Mina and I grasped hands together, tighter, still thrilled by the adventure, but our mood wasn’t shared by the other passengers. When the wind shook loose one of the sail ties, and the canvas began to whap against the boom, one of the women began to shriek louder than the wind.
      “She’s praying, “Mina told me. “And she means it.”
      A man in his mid fifties, with a red sunburn on his bald head, and a wife who was weeping, forced his way into the wheelhouse and entreated the captain to turn back.
      “To what?” the captain asked, in heavily accented English. “Halfway,” he said. “Understand? Halfway.” Then he gently nudged the frightened bald man out of the wheelhouse and went back to his cigarette, coffee, and the scratched, dark varnish of the wooden wheel.
      For a couple of hours, the boat pushed and strained against a sea that looked as it it were being whipped up by an eggbeater. White foam flew off the tips of the waves, and the boat took slams, port, starboard, bow, and stern, reeling from the blows.
      Mina and I were just too young to be scared. While those who might know better, feared for their lives, for us, in the grip of youth and adventure, the excitement kept building.
      After a couple of hours of battling the storm, we won. A battered, but unbeaten 15 meter, old wooden boat with an exhaust belching now-black smoke, pulled into the harbor of Kusadisi. Onboard were a tattered lone crewman , a captain who was pouring his second shot of brandy, a hoarse woman on her knees, praying in a squawking voice that was completely blown out, a shaken few other passengers, and a pair of young lovers, still oblivious to the dangers of life.
      This time, it is different, but when you’re on a journey, storms and shoals can appear unbidden from anywhere.

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