A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part Nine: Blog Fifty-Three)
By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series
Synthia hears “Storm Caller” saying something to “Ship Protector” Umi.
“Ship ahead!” “Ship Protector” calls out.
“I’ll be right back,” the Captain tells her.
From now on the “Ship Protector” will use only flags to signal her. However, when night comes the “Ship Protector” will use a hooded lantern to let her know which direction.
While using one hand to steer she uses the other to coat her bare skin with the foul smelling plant oil the Cannibal assured her would keep the night insects away.
The ship they want knows they’re after it. It’s all about tacking and stealing wind now. That’s the Captain’s job. All she has to do is, steer and make sure the Nagua speeds up while not tipping over. That means all the girls on deck will need to know whether to run portside or starboard, or in the rare case keep under the Crow’s Nest. Normally that would be “One Eye’s” job but today it will be the “Ship Protector” who calls out the Captain’s directions.
She sees “Ship Protector” raise a baby blue flag to the portside and turns the helm’s wheel slightly to the left. The flag dips a bit lower and she turns the wheel even further. A few moments pass and the flag is raised and lowered starboard. The Nagua starts to pick up speed.
With each movement of the flag she hears Umi shout to the girls which way to move. The Nagua becomes alive under her feet as the girls try to increase the lean or use their weight against it.
“Raise the jib!” she hears Umi shout out. The Nagua seems to fly through the water. Umi lowers the flag starboard again. She knows the Captain will try to keep them in the wind to overtake the other galleon.
She can see the enemy ship now and estimates its beam between twenty-five to thirty feet. It’s a smaller galleon with a length of between one hundred to one hundred and forty feet. As she turns the wheel she continues to glance at the enemy galleon. The Nagua is tacking towards it at a forty-five degree angle. That will make it hard for the enemy to use cannon’s affectively; if they still have any gunpowder.
“Bows at the ready!” the “Ship Protector” shouts out.
Synthia removes one hand from the wheel and checks that her Kris sword is on her left. It was her father’s. She feels an ache in her chest. He tossed it to her as their fishing boat got pulled into the whirlpool. As she strapped it on he told her it came from a Javanese friend he met when he was a sailor on a British warship during the Seven Years War between Britain and France. That was the last time she saw her father.
She pats the newly received dirk hanging on her right. The one the Captain gave her on the behest of “One Eye” after the last battle; the one she missed.
Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD
Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kitchener-Waterloo)
With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com
Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;
Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie
With Thanks To:
Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier: http://fireandsteel.ca/
Alex Watt for background pictures
Daiana Duca for background pictures
Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures