seaplane parked on tropical beach

Adventures of a Modern Pirate: July 2019

The taste of home-baked coconut cake was still around in my mouth when I awoke to a picturesque sunrise with the rhythmic sound of lapping waves tenderly stroking the shoreline. I smacked my lips, tasting the after-effect. Through squinting eyes, I logged the tropical view somewhere in my brain for later reminiscing. It didn’t take long for me to notice the quintessential rum hangover in my frontal lobe. Regardless, I had grown accustomed to it and assumed it was just part of everyday pirate life. Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum! 

When I look back on it all, I wonder why, at 15, I wasn’t clutched by Child Services and my family incarcerated for child endangerment. My uncle was a good guide. Lucky me! Nevertheless, I would have pleaded with the judge and insisted I was having the time of my life! Would the judge have listened? Anyhow, I digress. 

We were sipping fresh black coffee, when, through my bloodshot eyes, I noticed an inconspicuous note impaled to a palm tree with a fillet knife. 

“Look!” My uncle ripped the note off and read it. 

“Peter will be here around lunch time today. Tom got the call and he must have missed us last night while we were gone.” 

“Cool,” I said. 

“After breakfast, we’ll get ready.”

After we cleaned up and put everything away. I slept, hoping the remaining rum hangover would dissipate. It dissipated enough. 

A firm hand woke me up from my slumber. I heard a deep, mellow droning approaching as I scrambled to my feet. Through squinted eyes, I spotted a dot in the distance. The plane was larger – much larger! 

“We got ourselves a chariot!” my uncle hollered. Anxiously, we watched as the giant bird flew over us with a thunderous roar. “It’s an Albatross!” my uncle said. 

The elation coursing through my blood was electric as the large white seaplane banked hard and then back out to sea, came around, and made a splash toward our beach. She was a large beauty and the V-shaped hull plowed water away from its nose and the floats held the wings away from the water. I couldn’t believe the size of the seaplane! Through the windshield, we spotted a waving hand and aviator sunglasses. It was Peter! 

The propellers stopped, the nose nudged softly onto the sandy shore, and from a hatch above the nose, out popped Peter. 

“Hi, guys!” 

Gotta get back to my coconut concoctions . . .

This column is part of an ongoing story of tales from the past that continues each month. Read Josh’s previous columns here:

To read more about Josh’s new novel, click here!

Joshua MacLeod is a NSB local and a Florida native. He is the author of Savage Tango and Chasing Latitudes. He lives with his dogs, Durango, Higgins and Oscar.

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