There is a peculiar phenomenon common to all Pacific coasts. This volcanic anomaly is dubbed the Ring of Fire. It’s what was responsible for the Galapagos. And according to everything I had been able to gather in the first couple of days we were headed to a spot just beyond its reach.
May was approaching and this made me nervous. The balmy calm though pleasant was frankly creepy in light of the knowledge that made little electric pulses travel up my spine.
I stood on the deck surrounded by nothing but vast plains of water. Like a liquid Nebraska, the unbounded horizons were alien in their spartan invariability, silent and starkly unnerving.
Yes. The crew exuded competence, the captain was likely some offspring of Erikson, and the ship was as solid as one could wish.
But, here in the limitless dizzying melding of blues, such assurance wouldn’t suffice. Crews as bold and ships just as sturdy had melted down beneath the mocking tickle of the waves that lapped The Genevives hull.
As if reading my mind Captain Reed strode up beside me, “Don’t worry, Typhoons generally tend to stick closer to Australia.
I knew that he was right. That no tropical cyclone had ever affected the Pacific side of the continent we’d just left behind. But somehow…
I felt Lauren’s long fingers tickle the back of my neck. She was very touchy-feely in that possessive way that I generally associated with cats.
It wasn’t sexiness that gave her the peculiar power she seemed to wield over nearly everyone aboard but the sheer force of her femininity.
“What’s the matter? Navy man afraid of the water…?”
“Boys aren’t afraid of girls till their first divorce. Same applies to the sea.”
“So you’d prefer a bore, a housewife, something tame…?” She teased as her large grey-blue eyes danced mirthfully.
“I’d prefer someone who’s not a psycho,” I responded. “That right there,” I extended a hand toward the placid water sparkling in the pleasant warmth of midnoon sun. “Never lasts.”
Reed was impassable, calmly surveying the horizon, there was no deciphering his opinion. I honestly didn’t care if these folks thought me yellow. If they were as salt soaked as their ease suggested, they knew, as well as I that NOAA and 1200 years of seamanship were so much chaff, at the mercy of a schizophrenic wind.
We all turned at the sound of footsteps. Eric Chen the youthful geological oceanographer from Kaohsiung kindly informed us that lunch was ready.
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
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