Take Two: Somali Pirates

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While preparing to write my fictional account of the voyage of the Neko II around Africa, which Mr. Farago has been good enough to publish in serial on this site,…

Leaving Home – Chapter 13 – Neptunus Rex

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I was on my stomach with my hands and feet hogtied behind my back. The supply locker in which I was imprisoned was just narrower than I was tall from…

Leaving Home – Chapter 12 – Somali Pirates

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There are numerous ways to communicate from one vessel to another when at sea: maritime radio, lights flashing Morse code, semaphore flags, flaghoist signals, and gale pennants and hurricane flags….

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Leaving Home – Chapter Eleven – Purgatory

After 36 hours of favorable winds, our sails fell slack in light airs. We were forced to motor through windless, putrid heat. The Gulf of Suez is narrow. A busy…

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Leaving Home – Chapter Ten – Zero Hour

Ernie whisked me into the guardhouse at the foot of the dock. He checked behind me to make sure that I hadn’t been seen. As soon as he closed the…

Leaving Home – Chapter Nine – The Executioner

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The walk from Neko II’s gangplank to the guardhouse at the foot of the dock was laborious. Little ridges of black tar bubbled out of the dock’s creosote-impregnated timbers.  Each…

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Leaving Home – Chapter Eight – Bert and Ernie

More than twenty-four hours after the bombing of the airfield north of Suez, it was apparent that our two captors had been abandoned at their post. They seldom ventured beyond the…

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Leaving Home – Chapter Seven – The Six Day War

I couldn’t imagine what Annie was doing or where she was going. She didn’t speak more than a few words of Arabic and didn’t have any Egyptian pounds. I suppose…

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Leaving Home – Chapter Six – Lake Timsah

By mid-morning we came upon Ismaïlia, located where the canal opens into Lake Timsah, which is about half way through the Suez Canal system. The heat of the day was…

Leaving Home – Chapter Five

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It was dusk when we docked at the bustling Port Sa’id. None of the crew were permitted leave to go ashore. We topped off our diesel fuel tanks; we would…

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Leaving Home – Chapter Four

A few short weeks before we sailed into Egyptian waters, President Gamal Abdel Nasser ordered the United Nations out of the country. His army reclaimed control of the Suez Canal. But…

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Leaving Home – Chapter Three

I learned to be a sailor, cruising the azul Atlantic waters down the coast of Portugal and crossing the Mediterranean. My Quartermaster title did not absolve me of any crew…