Shredding down the steep, zigzagging Signal Station Road from the top of the Rock to Gibraltar Town, Trevor and Joel enjoyed their downhill skate, reveling in the feel of the wind on their faces and bare chests, doing carves and backturns, surrounded by the spectacular and sometimes precipitous views. Trevor glanced over at Joel, watching him do a grind off a curb, looking graceful and tan, his hair blowing in the wind. Joel raced by Trevor with a whoop as they swapped the lead for the seventh time.
Halfway down, as the road switchbacked from north to south, Trevor angled for the left-hand turn and Joel yelled, “Trev, wait, hang a right, we’ve got to see this!” Trevor cut uphill, losing speed, and turned to look at Joel, who pointed at a sign. “The Great Siege Tunnels. We’ve got to see those; they’ve got old cannons and everything.”
Trevor grinned and nodded, following Joel uphill on the side road. Trevor wasn’t very interested in tunnels and old cannons, but Joel seemed so excited about it that he had no intention of arguing.
After passing two of Gibraltar’s ubiquitous white tour vans, Trevor and Joel arrived at an overlook. Gazing out, first at the precipitous vertical cliff to their right, and then north over the airport and into Spain, they cooled down from their uphill run, still sweating hard in the sultry air. Joel tugged his shirt on, and as soon as his head emerged, he saw a familiar profile emerge and take a seat on the railing. “Hey Trev, I’m seeing double, there’s two of you,” Joel said, pointing at the Barbary Ape.
Trevor turned and looked, seeing the full-grown monkey thirty feet away. “That’s a big one. Go over and say hi so I can get a picture.”
Joel laughed. “No way! Monkeys are your thing, not mine.”
Trevor pulled his shirt on and said, “Let’s go see the tunnels. I don’t feel like being groomed again.”
Joel nodded somberly, turning towards the entrance to the tunnel. “Yeah, I know good grooming has never been your thing.”
“Asshole,” Trevor grumbled, and then he laughed as he caught up with Joel at the ticket booth.
In the cool, dimly lit tunnels, Trevor and Joel listened as the guide gave them and the rest of the tour group a history of the tunnels, and of Gibraltar as well.
Stopping at a massive black-painted cannon, the tour guide gave Trevor and Joel’s skateboards a subtle but disapproving glance, and then turned to face the ten-person tour group. “The Great Siege Tunnels are a series of gun emplacements, facing north towards the Spanish frontier, and were cut by hand by the British during the Great Siege of 1779-83. They are only a small part of the over forty miles of tunnels in the Rock, but they are one of the few open to the public,” The tour guide said in a sonorous tone, before leading them all further into the gloomy, amber-lit tunnel.
Along the tunnel were a few displays, including one showing a recreation of digging the tunnel; wax replicas of two eighteenth-century soldiers, stripped to the waist and sweaty, laboring with hand tools on the rock face. Joel nudged Trevor’s arm and then leaned in, cupping his hand next to Trevor’s ear to whisper, “Look, shirtless guys! Try not to get too horny, Trev.”
“Shut up,” Trevor hissed, resisting the urge to flip him off and taking a step away from Joel, who began to snicker, drawing a disapproving scowl from the tour guide.
The tour guide led them a hundred yards further as he continued to explain. “This tunnel runs parallel to the north-facing cliff, seven hundred feet above the isthmus, and every few yards there is an embrasure; a gun emplacement. The cannons were fired through small portals, and many of the cannons are still in place, as you can see.”
Joel, ignoring the signs prohibiting doing so, reached out to touch a three hundred year old cannon. “In World War Two, Gibraltar was the only allied territory in mainland Europe for a couple of years. When I was reading about this place, it said there’s a legend that if the Barbary Apes ever leave, the British will lose Gibraltar. So Churchill ordered the British garrison to start looking after the monkeys, even though it was the middle of a war. I guess that means you have Winston Churchill to thank for your grooming,” Joel said softly, still staring at the cannon.
What Trevor found even more interesting were the spectacular views from the gun ports and the viewing platform. When Joel was standing next to him, looking at one of the views, Trevor said quietly, “I wasn’t all that interested in seeing this stuff at first, but now I’m glad I did. This is awesome, thanks.”
“I told ya I’d be a good tour guide,” Joel said with a smile.
After the tour, the two friends resumed their wild ride down the switchbacks, reaching the heart of Gibraltar Town a few minutes later.
“Hey, I see a clothing store,” Joel declared, pointing at a midsized shop as they walked back through the city center.
Trevor nodded, and replied in an equally enthusiastic tone, “And I see a florist’s, and a tobacco shop, and a–”
Joel chuckled. “Oh shut up. You know what I mean. Dude, these are my last set of clean clothes. Unless you want to lend me some stuff or do laundry every night, let me shop, I’ll be quick.”
Trevor crossed his arms and shook his head. “After the monkey thing, I’ve been thinking that I’m withholding washing machine privileges. As for lending you clothes, that’s out. You could just become a nudist while at sea...”
“Or I could just wear the same dirty clothes day after day and stink up Atlantis,” Joel replied with a smirk.
Trevor held his nose for a moment, and then replied, “Okay, you win. I guess I could use some stuff myself. It got kinda chilly crossing the Atlantic and all I’ve got aboard are shorts and shirts. I’m looking for some Levis and a jacket.”
Joel shook his head in disbelief. “You crossed the freaking ocean without a jacket? Man, you are some kinda crazy. Okay, let’s shop!”
Trevor rolled his eyes and followed Joel to the store. “You don’t have to sound so damn enthusiastic.”
As they entered, Joel asked, “What is it about you and clothes shopping, anyway? I love it, Lisa likes it, and you hate it.”
Trevor shrugged. “I think of it kinda like going to the dentist; something that I have to do every once in a while, and when I do, I just want it over fast.”
Joel began flipping through a rack of shorts and laughed. “I’ve never heard it described like that before. Most guys our age love going to the mall. Have I told you lately that you’re weird?”
Trevor laughed. “I like some kinds of shopping. Get me in a marine hardware or supply store and I’ll poke around for an hour. I really don’t mind being in here; it’s different from back home so it’s not as boring,” Trevor said, already glancing at a display of jeans.
Joel picked out a pair of boardshorts with a loud, psychedelic design, and then added a pair of khaki cargo shorts before heading for the shirts.
Trevor asked a clerk what his size would be in Metric, and found to his surprise that Levis, like most jeans, were still measured in inches. He found a pair of button-fly Levis that he liked, and picked them up before following Joel. “I’ll need to try these on to see if they fit,” Trevor grumbled.
“You poor thing,” Joel said, snickering.
After making sure the jeans were comfortable, Trevor endured fifteen minutes of Joel searching through the T-shirtsand tank tops, with Joel finding them almost identical to what he could get at home. Trevor made himself useful by deriding everything Joel found. “That would make you look like a geek.” Trevor said, as Joel held up a printed concert shirt.
“You’ve said that about everything, you ass,” Joel replied, with a chuckle and a shake of his head.
“Liar! I said the last one made you look retarded, and the one before that I said made you look like a girl,” Trevor replied with an innocent shrug.
Joel looked at the two pairs of shorts and the concert T-shirt his left hand. “Okay, okay, I’ll go easy on you this time and make do with these. I was thinking of getting a few things from different places anyway, and a lot of the stuff in this store is like what I’d get back home.”
Trevor sighed. “This is going to make your day, but I need to stop by a sporting goods store; I need some weatherproofs in case I hit a cold storm, and I need a rainproof jacket too. So, more clothes shopping.”
Joel grinned. “Cool.”
After making their purchases and asking directions, the two guys, skateboards and shopping bags in hand, headed for the recommended sporting goods store.
“What about a boating store? Need any supplies, like maps?” Joel asked, as they neared the sporting goods store.
Trevor shook his head. “Atlantis has an electronic chart system that’s hooked into the combined GPS, weather system, radar, and autopilot. It uses map data cartridges, and I got to pick three when I bought it. So, I have North America, the Caribbean, and Europe. I picked Europe for the third one in case I wanted to take a charter out to the mid-Atlantic islands, like the Azores. Lucky I have it, because it covers the whole Med. I’ll need to get one for the Indian Ocean before I transit Suez, but we’re fine for now,” Trevor said, as they entered the sporting goods store.
Trevor found the waterproof pants he needed right away, and as he held a pair up, Joel said, “Those look like they’re made out of a tent.”
