Who Doesn't Love A Beautiful Tail?
It was a long, and fretful sleep that night. I hate confrontation, and yet, here I was about to take a long trip with someone I had just met, didn't know and had my first argument with. When I got out of my bunk, I had no idea what I would find. Was she still here? Was she gone? Was she waiting naked for me? I really had no sense.
Stepping back down the steps into the main salon, I saw her, seated in 'her' chair, with a coffee mug in both hands, staring out the windows. Flat calm outside, and a clear day. That was a good thing, I suppose. I hoped for similar inside, too.
"Mornin'" I mumbled, breaking her stare, "Sleep ok?" I probed. She shrugged, and turned to me.
"I was hasty, sorry... it's... things were different with others." she offered as an explanation.
"No need to apologize. You had every right to worry, to be concerned. I know you don't really know me, but I am different, ok? Ask, before you assume bad of me?" Took a few more morning go-arounds, and I feel like we cleared the air.
"Right then, let's head up to the pilot house, I want to get the engines started, head over to the fuel dock. We need more fuel, and while we're there, maybe you can pick up a few more supplies? I have a short list, if you can grab a few things?" She nodded. I handed her my credit card, and stepped up to the Pilot house.
Later on, after we loaded all the food she bought, I asked if she was ok learning a few things to help me undock. We were still in the galley, not quite like before, but there was a little bit of bumping into each other. Small space, and all...
We both made our way to the aft cockpit, and I showed her how to work the radio headset she had on. I started to loosen the after dock line. Left one turn on the cleat. "Follow me" and started heading forward... "I heard a gruff Aye, Aye!!!" mocking me from behind me. She tried to make it sound lower, like some cartoon version of a sailor.
I had her take the end of the forward dock line, while I tried to talk her through undoing all but that last bite of the cleat. She tried this way and that, finally, turned to look over her shoulder at me. Her eyes, almost pleading. I stepped up right behind her, one foot, on either side of each of hers... my chest, pressed into her back, the front of my thighs, against the back of hers. If I breathed out, she knew. If she slipped, she'd have no where to fall.
I put one arm around her right, and my left hand on hers, "Now, follow my movements." I felt her lean a bit back, into me... something tells me, she's no longer mad. Her hands mimicked mine. Her hips swayed too, as I moved back and forth unwinding the line. "now, I am going to head inside, as I start the boat moving, I will ask you to undue bow" I pointed at this cleat, "then stern lines."
My thumb pointing back aft. "Keep an eye back here after, and watch this piling?" My right arm moving across her chest, pointing at the post in front of us, "Once we get clear, call me on the radio? Let me know?" I left my hand on her hip and one on her shoulder, as I straightened, behind her. She was tucked close and had no choice but to stand upright, too. She nodded, turned to me, as I backed away a step. I stood, staring at her. "What? What?" she was confused by my stare, "I raised my hand above my eye, tilted it, and lifted on eyebrow at her in question. A huge smile played across her face, and she thrust out her chest at me, shoulders back and snapped perhaps the worst ever salute in my direction. I waited another beat, two, and right as her face started to lose the giggle, I snapped my salute back and smiled my eyes, mouth, and cheeks all broad and warm.
I tapped my own headset, nodded my head and moved to the outside docking station. Throttling forward, the two engines rumbled to life, and I called to loosen the bow lines. She untied it fast, dropped the ropes and moved quickly past me to the aft deck. I asked, and before I could finish, she had them loose as well.
Blue's Dream slowly floated on her power, out of the slip and moved into the channel. At that point, I moved inside the pilot house, to check radar, AIS and see who else was around that could be an issue. As I looked up, I noticed her, coiling the dock lines, with an ease that belied her new week's worth of experience, including a looop for hanging lines. When she did not think I was looking she popped open the lockers, slipped the dock line into its place and double checked that the forward line locker was latched.
Odd detail, and this was one of a few I had noticed. When she moved, it was with grace and ease. I don't mean, her hips swiveled and the curves of her bottom swayed, that's all true. I mean, her arms moved through the cockpit, and lounge, never far from a couch, or corner, or counter. Funny, though, her grace was only when I wasn't supposed to be looking. If I was watching she became clumsy and tripped, or stumbled with a big wave rolling the ship.
She joined me, this one, up in the wheelhouse. I made the turn around the outside channel marker and turned hard to starboard, heading three five zero, a little west of north. I fel the warmth, before I heard her. She melted into my side, and before I knew it, my arm was around her hip, one hand on her waist, one, on the wheel. one arm of hers slipped around my waist, her shoulder buried to my side, and her face, beaming with happiness.
"We have one last stop, before we leave the US, and head on up to Canada for a few stops, OK?" Her arms tightened around me, and her cheek brushed up and down as she nodded."Good, then. Good."
With a small adjustment, my hands pushed the throttles to best cruising speed, not flat out running. Ever the teacher,, I pointed at the faces of a bunch of dials, "See these arrows of tape on the dash, here, here and here?" I pointed at the twin gauges of the engines below, "I've marked the normal position of the needles for easy scanning to ensure everything is ok." I wanted, really, needed her to be comfortable with the boat, not just with me. I needed her to be happy here. .. and maybe a partner, too? She nodded at me, her eyes on the dash. "Those are the same, right?" Her finger pointing at the digital engine readouts, and then the dials with tape. "Yep... both the boat's engines.< Same with the generator, too" Pointing to a set of dials for our power.
'THWACK!' My hand came down hard and slapped her soft, bottom.
"OWWWW! WHAT-THE-HELL?" she yelled in shock.
I smiled and pointed out the forward windows, at the whale not 100 feet away, her tail in the air, water droplets dripping, as the whale dove for the sea bottom. He face smiled at the whale, and then, slowly, at me too.
"I am always on the lookout for a beautiful tail!"
as my hand softly caressed the palm print it left, moments before.
Ch. 12 Bully Bully
Ch. 11 Rough hands
Ch. 10 After Midnight
Ch. 9 Bored Stiff
Ch. 8 Sheep In Wolf's Den
Ch. 7 Let Loose All Dock Lines
Ch. 6 Pearls And A Tan
Ch. 5 The Whole Shebang!
Ch. 4 Peals Of Laughter
Ch. 3 I Can't Help Falling In Love
Ch. 2 All Curves, and a Dream
Ch. 1 Navigating Life With Dad
This post is an entry into MarianneWest's 5 Minute Freewrite!
I feel I cheated somewhat, as I went well over the 5 Minute... but,
I adhere to the spirit... sit down and write. Let it flow.
Anyone can enter, check out her link and Let your inner creative self WRITE!
To the animals and birds around me
to put more plants in than I take out
And be a good steward for the world around me!
Story first published by me, on On Uptrennd