strapped himself in with his harness. He was spent.

“Try to stay on this course Jim.” he paused for a moment to catch his breath and then continued. “The wind will try and take you up into it. You can’t let that happen. Fall off, work the helm and try to stay the course. The wind and the pressure on Red Jewel’s rudder will want to take you up and up again.  You will have to fight it to maintain control….up and up again and then… fall off….on course…and…control the…foresail…and” and with that he nodded off…in place. Jim couldn’t believe that Nigel could fall asleep on the spot like that…and so fast, especially in these conditions.

[1] Also known as the “Hell Hole.”

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God Only Knows, from Pet Sounds:



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