Holder of the ONA Super Wings Gold Award for magnificent contributions to the ONA Crew Web


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Dave Case


DAVE AT LARGE!

PILOT - SAILOR - WRITER




The Caribe Caper

SAILIN´SOUTH
by Dave Case



AN OLD SEAFARING TRADITION
“I’ve never had pizza for breakfast, I love it….Ummmm….
It’s so common and so delicious.” They were sitting 
cross-legged, facing each other on the bed of her summer 
cottage.

“I got something common and delicious….”

“Oh, Chris. Why is it your Italian blood is always boiling?” 
They both reached for the last slice, fighting and giggling 
like school children. Isabel won and stuffed the whole slice 
in her mouth before Chris could snatch it from her. 
“Doesn’t Ferdy ever munch pizza with you in that big four 
poster of yours?”

“Are you kidding? All he wants to do is make money and start 
wars. I don’t think he even knows what Pizza tastes like.” 
Isabel licked some sauce off her fingers and continued. 
“Speaking of my dear husband, I think he’s getting suspicious. 
He can be a real tyrant if he thinks somebody is messing with 
his property.”

“Who’s messing? I’m serious.” Chris responded as he reached for 
Isabel. She slapped his hand in mock disapproval. 

“No, I mean it. He thinks of me as his property and he’d put 
you on the rack if he caught you fooling with me. I think it 
might be a good idea if you left for a while to tour our 
trading posts along the Silk Road. I don’t want you hurt.”

Riding a horse and camel for thousands of miles over dusty, 
sun-baked trails to look at a bunch of remote shacks in the 
desert was not something Chris relished.  “I got an idea. 
How about you loaning me some money to buy a boat and I’ll 
sail west to India? I was talking to some guys down on the 
waterfront and they said it could be done.”

“Chris, everybody knows the world is flat. You’ll sail off 
the edge and kill yourself.” Isabel was concerned.

“I’m not sure the earth is really flat. You ever notice how 
when a boat sails away it appears to sink below the horizon? 
That’s because of curvature, I think. Anyway, an old gypsy 
read my fortune last week and she said, “Westward, the 
course.”

“What’s that mean?” Isabel was interested.

“I don’t know. But she was staring into this really neat 
crystal ball and looking very serious. If I’m right India is 
west of us. Besides, she cost me two coppers.” Chris reached 
over and began to gently stroke her leg.

Isabel took his hand in hers. She was thinking. “My dad left 
me some money. We could be partners. If you found a quick 
route to India we could really make a lot of money. Then I 
could make you a duke, or something, and we could play all 
the time. Ferdy wouldn't dare put you on the rack.” Chris 
reached over to nuzzle her on the neck. “Only, I’m going to 
get you three boats. Just in case you do sail one over 
the edge. Hey, no marks! I am the Queen, you know.”

And, that’s how in fourteen and ninety-two, Columbus set 
out on the ocean blue.

About six weeks later the lookout yelled down from the crow’s 
nest, “Land, Ho! Two points off the starboard bow.” Chris grabbed 
his spyglass and ran out to the bowsprit, followed by gnarly, 
gray haired old Ralphial, his first mate. He searched the horizon 
and sure enough, there off the starboard bow was land. 

“Ralph, we did it we’ve sailed to India.” He excitedly slapped 
his first mate on the back and trained the spyglass back towards 
shore. “Ralph, you won’t believe this. I can see Indians. 
They’re waiving at us!”

“Chris, let me see.” Chris handed Ralph the monocular. He studied 
the shoreline carefully and slowly, with a frown handed the glass 
back to his captain. “Chris baby, those aren’t Indians. They’re 
Americans.” Chris looked at him in amazement.

“Bullshit. Give me that glass.” He studied the figures waiving 
from the shore. “They look like Indians to me.” 

Ralph’s voice was low and conciliatory. “Chris, if they were 
Indians, they’d be wearing silks and funny hats. These guys have 
got on thong bikinis. I tell ya they’re Americans. Only Americans 
would dress like that.”

Chris took another long look through the spyglass looking at 
the goofy looking natives with feathers stuck in their hair and 
wearing thong bikinis. “Aw shit.” he said as he slammed the 
spyglass closed and stepped down from the bowsprit. Ralph gently 
patted him on the back.

Just as the words bow, stern, port and starboard are seafaring 
parlance, since that day in 1492 the term “Aw shit” has become 
an accepted nautical expression. It is a phrase to be used 
when something unexpected or unplanned has occurred. And, 
this is how traditions are born.  Now on land the same 
colloquialism used by a non-nautical person is consider 
profanity, and rightly so. 

The rest as they say, is history.






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