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from Return to Sandy Shores by Shirley Holder Platt

Copyright © 2019–2021 Shirley Holder Platt

Chapter 16 - Trent

We sailed proudly into the marina in Port Isabel that would be my home for at least the next month. I’d give it that long to decide if this was where I wanted to stay. No motoring in for me. It was a point of pride I’d probably regret one day. But not today. The marina was smaller than my place in Seabrook, but the few people aboard boats seemed friendly enough. We found the only vacant slip and pulled in. Cliff tied her up, and Michael and I folded the sails and wound the halyards. A weathered old man in scuffed Dockers, board shorts, and a Hawaiian shirt walked toward us. He was bow-legged and had knobby knees. His legs were covered with blonde hair, but his head was as bald as a bowling ball. His eyes were squinted against the sun, but his smile was inviting.

“See you made it.” He held his hand over his forehead to create shade.

“Yes. You must be Mr. Peoples.” I jumped onto the dock and shook his hand. I’d been talking with the guy over the phone for a while and had him pegged for a totally different look.

“Call me Mack.” He pumped my hand with a grip that had me working hard to keep from grimacing. He might be old, but he was apparently one tough old bird.

“Good to meet you in person, Mack.” I turned and pointed. “These are my friends, Cliff and Michael.”

“Looks like you had a good crew. Glad to meet you, boys.” They were on the dock by then, and everyone shook hands with Mack.

“How was your trip?”

“We had great weather,” Cliff said.

“That’s good to hear.” Mack turned to me and said, “You found your slip easily enough. We’re full these days. Glad we had one left for you. Want to walk with me to the office and finish up the paperwork? I’ve got cold beer in the cooler. You boys come on with us.” He turned and walked away.

“Right behind you,” Michael said. He wasn’t one to turn down a cold beer on a hot day.

When the paperwork was behind us, I asked Mack to show us the amenities. There was a decent pool with lounge chairs that had been recently purchased, by the look of them. Not one soul sat in a chair or swam in the pool.

“It’s quiet,” I said.

“Wait until the weekend. Folks get mighty rowdy at times. We try to enforce a no noise restriction after ten, but that doesn’t always work if too much alcohol is involved.” Mack seemed to think that was fine with him. I noticed he’d downed two beers since we met him, so too much alcohol consumption was probably a matter of perspective.

“Maybe we should stay for a while,” Michael said as he clapped his hand on Cliff’s back. “Might be some pretty girls getting tipsy.”

“Hee hee,” Mack said. “Young men never change. Now mind you, this old buzzard can still appreciate a pretty dame. It’s just, if I ever catch one, she’ll probably kill me. I refuse to take those silly pills.”

I didn’t want to know about Mack’s love life, or lack thereof. I cleared my throat. “Can you show me the showers and the restaurant?”

“Sure, sure,” he sai...

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