Trevor shrugged. “If there’s a storm at sea, I don’t think I’ll much care how I look. These are pretty cheap and I need ‘em. Okay, jackets next.”
As Trevor poked through a selection of rainproof jackets, looking for the lowest priced one, Joel asked, “Do I need any cold weather gear? I thought it would be warm in the Mediterranean, but you look like you’re getting ready for a blizzard.”
Trevor laughed. “You won’t need anything for the Med – not this time of year, according to the weather data I’ve been looking at. If we hit a storm, I guess it could cool down, but you can stay inside. I’m getting this stuff for later; I’ll be crossing the Indian Ocean by heading south, then east from about the latitude of southern Madagascar. The seasons are reversed from normal in the Southern Hemisphere so it’ll be spring when I get there and I might hit some cold weather. After Australia, I’m probably going to do a southern ocean run across the Pacific for Cape Horn, and even though it’ll be summer there by then, that’s some cold ocean.”
Joel looked at Trevor for a moment before replying, “That’s one hell of a trip you’re facing. Are you sure you want to do it? If I were you, I’d think about just hanging around the Mediterranean for a while, and then head for the Caribbean before winter hits. That way you’d be closer to home if Lisa and I can find a way for you to come back.”
Trevor shrugged as he picked out a jacket. “Sailing around the world is something I’ve always wondered about, and I’ve got a year to kill. So, I’m gonna go for it.”
“You’re nuts. You know that, right?” Joel asked, with a smile and a shake of his head.
“Yeah, I guess I am, and if I ever forget, I know I can count on you to remind me,” Trevor replied, chuckling.
With his cold weather gear picked out, Trevor took a glance around the rest of the store. “I guess this’ll do.”
“Hold on, they’ve got clothes over there,” Joel said, turning to head in the direction he’d been looking.
With a shake of his head, Trevor followed, and then stood watching as Joel browsed through a couple of racks of shirts. A few minutes later, Joel hit the shoe aisle and tried on half a dozen pairs of basketball shoes before finding a pair he liked.
Trevor shook his head. “You’re a shopaholic. There’s gotta be some kind of twelve-step program for that.”
Joel laughed. “You’re getting off easy. Last time I went to the mall with Lisa, we were there most of the day. All I ended up buying was a pair of red shorts, like the ones you lent me that Lisa liked.”
Trevor rolled his eyes. “It took you all day to buy one pair of shorts? You’re pathetic.”
Joel smiled as he said, “We need to find you a souvenir shirt, one with a monkey on it.”
Trevor snorted. “Just what I don’t need.”
Joel laughed. “Okay, seriously, anything you want? I know you’re hoarding your cash so I’ll get it. New shoes? What about flip-flops? Shorts?”
“Thanks but I’m okay. I kept a lot of my clothes on Atlantis so I have plenty of stuff. I’ve even got two pairs of flip-flops, so you can have a pair if you want. Ready to go?” Trevor asked, in a hopeful tone.
Joel shook his head. “Not yet, there’s a swimwear section behind you. I had to promise our coach that I’d keep up with my workouts. I need goggles and a swimsuit or two.”
Trevor rolled his eyes again. “Or two? You only wear one at a time and you brought the red one with you. Keep this up and I’ll give you your workout by tossing you overboard and letting you try to catch up.”
“Shut up and follow me,” Joel said, making a beeline for the first rack. He flipped through a few dozen pairs, and then held one up, looking puzzled. “These are different. They’re cut like boxer briefs but they’re a swimsuit.”
Trevor nodded, picturing the tight light blue square cut swimsuit on Joel. Any hopes he had of a speedy exit from the store were dashed when Joel turned his attention to the rack containing racing suits. Then he glanced up, at a display of swimming goggles, and picked up a pair. “These are identical to the ones back home, but the elastic on mine is just about shot so I need new ones anyway. What about you? Got any goggles and suits aboard? We’ve still got that rematch of our ocean race, and I intend to kick your ass.”
Trevor shrugged. “I’ve got a pair of speedos; I use ‘em for scuba diving sometimes. No goggles though; those are at home.”
Joel grabbed a second set of goggles and added them to his own. “Now you do. Okay, let’s see what they’ve got for suits.” Joel pulled a swimsuit off the rack and held it in front of his waist. “What about these? They’ve got some red, and Lisa loves red.”
Trevor’s eyes opened a little wider. The suit Joel had picked out was a brief cut pair of speedos, black with a red print, and Trevor knew they’d look hot on Joel. Trevor hesitated, picking his words with care, and then said, a little uneasily, “Yeah, Lisa would probably like those.”
Joel heard the slight change in Trevor’s voice and looked up to meet his eyes. “Trev, just say what you think. I’m not going to stress out, trust me on that, okay? Besides, I want your opinion.”
Trevor nodded, looked at the swimsuit again, glanced around to make sure no one other than Joel was close enough to hear, and said in a hushed voice. “I think those would look hot on you, and I’m certain Lisa would think so, too.”
Joel smiled. “Thanks. Now, what about the square cut swimsuit?”
Trevor relaxed a little and replied, “That’d look hot on you too.”
Joel chuckled. “Okay, better, but now it’s my turn. Listen and learn,” Joel said, turning to dig through the rack of racing swimsuits. He pulled out a white European-cut Speedo and handed it to Trevor. “Hold it in front of you and hike up your shirt a little.” Joel waited until Trevor had the speedos in place below his lifted shirt, and nodded approvingly before adding in a normal voice, loud enough for the two other nearby shoppers to hear, “You’d look really hot in those, with your build and tan. See? No big deal; I’m just offering my opinion, and that opinion, by the way, is you should get those.”
Trevor glanced around the store, noticing that the other customers seemed oblivious. He shook his head and smiled, bemused at Joel’s casual attitude and picking up on the fact that Joel was trying to reassure him. “Okay, and... thanks.”
Joel nodded, and asked, “Okay, what about that green and yellow T-shirt I didn’t buy at the last store?”
Trevor smiled; that one was easy. “I wasn’t lying when I said it made you look like a dork.”
Joel laughed. “Okay, now that I can trust your opinions, I’ll make you my full-time shopping assistant.”
Trevor snapped his fingers. “I just remembered; I need to stop by a boating store so I can buy you a necklace, one you can wear while swimming.”
Joel arched an eyebrow. “A necklace?” he asked.
“Otherwise known as a fifty-pound anchor,” Trevor replied with a wicked grin.
Joel laughed, loudly enough to draw a few glances from other people in the store, and said, “Okay, enough clothes shopping for today.” The two guys headed for the register, where Trevor bought the waterproof pants and jacket, and Joel bought the shoes, two pairs of goggles, and the three swimsuits, including Trevor’s.
Atlantis was just a few blocks away, and the two friends returned to the boat, shopping bags in hand. As they climbed aboard, Trevor said, “Let’s drop this stuff off and hit the supermarket, just in case we have to leave tonight. Except for my emergency rations, I’m running low on food and I’d like to stock up from somewhere with English labels. I tried in Lisbon and couldn’t figure out what some of the stuff was.”
Joel stared at Trevor in amazement. “That makes two stores in a row you’ve wanted to go to. Maybe you’re the shopaholic.”
Trevor laughed as he locked up Atlantis. “Food shopping doesn’t count. Come on, there’s a Safeway a couple of blocks from here.”
“Food run!” Joel yelled, jumping on his board and following Trevor.
Arriving at the supermarket’s entrance and kicking their boards up into their hands, Trevor and Joel headed for the shopping carts. Acting out of habit, Joel gave one a tug to pull it free. When that didn’t work, he looked. “They’re chained together and you have to put in a one-Pound coin to free ‘em. That’s weird,” Joel said, digging in his pocket for change, and then both guys took a cart.
Trevor realized that he needed a lot of food; not just for the Mediterranean trip, but for the Indian Ocean as well.
They found themselves in a dry-goods aisle, and Trevor grabbed a sack of rice, and then began tossing in whatever he could see, starting with a case of cup-a-noodles, Top Ramen noodles, a case each of dried soups and dried milk. Some jars of jam went in next, and then they hit the deli for sandwich meat and sliced cheese. Then they added several packages of other cheeses, whatever caught their eyes.
Neither Trevor nor Joel was overly fond of fresh vegetables, and spoilage was a concern, so their visit to the produce section was brief; they picked out a few oranges, and then Joel pointed at the bananas. “I know you’ll want a few bunches of those, monkey-boy,” he said, snickering.
