This event was terrifyingly true,
Out in Atlantic, on the ocean blue.
It was ‘81, after we left Fort Lauderdale,
Hoping for happy Bahamas vacation tale
Aboard chartered sailboat, ketch of 52 feet,
Even air conditioned for the Florida heat.
Three couples, all best friends, comprised the crew,
Plus hired captain, since to big boats we were new.
We departed on the evening tide,
Little knowing the captain had lied.
Planned sailing the Gulf Stream throughout the night
To see Bahama reefs in morning light.
We dined and drank and steered in shifts,
Light wind, sea smells coming in whiffs.
Suddenly I was shaken awake,
“Come help!” they shouted, real fear, not fake.
I rushed on deck to see the scene:
Calm breeze, slow rolling beam to beam,
Captain drunk, in funk, throwing up his meal,
Crew pointing to compass, no one at wheel.
Captain staggers, slurs we must now turn back,
Crew plainly having a panic attack.
VHF just scary static in dark night,
Compass dial wildly spinning, such a fright!
Direction finder showed same signal all around,
Everyone worried about reefs, running aground.
Only Power not Sailboats, the captain had known,
He’d let us drift too far north, his cover was blown.
Now lost in Bermuda Triangle of fable,
Stars blocked by clouds, and no navigation table.
Crew whimpering aloud on the open ocean,
Just soft sloshing and a random rolling motion.
Despite Captain sniveling about being hired,
I took charge, yelling that he was now fired,
Then lashed the steering wheel tightly right
So that we’d ram no reefs, come what might.
Four hours later, shortly before sunrise,
Compass began working to my surprise.
Radio and RDF receiving like new,
We were no longer sole boaters on the sea blue.
Proceeded to West End, docked safely in slip
With no word from ex-captain, not even a pip.
Crew cheered our mystery adventure, what a great trip!
May 17, 2020
Contest: Action Adventure
Sponsor: Chantelle Anne Cooke
Copyright © Greg Masciana | Year Posted 2020