Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week the prompt is the following required opening sentence: “Every day of the week I…, but Sundays are different. On Sundays … “
Today’s contribution comes from RC Bonitz, author of A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL, A LITTLE BIT OF BABY, and A BLANKET FOR HER HEART.
Next week’s story will be by Val Muller, author of FOR WHOM MY HEART BEATS ETERNAL, a sci-fi romance, and CORGI CAPERS: DECEIT ON DORSET DRIVE, a mystery novel for young readers.
A Memorable Sunday
Every day of the week I toe the mark, but Sundays are different. On Sundays, I throw the book away and do my thing. At least I used to, before my retirement. Now Sunday is just another day like all the rest.
Back when I worked nine to five, Sunday was my sailing day. I was known for going out no matter what the weather. I loved strong winds and crashing seas. Wind whistling in the rigging was music to my ears. Most of the time.
Once when my friend and I were going on a cruise, we found ourselves in an exposed anchorage and faced with a forecast for horrible weather the next two days. The weather report for that evening however called for mild weather and light winds. Of course, we chose to take advantage of those conditions and find a safer anchorage.
We started out as the sun was going down. Light winds began to build as total darkness set in. Two-foot seas became three footers as the wind began to sing in the rigging. The boat rolled from side to side. The anchorage we’d left behind was poorly marked and a maze of reefs and rocks. To return in the dark would surely have resulted in disaster. We kept going.
The wind grew stronger; the waves grew larger. Lights on shore disappeared, then returned, then disappeared again as waves lifted us to the crests then dropped us into the troughs.
A huge wave hit and swept me off my seat. Ocean water surged across the deck a good foot deep. The outboard motor began to short out, but it kept running. The wind was howling now. Every wave crashed down upon the deck and rolled the boat viscously from one side to the other. We hung on.
We tried to turn for a harbor entrance, but the boat became violently uncontrollable, pitching and heaving like a drunken bucking bronco. We had no choice but to resume our course and delay the turn until the waves would be directly behind us. A dangerous way to sail, we could only hope the boat would not be swamped and sunk. An inferno of noise surrounded us- screaming wind, crashing waves- sitting three feet apart we shouted to be heard.
I called the Coast Guard, for the first time in my life to tell them our intention. We informed them we’d reach the harbor in twenty minutes if everything went well. If they didn’t hear from us by then we’d undoubtedly be wrecked and cast up on the breakwater. If we were lucky.
We reached our turning point and shoved the tiller over, then held our breath and watched the sea.
A huge wave rolled up behind us and seemed to build higher. The top curled over and broke a good eight feet above us.
It fell back into the sea just inches short of our motor.
We watched more waves build and curl and do the same. Only then did we relax. We would make it.
A Coast Guard boat suddenly appeared out of the darkness. I got on the radio to tell them we’d make port all right. They thanked me and kept going, heading out to rescue a sinking motor boat. Someone else had been fooled by the weatherman.
I didn’t relish the experience at the time, but our small boat survived because we’d sailed so often in strong winds. And it remains a memorable Sunday adventure.