“Shut up, or I’ll feed you only gruel,” Trevor shot back, as the provisioning continued.
They headed for the canned goods aisles next, tossing a few dozen cans of soup, followed by a case of canned ravioli and another of pork and beans, followed by some long-life milk.
Trevor spotted a sale display and went for a look. Picking up a can with a cartoon pig on the label, he said, “That’s different; canned hot dogs. I wonder if they’re any good? They’re cheap, and canned stuff doesn’t take up refrigerator space.”
“Buy a few cases and find out,” Joel suggested, with a smirk.
Trevor rolled his eyes. “I’ll get one can to try ‘em. If they’re any good, we can come back, assuming we don’t have to leave right away.”
Trevor and Joel stocked up on everything from soft drinks to toilet paper, four liters of whole milk, and twenty boxes of assorted cereal.
Paper towels went in next, as did a large bottle of Joy dishwashing detergent; Trevor knew that that brand, unlike many other types, worked just fine in salt water.
Next came the frozen food aisle, and Trevor said, “We can’t get a lot of frozen stuff; just a few bags full, otherwise it won’t fit in Atlantis’s freezer.”
“Tell me when to stop,” Joel replied, and started searching through the freezer bins, picking out things he hadn’t seen at home, starting with some Indian dinners.
Joel glanced at the two full shopping carts. “How are we getting this stuff back to Atlantis? Will they let us borrow the carts?”
Trevor shook his head. “I doubt it. I was thinking we’d need a taxi, but when we got here, I noticed that this store is on the sea front, right on the harbor. You stay here with the food, and I’ll skate back to Atlantis, pop that distributor cap you got me into my outboard, and bring the Zodiac to the sea front. We can transfer the stuff from the carts right to it, and haul it all back to Atlantis.”
Joel glanced again at the carts and said, “Why don’t you do that before we go through the register? That way I can shop some more while I wait. They’ve got a lot of cool stuff here, and I haven’t even hit the chocolate aisle yet.”
Trevor nodded. “Okay, but I’ll get the can of hot dogs now and open it when I get to Atlantis. That way we can add that if they’re any good.”
“But I won’t get to try ‘em. What if I hate them?” Joel said, with a mock pout.
Trevor chuckled. “Then you don’t have to eat them. I have ‘em in mind for crossing the Indian Ocean anyway; I’ll need a lot of canned goods for that. Those, plus soups, canned pork and beans, and canned vegetables would make a lot of meals. While we’re in the Med we can buy food ashore a lot of the time, but that’s kinda difficult in the middle of an ocean.”
Joel rolled his eyes. “Canned hot dogs for every meal? You’d jump overboard inside of a week.”
Trevor laughed. “Once a day at most. I’ll get other stuff, like the ravioli and whatever else I can find, cereals with dried milk, and soups. Anyway, I’ll be back in about fifteen minutes. Have fun shopping.”
Joel nodded, and watched as Trevor walked towards the register, canned hot dogs in hand. Then, Joel used one cart to push the other and made his way awkwardly to the chocolate aisle. After loading up on European chocolates of various kinds, Joel remembered the coffee, and added both ground and instant to their haul.
Lisa heard the front door open and close, and she stood up and began pacing in her room, trying to choose her words. She listened as the maritime clock Trevor had given her for her birthday chimed four o’clock and took a deep breath before walking into the living room to have a talk with her father, Robert.
“Hi Pumpkin,” her father said, putting down his newspaper and adjusting his bifocal glasses.
“Enjoying your vacation?” Lisa asked as she sat down on the couch across from him.
Robert nodded. “So far, so good, considering I just got home from work a minute ago. I’ll bet you’re missing Joel. Have you heard from him and Trevor yet? They were in Lisbon, weren’t they, and heading for the Mediterranean?” Robert asked, remembering Lisa’s mention of Lisbon and deciding to fish a little before letting on why.
Not noticing that her father’s question was a bit pointed, Lisa replied, “They called earlier; Joel got there okay and they’re having fun.”
“You’re still upset that I wouldn’t let you go, aren’t you?” Robert asked.
