Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bold Actions, by Josh

volcano |väl?k?n?; vôl-|
noun ( pl. -noes or -nos)
a mountain or hill, typically conical, having a crater or vent through which lava, rock fragments, hot vapor, and gas are or have been erupted from the earth's crust.

eruption |i?r?p sh ?n|
an act or instance of erupting : the eruption of Vesuvius | magma is stored in crustal reservoirs before eruption.
• a sudden outpouring of a particular substance from somewhere : successive eruptions of lava from volcanic cones.

For the three weeks it took us to sail from Midway to the Aleutians we shared a space no bigger than a outdoor privy. Chores were divided, rations dished out and hot water alloted but still tensions grew. Citing Bob's exacting standards of personal hygiene, orderliness and off key baritone Big Mike unexpectedly jumped ship on arrival in Adak. My plan was to disembark here too, with or without my belongings, but Mike's exodus created an unique opportunity. With a little strategy and some good fortune, I could turn the table on this ship of fools and commandeer the Minnow for myself! Only the day before Mike had offered a reward to see Bob walk the plank, pinning a ransom to the chart for all to see. With Mike now conveniently out of the picture I could follow through on his scheme, slipping anchor one morning while Bob explores a distant shore. That would leave only the Captain and I'm confident I could either convince her to turn south with me or trick her into the hold.

Finding Adak as badly provisioned as the Minnow and having resolved for nothing less than complete control of the boat I confidently climbed back aboard, a sack of damp laundry hanging from my arm. For several days I have waited, watching the weather, learning the tides and growing the confidence needed to sail South single handed. Patience proved wise as conditions have deteriorated badly.

Last night found us fog bound, battling enormous currents and surrounded by tens of thousands of screaming seabirds. This morning strange rumblings shook the boat and a large plume of smoke rose above the fog. Closer inspection revealed a volcano marked "Cleveland" erupting, throwing boulders high into the air and boiling the water all along the coast. This spectacle reinforced our vulnerability and my need of assistance for the next few miles. So, for now the crew are my unsuspecting prisoners, blissfully unaware of the fate awaiting them at the next convenient anchorage.

With a little luck my next message will as the captain of the magnificent Minnow.

Please inform my family of stable health and reinvigorated spirits

Joshua J Newman

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