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from Return to Sandy Shores by Shirley Holder Platt

Copyright © 2019–2021 Shirley Holder Platt

Chapter 14 - Trent

The day finally arrived. Cliff and Michael had taken a couple of days off and were going to crew with me. I’d checked everything I could. Surface ocean currents in the Gulf looked good, prevailing winds were in our favor, and the weather man predicted happy sailing days. Cliff had raced with me many times, so I had complete trust in his capabilities. Michael was a born athlete, so I knew he’d take to his tasks easily. We were going to take it easy down to Port Isabel. I would lose my crew after that, but they agreed to help me get her berthed. She was in great condition, and I was anxious to get going.

We set off early on Thursday. Galveston Bay is notoriously shallow, so it was a relief when we made it past that. We set the sails on a southwesterly course and relaxed a bit. The winds were perfect, and the sky was clear blue with white fluffy clouds.

“Are we set for a while?” Michael asked.

“Looks like it.” The wind in my face felt awesome. I couldn’t stop smiling. I said, “This is what a sail boat is made for. Not sitting in a dock gathering barnacles.”

“I agree. I think we should celebrate getting out of the shallows.” Cliff raised his eyebrows at me. I knew he wanted a beer, but it wasn’t noon yet. I had always lived by the “no drinking until afternoon” policy, and he knew it.

I shook my head.

He rolled his eyes.

“What am I missing here?” Michael asked.

“Trent demands abstinence until noon,” Cliff said. His blonde hair blew about his face and into his eyes.

“Put your sunglasses on, dude,” I said.

“You’re changing the subject.” He pushed hair out of his eyes and frowned, but started searching for his glasses.

“I brought extra baseball caps,” Michael said. “If you want to borrow one, I’ve got a pink one with PRINCESS earmarked for you.”

Cliff ignored his brother and produced sunglasses from one of the many pockets on his pants. He donned them and grinned nastily at Michael.

“Are you two going to act like brothers all the way to Isabel?”

“Yes,” they both answered.

“And we need beer. You promised beer.” Michael wore the same grin as his brother now.

“There are water bottles in the chest. Help yourself. We’ll break out the beer when we have lunch.”

“Ooh, what’s for lunch?” Cliff asked. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation. I could see myself in the blue of his glasses.

“Sandwiches.” I wasn’t one of those sailors who needed a great galley stocked with exotic spices. A fridge with mustard, pickles, and sometimes lettuce; a loaf of bread; several bags of chips; sodas; a jar of peanut butter; and beer were my mainstays.

“You need to loosen up,” Cliff said. Michael, meanwhile, had gone into the cabin and laid down.

“He can sleep anywhere,” I said.

“Yeah. We’ll wake him up when we ...

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