TALES FROM THE CARIBBEAN

As Dream Weaver approached her mooring ball, Dave (everybody called him Shark Boy) hurried forward with the boathook, snagged the mooring line and secured it to the Samson post. While the charter guests gathered their cameras, suntan lotion, canvas cargo bags, big hats, and other paraphernalia, Dave put the sail cover on the mainsail but left everything else as it was until he could get his mother and her guests ferried ashore. He started the dinghy’s outboard and began the perilous job of loading landlubbers—three at a time once again—into the dinghy for their trip ashore.

The Caribbean sun was at its 12 high position before Dave finally finished with the guests. He was not off duty yet though; he still had to clean and prepare Dream Weaver for her next job. He skipped lunch and began the mundane task of stowing the seat cushions and life jackets, scrubbing the teakwood deck, coiling the sheet lines, washing the dried sea salt from the brass scuppers and, of course, polishing them.

It seemed like an eternity since he had last seen Lambini the hungry monk, whom he had left at the pier on the island of Lovango, getting ready to trudge off towards the Chicken Ranch, pushing a two-wheeled wooden cart loaded with a big yellowfin tuna.  No matter how hard he tried to imagine the outcome of the monk’s visit, there was no way of knowing what had actually happened. The monk had no cell phone, and his mother made him promise to never go near the Chicken Ranch or the Amsterdam girls who plied their trade there. But even more than his curiosity about the hungry monk was his growing obsession and burning desire to find the lost pirate treasure—not to mention investigating his dream about the dust spout erupting from a rock pile on Lovango’s highest cliff. Before Dave could finish making Dream Weaver shipshape, however, his cell phone rang.

“Shark Boy, this is Jessie and I need a favor. My girlfriend Labelle from Kentucky is here and we’re having us a fish boil tonight at the boat shack—that is, if you’ll fetch us the fish, lobster, and spider crabs.”

Dave was left speechless. That would totally disrupt his plans for the afternoon.

“You still there, boy?” Jessie finally asked.

“Yes, I’m here,” said Dave,“ but I have plans. I’m on my way to Lovango, to take the monk drinking water and other supplies that he needs.”

“I’ll tell you what boy, you can use my powerboat to do the fishing and I’ll call the cook at the Chicken Ranch and have him deliver the water and whatever else the monk needs, and everybody will be happy. Maybe the cook will send that skinny little new girl up to the monk’s place with the supplies, I hear tell they took a real shine to each other the other night.”

This was news to Dave, but he should’ve known Jessie would know the latest gossip.

It’s impossible to tell Big Jessie no, so Dave reluctantly agreed to get the seafood for the feast at the boat shack. He called his friend Ryan and asked if he would tend Jessie’s boat while he dived on the reefs. Ryan agreed and Dave was greatly relieved because it would not only save time not having to anchor for every dive, but it was never a good idea to dive alone.

Jessie soon appeared alongside Dream Weaver in his powerboat. Dave climbed aboard, took the helm, dropped Jessie and his girlfriend ashore, then picked up Ryan from his boat, and off the two of them headed for the outer reefs. Before long, Dave had speared two groupers, a ten-pound lobster and some nice spider crabs, and they were able to head home while Dave cleaned his catch of the day. He removed the lobster’s mud vein by cutting off and inserting one of its long front tentacles up its tail and then pulling it back out.

As they neared the dock, the crimson Caribbean sun was descending on the horizon, and they saw Mona and Catrina leaving Rosa’s Star, headed for the boat shack. Dave asked Ryan if he had a story for tonight.

“Not really,” he said, “But perhaps it would be a good time to tell the gypsy sisters about my tsunami dream.” To be continued.

Latest posts by John Stark (see all)

John Stark

The author of the "Tales from the Caribbean" fictional column. He attended school at Waynedale Elementary, Maplewood, Elmhurst HS in the Waynedale area. John had 25 years of professional writing experience when he passed away in 2012. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer