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MartyS

Twiddling our thumbs

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Here we sit, twiddling our thumbs, waiting for the expiration of CJs latest hiatus. I think I would like to look back at what has occurred so far.

 

CJ would like us to believe, that Rachel took a charter party to the Grand Bahama Bank for four days on board the Ares. At the conclusion of the charter, Rachel is alleged to have dropped off her passengers in Nassau. Then she and the Ares set sail, for home, from Nassau. Six hours later the Coast Guard received a fragmentary radio message. The communication identified the vessel as the Ares, taking water, twenty miles northeast of Bimini. Despite a search, no trace was found of the Ares or Rachel. This occurred on May 19th, 1997. All of this is contained in the Prologue.

 

Approximately nine years later, Rachel’s son, Trevor sets sail after a harsh disagreement with his father. Trevor decides to do a solo circumnavigation. Since he began his trek, there have been two, unsuccessful attempts to kill him. At the present time in the narrative, he has arrived in Australia.

 

Bridget Bellevue and Detective George Alfred are lovers. They are also partners involved in smuggling drugs into the United States. It is they who arranged the two attempts on Trevor’s life. Many chapters into in the story, Bridget and George are having a private conversation. She reveals to him, she had been in Nassau, the evening Ares had disappeared. She puts George in the picture. She recounts how she set out in her vessel, after hearing the distress call. She had arrived at the location prior to anyone else. She went on to say, all she had found, was a damaged zodiac and a small amount of wreckage, showing scorch marks. She explains to George, she gathered up all she found and departed the area, before other vessels arrived. Her belief is the Ares had been destroyed by Dirk using a bomb.

 

I think that is a fair summary of what has occurred so far in the story.

 

Up until recently, I wished I had not discovered this story until it was complete. Instead of reading a completed story, I became hooked on it several months ago. There I was, waiting each Monday evening, so I could read the next chapter.

 

Normally when I read a story, chapter-by-chapter, as it is published, I do so until the conclusion. Then I go back and read the entire novel. During the course of the posting, I like to go and read the comments in the Forum. They are almost as good as the chapter itself. However, this time it was different.

 

I have some understanding of law. I am not an attorney (Thank God.) The puzzling comments concerning the Statue of Limitations just plain got my goat. (NO not CJ) I then did something I have never done. I posted a lengthy, critical comment regarding this.

 

One thing occurred, that I did not expect. I received my first PM. CJ wrote me and we exchanged additional correspondence. As the result of those communications, I decided to start my re-read then, instead of waiting for the narrative to conclude. I worked my way through the chapters. I read each chapter closely. At this point, I was plodding along, taking what CJ was spoon-feeding us.

 

It was while I was reading one of the chapters in the 20s that it happened. It was like a goat butted me in my posterior. (It is not my intention to identify which chapter.) I immediately went back to the Prologue and read it again. As I continued to read, for me things started to fall into place.

 

The following is an outline of what I believe actually happened. I have also included some items, which are speculative. The majority of the latter are alternative paths. My review should not be taken as correcting errors made by CJ. He plans carefully to put us in the Land of Smoke and Mirrors. He sucks you in like a 3 Card Monte dealer in Times Square. When you are the Mark that game, you are getting mugged, without the violence. When all is revealed by, by CJ, we will find out how he led us down the garden path, blowing smoke into our ears (or maybe a different location.). He will try to bamboozle us and whisper sweet nothings to us.

 

Remember: Poets (and Writers) who read their works in public may have other nasty habits. (A loose quotation from the Notebook of Lazarus Long)

 

If I am wrong, I guess I will have a lot of egg on my face. No matter: I am having the most fun, with my pants on, than I have had in years. OK!!! Here goes:

 

1. Rachel was involved in illegal transactions with Bridget.

 

2. Arnold dies under suspicious circumstances. I recall nothing written to date, which indicates Rachel was involved in any illicit activities with him.

 

3. It is my opinion she became aware of the Bellevue’s connection to the Columbian Drug Cartel. I believe she had some serious reservations about the death of Arnold Bellevue. She may have become concerned about the safety of her family and herself. What and how much she learned I do not know. Based on the timing, I believe Rachel learned something important, after the preparation of the preliminary divorce papers.

 

4. I believe she and Dirk had some long discussions regarding this. As the result of these, they worked out a plan for Rachel to create her own Witness Protection Program. Rachel had relatives in Australia. All she needed to do was stage a credible disappearance that people would accept.

 

5. This is what I believe she did. It was not the Ares she took on that last charter. It was the Atlantis. The transom was altered to display the name Ares. No need to change the bow numbers. Two of the passengers aboard the Ares were attorneys. It is entirely possible that one or both had an attorney/client relationship with her. As to the debris found by Bridget, I am considering the possibility it had been left at the reported sinking site, on the inbound passage to Nassau. The official reports say the weather was good. The items she jettisoned would not have drifted far. Once Rachel had unloaded her passengers, she got under way, sailing into the sunset. Check it out. CJ does not say, “The Ares sailed.” It is right here that CJ starts to lead us down the garden path. Six hours later Rachel made the radio call. The approximate distance from Nassau to the reported location of the alleged sinking is 110 nautical miles. In order to reach this location Rachel’s vessel would have had to average 18 plus knots per hour. At some point in time, Rachel removes the Ares name from the transom. The easy way would have been to have the name Ares painted on a board. This could have been attached to the transom, covering the name Atlantis. So away she sails. The Bill of Sale papers, for the Atlantis, identify the vessel by Hull Identification Number, not by name. She possessed valid papers for the Atlantis. So she would have no problems using either the Suez or Panama Canal. Agreed, she might have used the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn. Her course will no doubt be revealed in future chapters.

 

6. The possibility exists the vessel never left the Bahamas. Bridget did observe a Lagoon 55 during one of her recent trips there. Keep in mind, there were only twenty of them built. If this turns out to be the scenario, that would modify my theory regarding her actions with boats in Australia.

 

7. In the meantime Dirk is sitting in Florida. Everyone knows the Atlantis is berthed there. The only thing that needs to be done is to change the visible name and affix the Atlantis bow numbers on her. The Hull Identification Number will have to be altered. I do not see that as an insurmountable problem. Trevor is the legal owner of the Atlantis. He is eight years of age. His world has crashed around him. How often would he have gone out on her at this age? Dirk cannot take her out. I am sure Dirk made arrangements for a captain and crew. After all there were expenses to be met. Such as Dockage fees, insurance and maintenance costs.

 

8. Back to Rachel. She makes it to Australia. She now has a vessel with her, accompanied by legal papers. I would like to believe the Atlantis was converted to look like a Lagoon 57. However, it is possible she just sold the Atlantis, the vessel being identified by her Hull Identification Number. The proceeds could then be used to assist in the purchase of a Lagoon 57. This she named Kookaburra. As to what her relationship is with Martin Blake is I do not know. If they are actually married, that in and of itself could be a continuing offense. There is no way for us to know what her feelings are for Dirk. There certainly were problems throughout a good portion of their marriage. They had already agreed on a divorce. In all honesty I have no idea what the laws are concerning co-habitation in Australia. There is one thing, which is sticking in my craw. The statement Martin made to Trevor about the Kookaburra being purchased new. Martin could be lying, but I am not sure.

 

9. The fact that Martin would not give permission for the Kookaburra to be used without consulting with “The Misses,” must be seriously considered. Please note she did not come to meet Trevor. If I am correct, that is perfectly understandable.

 

10. Trevor has clear recollections of sailing on the Ares with his mother doing an excess of 14 knots. Trevor has sailed the Atlantis at 15 knots. There are statements regarding the overhaul of the Ares, which included replacing the engines. There is no mention of any such work being done of the Atlantis.

 

11. Trevor should not have been anywhere near Carnarvon. His original course did not come anywhere near the Kookaburra’s mooring. I did entertain some thought that Shelly (Lime Key Pie) Fowler might be Rachel. I dismissed this idea, when she delivered the pie to the Custom Shed. I do not believe she would have risked running into Trevor. Keep in mind; Greg Fowler and Martin Blake are old school mates.

 

12. Before the major problems arose between Dirk and Trevor, Dirk was attempting to get him to go Australia in December. Dirk has told Trevor, he will answer his questions in December. You need to keep one thing in mind; Trevor knows absolutely nothing about any Statue of Limitations.

 

13. There is something I cannot figure out. That is the reaction of Dirk to Trevor searching around the waters around Bimini, Based on CJ’s description of Dirk, he is afraid both for Trevor and about what he may discover. If my hypothesis is correct, he will not find he Ares. A good rule to follow in any plan or venture is summed up with the acronym KISS. (Keep it simple stupid.) Any involvement of others in their activities, concerning Rachel’s alleged drowning, would increase the chances of it becoming public knowledge. (This is a Puzzlement.)

 

14. If we consider that Dirk was intending to come clean, as soon as the Statue of Limitations had expired, he might well have wanted Trevor safely in Australia. I do not know what or how much Rachel may have learned or discovered about Arnold and Bridget’s operations. Dirk may believe he is dealing strictly with Bridget, not a world wide criminal conspiracy. One that could order an assassination by telephone half way around the globe.

 

15. If I am correct, Ned may find Arnold’s little cubbyhole, which Bridget is so concerned about. After all he is doing a rather extensive, intrusive, large-scale reconstruction. I really hope he doesn’t discover the altered Hull Identification Number. This might very well create a problem for Trevor and his Atlantis. Keep in mind, an insurance company now owns, the Ares.

 

16. Let us not forget, our soon to married team of amateur Private Investigators. (The North’s they are not.)They are a catastrophe looking for a place to happen. (They remind me of Abbott and Costello. Well meaning, but still klutzes.) I certainly hope that Henry is as smart as he has been portrayed. The two of them certainly give the phrase, “Pillow Talk”, a whole new meaning. Just think about the problems they could create, should they chatter away, in their love nest, about Sergeant Gonzales and Henry, Dirk’s Private Eye.

 

17. Then we have that stalwart defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way, our very own, Sergeant Gonzales. He is a conundrum. He demonstrates his abilities by seeing through the smokescreen created by the Bridget and George. I have to give credit, when it is due. On the minus side, however, he is fixated on convicting Dirk for Rachel’s murder. Why!!! There was no body recovered. Nor crime scene evidence processed by any law enforcement agency. The documentary evidence, which he is aware of, hardly brings his investigation to the Reasonable Suspicion level. His does not get anywhere close to Probable Cause. The entire scenario took place approximately nine and a half years ago. Did he know Rachel or had he seen her at some time? How old was he? I am looking forward to seeing his reaction and anguish, when he learns he has been trying to send an innocent man to Death Row.

 

18. Next, the mythical explosion. Yes, that is exactly what it is. A myth. A figment of imagination. Let’s face it. We know of two people who believe a bomb was used to sink the Ares. There is Bridget and our own Sergeant Gonzales. I am surprised at Bridget reaching this conclusion. There is every reason to believe Bridget knows boats and boating. In addition to this, she was the first responder. She recovered what miniscule debris that was at the Datum Point and absconded with it. She knows boats, especially twin hulled catamarans. She knows how little the amount of debris, which was recovered. To tell the truth, I am disappointed in her. Now, the good sergeant. He manufactured a bomb out of thin air. Then, like the Pied Piper, led an entire task force of local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies down The Yellow Brick Road. Agreed, good old George was in there, polluting the investigation. Granted, the sergeant has, for some time, believed a bomb was involved. But, I find it very difficult to understand how, with so many agencies involved, someone didn’t yell, “Time Out.” Florida is a boating state. As far as law enforcement is concerned The Ares was a twin-hulled vessel. So, how big was the bomb? If it was big enough to destroy the Ares in one, BIG blast, how was Rachel able to get out a radio transmission? Small blast!!! There would have been a lot of flotsam. In fact, there should have been a hell of a lot of flotsam either way. How come no oil slick?

 

19. There is something that needs to be kept in mind. Because of the trials and tribulations occurring on the last leg of his journey, Trevor has formed a bond with his Atlantis. Let’s examine his ownership of her. Trevor has stated, “The Atlantis was left to him, by his mother. OK. How? I guess in her will. Rachel has been declared dead legally. Early on in this narrative, there is a statement, which informs the reader, when the Atlantis was purchased, he was listed as the owner. There seems to be a conflict there. Now, for the sake of argument, let us consider his ownership, if I am correct about Dirk and Rachel’s scheme. Rachel sailed away with the Atlantis. If Rachel has sold the Atlantis, the buyer would have to see the vessels papers. Her name would not be listed as the owner. I seriously doubt the buyer would have competed the transaction, without consulting an attorney. The only way I can see to do that would be, Rachel could have had the ownership of the vessel, identified by the Hull Identification Number, transferred to her name. This would allow her to complete a valid sale. Her will would return the vessel in Florida to Trevor. Lisa might find the records of the transfer, but not a sale outside Florida, if it was sold in the Bahamas, Australia or any point in-between. Now let us look at it from a different angle. Again, assume I am correct, about Dirk and Rachel. They switched boats. Trevor becomes the legal owner of the Atlantis in accordance with her will. But, his Atlantis, which he believes saved his life, is really the Ares. The insurance company that paid out to Dirk owns the Ares. Trevor is involved with real hefty insurance claim with his vessel. Insurance companies will do almost anything to get out of paying on a claim. Interesting, isn’t it

 

20. THE BOTTOM LINE. Dirk and Rachel entered into a criminal conspiracy to keep her out of harms way. Rachel sails on the charter. The vessel she sailed on was the Atlantis. The name displayed on the vessel was Ares. The Ares remained in Florida. Her name was changed to Atlantis. Rachel sets the planned disappearance scenario in motion. Rachel goes to Australia***. The Statue of Limitations, for the criminal acts committed by Dirk, will expire in December 2006. THAT’S ALL FOLKS.

 

*** See Post "While twiddlng my thumbs" for Removal and Retraction.

 

21. I am not sure how many chapters remain. At the present rate of advance, one or two days per chapter, we have a long way to go. (I certainly am not complaining.) The Kookaburra is anchored off Monkey Mia. It is now Nov 24th as near as I can figure. Six more days in November. Seventeen days in December. Roughly twenty-three story days to go. That seems to work out to be about twelve chapters. Then add on the couple of days for Joel and Lisa to get there. It would not surprise me to see this story get close to one hundred chapters. Of course CJ is talking about some real long chapters. That possibly means additional delayed postings. Oh Well. I guess we will have to stick with it until CJ finally writes “30”

Edited by glsswm

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Here we sit, twiddling our thumbs, waiting for the expiration of CJs latest hiatus. I think I would like to look back at what has occurred so far.

 

 

I have never been there, but I have the vision of CJ living in an old log cabin, halfway up a mountain, a miles away from a road in North Arizona. Inside the cabin there is a huge fireplace with a roaring fire, and scattered about are various pieces of paper, with bits of circumnavigation story on them. Some of the chapters are complete some the later ones, just have the bare bones of the plot. If anybody knows where the log cabin is. I would love to know so I could raid the later ones to find out the solution.

 

I do know that over the Christmas, new year period, CJ was ill and then trying to catch up on his day job. This resulted in a 7 to 8 week period when He missed completing a chapter. I know he had a large backload of chapters but now(the last few weeks) we are seeing the results of that illness. I know that CJ is now starting to build up a stack of future chapter but this has yet to filter through the checking editing and beta process, so there may be some times when the Monday/Tuesday chapter will be missing.

 

As to de-ciphering the story, the only thing I can say is that the narrator never lies, but even the hero Trevor is capable of lying (deliberately or inadvertently). So I would not believe Bridget.

 

Having said that, I found your article most illuminating, although I am not sure what is correct and what is wrong!

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I have never been there, but I have the vision of CJ living in an old log cabin, halfway up a mountain, a miles away from a road in North Arizona. Inside the cabin there is a huge fireplace with a roaring fire, and scattered about are various pieces of paper, with bits of circumnavigation story on them. Some of the chapters are complete some the later ones, just have the bare bones of the plot. If anybody knows where the log cabin is. I would love to know so I could raid the later ones to find out the solution.

 

I do know that over the Christmas, new year period, CJ was ill and then trying to catch up on his day job. This resulted in a 7 to 8 week period when He missed completing a chapter. I know he had a large backload of chapters but now(the last few weeks) we are seeing the results of that illness. I know that CJ is now starting to build up a stack of future chapter but this has yet to filter through the checking editing and beta process, so there may be some times when the Monday/Tuesday chapter will be missing.

 

As to de-ciphering the story, the only thing I can say is that the narrator never lies, but even the hero Trevor is capable of lying (deliberately or inadvertently). So I would not believe Bridget.

 

Having said that, I found your article most illuminating, although I am not sure what is correct and what is wrong!

 

 

Response to Red_A

 

This posting took a good while to write, edit, and, edit, and, edit. It certainly gave me a better understanding of what CJ goes through to produce a single chapter. On top of that, he has to develop the plot and the dialogue. I would not even think about doing it. Like with all my larger posts I used word. At least it takes care of my spelling and typos.

