There comes a time in a mans life when the calling of their true self can no longer be ignored, years are but a interval for respite.
The smell of the salt, oaken and tar, the seductive call of the siren has captured me. So I go to sea once more
Neptune will determine my fate.
In the morrow, I shall be neither marooned nor landsmen.
Its not a regular commission as they are always anything but. At this stage- I would take any old hulk or scowl, as long as she has a pump to keep the powder dry.
A scrap of paper appeared under my door, with just some co-ordinates, a name and time. It had been years, but the Sirens always know, my wounds were healed and vigor had returned. I had no expectations except it would float, and failure would not be countenanced. With no time to loose, I called for a four horse coach to speed my arrival. My trunk was ready as always- should the need occur, timepieces,charts and all. Sadly my cutlass and pistols were a shambles, I will tend them on the trot.
It is, whilst a welcome serendipity that the sirens have at last answered my call, I feel trepidation for the urgency. The note indicated none. but the howl of the tempest surely does. To venture forth in such a cauldron makes mockery of calm machinations in archaic mens clubs. Now was a time of action and the devil may pay the butchers bill.
The coachmen spared none on the trip and dropped me at the edge of the village. I arrived quite wet and looking bedraggled, not that anyone could make me out in the storm. To any cove I just looked like a rummy stumbling aboard- just the way it should be. Another Salty fierce at sea but easily fleeced of his booty, be it rum, song or woman- deflated he returns with a full belly and a empty sack. I find my cabin, light the lamp and searched for the orders, my concerns were justified and time was a luxury I had nought to spare. At first light we must away to catch the tide and favourable wind, any delay would put us lee on the rocks, I have not a moment to loose and good weather is days too late. The sea in the Port of Stephen, our anchorage is 6 foot swells and gusting to rip off their tops, outside its the full force of a angry sea. A combination of a Easterly and a big cyclone heading south east, the tail been felt now, was not to be a pleasure cruise.
I pondered over a drink the species of this strange ship- neither beast nor fowl, but called a trawler. I knew it might be a small design and made to look inconspicuous but I had my doubts, sure it had a ketch rig but also a contraption that sounded like bedlam playing with hammers. I had heard rumours of such a wonder and had seen a locomotive engine in a ship, but never a beast of burden that drank a strange oil brew and so small. I had seen plenty of oil in my time Sperm, Blue, Wright and the others but never this cousin of tar. Having kept up my sources, I deduced it must be that clever German fellow I met at the Royal Society. We spent a whole evening talking the latest in philosophical knowledge and how it pertains to cannon and rifle. He seemed very interested in the explosion of the charge and the different loads I might use ball, grenade or chain given for type of target. He at first looked astonished, then roared in laughter when I explained if things got real rough we "throw the silverware at em", we both saw the Irony of it. A deck of deadly swords and cannon crews cut down by crews mess kits- if only the poor souls did not mock us running short of shot. We had another Wine and Rudolf said "If only I could harness this cannon power into a engine". We pondered some more on the merits of such a contraption and saw the need to move like a steam engine, but small and without a huge command for fuel or explosive like my cannon.
Initially It seemed like a impossible problem to be practically solved, but as the hours and wine flowed we seemed to have formulated a plan to test such a hypothesis in the best scientific manner.
Naturally that is far from success but it least a plan, and given the hangover, a damn good evening. I left him to it and wished him well, Rudolf grabbed my hand and said " I will see you again, when its real".
I had thought little of it since, just another Royal Society meeting, too many drinks and too many ideas to capture and make full . The beast below us was testament he had indeed made a groggy idea into a contraption that could power a small ship as good as sail but better. Into a strong sea with a storm sail and power through on its 3 foot screw. Rudy had not only made a engine small but very powerful and made "Walrus" 35ft and 15 ton cruise at 8 Knots and 5 litres of this strange Rudy brew. She was a special and heavily built for her size, a deep stable sailing hull but a screw out back. Rudy reckons 1500 nautical miles between tanks without a sail seen. I will stick with sails and try them both as suits and this contraption better prove its worth. I am grateful though and sure it will come in handy to leave come dawn. The sea is angry and not to be trifled with, Rudy had better be right or we are going nowhere but the bottom. To anyone about at first light, they will assume some mad bastards too drunk on rum and off to chase a better anchorage.
As arranged at 5 before first light, a red light beacon spoke the code and Rudy appeared, from the abyss in a strange dinghy. a little thing and made not of wood but some grey sausage like thing. It was filled with air and had a small box engine on the back. I was taken aback by the scene but should have expected no less from Rudy. He explained with great detail how he tried various methods to create his little boat. After much research, Rudy decided the best was a bladder made from Dorks and how the Sperm Whale penis is a exceptional candidate for such a engineering task. I winced at the thought and felt the dread of progress. Over a drink he explained the dorks were discards and a waste not to use, he could see my discomfort. I was however impressed that a boat could be packed into a suitcase and combined with that electric motor he has devised could be vary handy. Needs must and as we are going on the hush, it could be good for dark work. Better to complete a raid and not have to fight it out, numbers are not on our side. Including Rudy our first mate, engineer and boat designer, it was just me and a mongrel black cat. The mystery of its parentage and how it decided
Walrus was a suitable home are lost in time and his qualifications for the voyage were yet to be determined. But he had a certain something about him, firstly he had swum 150 feet out to the boat, then just swaggered into the saloon and made it his. When he jumped onto the table and quietly sprang his claws to demonstrate his prowess and determination to get his fare share, we laughed and he had his fill of tuna. He passed the first test and we hoped he would see it through. Were we go no man or beast gets a holiday cruise, we must use every skill and cunning we possess. A stranger crew and ship that ever sailed the seas I could not imagine and I hope the enemy do not either, such a clandestine contraption and speed against the wind. Rudy assures me Walrus also has big teeth as well, we are sure to need them.
Ships Log: Sea 7 foot swell, anchored off Port of Stephen Wind S 35 knt 05:20 prepare for sail at 05.30