A clipping breeze had struck up this afternoon, too good not for Dan to take advantage of and head out for a sail.
Forecasts were for showers later this evening but Dan wasn't bothered by that. There was only a light cloud shelf on the horizon and Dan calculated in this breeze he would make the 21 nautical miles to the horizon in good time to turn back and beat any clouds heading back to land.
After being cooped up in the office all week he was exhilarated by the thought of being out on the open water, the salt spray in his face and the sound of the sails straining tight against the wind.
Out on open water with the sun and salt spray on his face he cursed himself for forgetting the sunscreen and knew he would suffer wind burn tonight but it would all be worth it. He was in his element tacking and gathering great speed as he noticed the wind had picked up even more as he went further out. This pleased him because he knew that at this speed he would reach the horizon in no time flat giving him more time out in the open water before he had to head back to land.
His exhilaration was heightened when he was challenged by a pod of dolphins as they raced beside the yacht.
Every so often one of them would take turns to breach out in front of the bow as if daring him to go faster. The stuffiness that he had felt all week being cooped up was being blown away. He was in his element and having this pod of dolphins as his companions was as far from the mad busy world as he could ever hope for.
Time did not matter out here and before he had even realized, he had gone out way further than he had originally intended. He had seen the clouds coming in, more ominous than the weather forecasters had predicted but somewhere in the back of his mind he had decided he could still beat them back to land in this cracking wind.
Tacking and gybing back into wind he headed back to land which, since he had gone further than intended, was not visible yet but he knew his yacht's capabilities and knew that in this wind he would be home before too long. Or so he thought.....
The dolphins had disappeared some time ago, something he wished he had taken heed of as they were more than likely heading down deep to avoid the oncoming storm. The wind was ferocious now as it howled through the rigging. It sounded like a mournful dirge but Dan had heard these sounds before and knew it was the ocean's way of playing the mind of mankind, of reminding one of it's uncertainties, it's danger and it's unpredictable power.
Just as he tacked once again into the wind, without warning a rogue wave came up behind the yacht scooping it up high onto a crest almost lifting the entire craft out of the water. Dan held onto the rudder with all his might, his knuckles white, his legs bracing hard onto the deck as the wave seemed to drop out underneath the yacht tilting the bow into a dark deep trough.
What Dan had seen at that moment made time stand still. At the bottom of the trough was a partially submerged shipping container, one of many that scatter the open seas over time, fallen from freighters in weather much like it was now. Powerless to do anything all he could do was brace as hard as he could and close his eyes....
Falling in and out of consciousness as he lay on the splintered remains of the deck, shards of memories of what had happened would wash through his thoughts. He remembered being catapulted out of the yacht and being forced deep down into the churning water. Deeper and deeper he went. He tried kicking with all his might to reach the surface, he needed air and just before he blacked out, he vaguely remembered a sudden surge beneath him, something pushing him up to the surface.
They had been with him almost from the moment it happened. The pod of dolphins had never really been far away at all. They knew their home and knew the signs of nature about to unleash itself. But they also knew of the impending danger to the human.
They scattered as the wreckage came splintering down into the water but when the human was plunged deeper and deeper into the water, the old bull dolphin came up underneath him, his dorsal fin wedging under the human's armpit pushing him up to the surface.
As remnants of the wreck bobbed and tossed around in the waves, darkness closed in but despite the natural urge to dive deeper, the bull remained on the surface buoying the human from underneath. Soon the rest of the pod closed in, taking turns to keep the human afloat gently pushing his body toward a large piece of splintered deck. It was at this time that Dan had momentarily regained consciousness coughing and spluttering as he garnered as much strength as he could to pull himself up onto the deck remains.
Throughout the night, the dolphins took it in turn and sometimes in two's to propel the makeshift raft with Dan on it toward land. The storm had heightened and the seas were so rough it was a slow and laborious push to get him closer to shore. But they were finally gaining ground. Every so often they would hear the murmurs of pain from the human as he would fall in and out of consciousness but they still pushed on. Finally in the distance, the beam of the lighthouse was visible.
Dan had been coming around more frequently now and through the murky darkness of his consciousness he was awakened by the unmistakable chatter of a dolphin which had come up next to the makeshift raft. It was as if it was trying to tell him something. He painfully lifted his head just in time to see the beam of the lighthouse ahead of them in the distance before the makeshift raft dropped down into another trough.
Unable to hold his head up as he fought off dizziness once again, he looked straight into the eye of the dolphin and with a raspy whisper through salt chapped lips he said...."Thank you" as he fell unconscious once more.
Story written by Sil-Enigma
This piece is dedicated to Captain Chris
and Captain Davo BEST SEEN IN FULL VIEW
A great big thanks to the following Stockists:
Water Effect psd sets 1,2+3
Storm Cloud 2
Deck flotsam created from Shipwreck stock sxchu -> [link]
Everything else done by me in PaintshopPro7.
I cannot respond to each individual
but I will respond to all comments. Please accept my thanks for
my work, your support is truly appreciated.
© COPYRIGHT sil-enigma.deviantart.com
The works both written and visual contained in my gallery are copyrighted and protected by Safe Creative.
My works may not be reproduced, copied, edited, published, transmitted or uploaded in any way without my permission.
My works do not belong to the public domain.