The Genevive was large enough to support sixty-five people. With an endurance of two or so months. The German Navy’s newest toy, a SWATH hulled behemoth dubbed Planet, could only carry about forty personnel. This vessel didn’t seem to have much of a size advantage on the Kraut’s paramilitary cod-piece. A thing that impressed me because it suggested an incredibly efficient use of space.
The crew consisted of six scientists, a couple of students, four cooks, and several dozen more personnel with various nautical responsibilities. The number of people aboard before we joined was 53, with the six of us tagging along, 59.
Despite being only six members shy of carrying capacity it was by no means cramped. There was no awkward bumping of elbows in narrow hallways or harrying on deck.
Though our cabins were far from cavernous, they were certainly roomier than what I had expected.
I was very curious as to how all this was funded and even more curious about Frank Reed.
It was, in fact, the proprietor and captain of the ship that had ferried us aboard. He had that simultaneous boisterousness and reserve I’ve come to associate with successful eccentrics. He was as silent as the sky before a storm until the thunder rumbled and lightning struck.
Not to say that he was meanspirited. His thundering was usually effervescent excitement and the lightning a scintillating wit.
There was also something vaguely martial in his bearing. It sometimes seemed like the wispy strands of near shoulder-length hair were an ironic mask meant to soften the impression of the insurmountable determination of his lantern jaw. The thick brow and broad nose were suggestive of a primeval savage. There was something of the Neanderthal in Frank Reed, something of the paleolithic hunter as he noiselessly stalked his domain, surveying his kingdom from a height of no less than six and a half feet.
Leo’s description of diving in the Galapagos was misleading. The site of whatever surprise he had in store for us was several thousand miles to the southwest of San Cristobal.
At twelve knots this meant a journey of nearly a week, just to reach the destination. The return trip would be equivalent. There must be something really vital out in these Pacific waters. I was positively giddy with excitement.
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
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