 

I am familiar with writing narrative reports, based on my observations. This plot jumps all over the place. I once had the responsibility of reviewing reports prepared by others, describing their observations or actions of the same incident. That was interesting.

 

If you review section 20 that is my barebones statement about what I believe occurred. Some of the follow-up info is speculation. One set of facts I listed, I believe completely. They are what tie my opinions together. Trevor’s statements concerning the speed of the Ares and Atlantis being basically the same. One has had new engines installed. The other did not. Unless Trevor is lying deliberately, that is almost impossible. When you factor in that Trevor could not get the Kookaburra above 10 knots, this what ties my whole set of observations together. Either the Kookaburra is the original Atlantis disguised or it is a different boat. Howevver, she is almost identical to the Altantis. The Altantis is approximaately 50% faster than the Kookaburra. No has mentoned Kookaburra's engines were replaced.

 

Rachel was not killed by Dirk. If Dirk had killed her, he would not be worrying about a Statue of Limitations. Anyway I have posted my conclusions and surmises. Thank you for your comments.

 

Marty

Edited by glsswm

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Marty, that was an awesome post! :2thumbs:

 

21. I am not sure how many chapters remain.

 

This is the only bit I dare comment on... the answer is, I can't tell you! Not won't, but literally can't... because i don't know.

 

I know the overall plot, of course, and what needs to be covered, but I am absolutely awful when it comes to estimating the number of words to get from point A to point B. As an example of this, somewhere on this forum there's a post by me from back when the story started, estimating that it would have about 20 chapters in total. (i just might have be wrong on that! :lmao:)

 

We're well past the halfway point now, and there's not a chance in hell we'll hit three digits in the chapter count, but... I can say this much; the big reveals occur well before the end, not at the end as one might expect in a mystery.

 

I have never been there, but I have the vision of CJ living in an old log cabin, halfway up a mountain, a miles away from a road in North Arizona. Inside the cabin there is a huge fireplace with a roaring fire, and scattered about are various pieces of paper, with bits of circumnavigation story on them. Some of the chapters are complete some the later ones, just have the bare bones of the plot. If anybody knows where the log cabin is. I would love to know so I could raid the later ones to find out the solution.

 

You're pretty close!

 

I do live in a remote area of Northern Arizona, but not halfway up a mountain.. more like 90% up it. :) I'm at just a little over 7000 feet above sea level. I'm surrounded by ponderosa pines, and ny nearest neighbor is out of sight.

 

Roaring fire? Check! I cut my own wood, too. :) And one of my favorites places to write in the winter is stretched out on a thick fur rug in front of the fire. I use a laptop computer in that case (I most often write on my desktop PC). Chapters scattered about? Sort of... on the computer, definitely. (though I do have a lot of notes in notebooks around me at the moment, as I'm in front of said fire and have been writing). I write non-linearly; I have many scenes already written, but they are in large working files, not cut into chapters. I keep Trevor's storyline in one file, things in Florida (all Florida scenes) in another, and in another there are the final chapters and epilogue. (just not split out into chapters yet). For this, as in most of my stories, the end was about the first thing I wrote.

 

Does writing non-linearly sound crazy? Yep! It's a godd thing I've never claimed to be sane... (not that anybody would believe me anyway... ) :wacko: :lol:

 

BTW, chapter 72 will be posting sometime within the next few hours. (assuming my internet connection doesn;t go haywire).

 

CJ :)

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CJ has never been good at estimating the length of a story. Based on the number of chapters that I've seen so far, we're not close to the end of this one yet. At least that's my opinion.

 

Fortunately for me, being a bird of prey, I could always fly in for a visit. But that can be dangerous with those red glowing eyes of his. He's been know to shoot laser beams from them.

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CJ has never been good at estimating the length of a story. Based on the number of chapters that I've seen so far, we're not close to the end of this one yet. At least that's my opinion.

 

Fortunately for me, being a bird of prey, I could always fly in for a visit. But that can be dangerous with those red glowing eyes of his. He's been know to shoot laser beams from them.

 

Your estimate is probably better than mine! I'm the guy who thought this was a 20 chapter story. I knew I was way off when Trevor was still setting out in chapter 10. :lmao:

 

As is often said; goats cannot count. :lol:

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