Lisa took a deep breath and nodded. “I am. I wanted to go so bad.... It was a chance to see the Mediterranean from a yacht, almost for free; Joel’s dad would have supplied the frequent flyer miles. How would you have felt when you were my age if your father had taken a chance like that away from you?”
Robert sighed. “Pumpkin, you’re too young for a trip like that, floating around the Mediterranean on your own.”
Lisa scowled. “You sent me to go see Mom in France last year when I was sixteen and I had to stay in a bed and breakfast on my own for two weeks. This time I’m a year older and I wouldn’t be alone, I’d be with Joel and Trevor.”
“Lisa, I had no idea that your mother was going to put you in that damn bed and breakfast. She told me you’d be staying with her and I sent you over there because you wanted to see her. If I’d known she would do that, I’d have never sent you,” Robert said, seething at the memory of his ex-wife’s treatment of their daughter.
Lisa gave her father a wan smile. “She hurt me a lot when she did that, but I guess now I’m glad she did. It let me see the truth about her. I took care of myself over there too, all alone in France, so I don’t see why you think I wouldn’t have been okay, a year older, with Joel and Trevor.”
“Lisa... You’re too young.”
Lisa crossed her arms. “I’m the exact same age as Trevor and he sailed his boat across the Atlantic alone. I’m two months younger than Joel, and his parents let him go.”
Robert snorted. “And I’m not Joel’s father, but I am yours. Speaking of Trevor... He’s a runaway, which I only know because Dirk called me at work today, demanding to know where he is. You didn’t bother to tell me that when you asked to go on this trip, did you? That reminds me, do Joel’s parents know about that? And where are Trevor and Joel, exactly?”
Lisa paled slightly at that bit of news. “Dad, Trevor had good reasons for leaving. He had to.”
“Answer my question; do Joel’s parents know that their son is cruising around with a runaway? If not, they should, and I want their phone number. Will you give it to me, or are you going to make me look it up?”
Lisa tensed up, seeing the danger. “Dad, don’t. Trevor had to go, and he’s all alone. Joel went to be with him for a while, just like I would have if you’d let me. You can’t tell Joel’s parents...”
Robert shook his head. “I’ve known Dirk on and off since you and Trevor were in grade school, and he told me that Trevor has been reckless, and ran because he didn’t want to give up his boat. Dirk thought he was in the Bahamas, and was surprised as hell to hear that he’s in Europe, and he asked me to find out where. I’ve never met Joel’s folks, but they have a right to know what’s going on with their son. Now, give me that number.”
“No,” Lisa replied flatly, becoming frustrated.
“Lisa, don’t push me on this. I’m telling you, give me that number–”
“And I said no. You don’t know what you’re doing and you won’t even listen!”
Robert’s temper began to boil. “Young lady, this is no longer a discussion and all I want to hear from you is that damn number, now!”
Her own temper lighting off, Lisa snapped back, “I said NO! That’s just what I mean; you won’t listen to me at all. You’ll listen to Trevor’s father, who you’ve met maybe a dozen times over the years but you won’t hear me out, even when I have something very important to say.”
Robert stood up. “Lisa, enough of this, give me that number or I’ll find it myself–”
“Don’t... I’m trying to tell you, Trevor left because of his mother!” Lisa shook her head in exasperation. “His father, who you’re so damn eager to listen to, is a suspect in her murder! I’ve already looked into this and I can prove it. Why don’t you call the police, and then see if you want to call Trevor’s father and set Trevor up to be the next victim, which you might have done already by telling him Trev is in Europe.”
Robert blinked, and sat down, hard, mumbling, “Murder?” He looked into his daughter’s eyes. Seeing no sign of deception, he asked in a hushed tone, “Are you sure?”
Amazed that he’d actually listened, Lisa nodded. “What kicked all this off was Trevor finding some divorce papers, from just weeks before Trevor’s mom vanished at sea. Trevor confronted him, and he wouldn’t talk about it. What he did do was sabotage Trevor’s boat to stop him from searching for the wreck of his Mom’s boat. Joel had to swim out to sea with parts so Trevor could get back ashore. Things went bad from there; Trevor knew he had to leave. I went through a friend of a friend who has contacts with the local police, and found out that Dirk Carlson is under suspicion of murdering his wife. If you call the police and tell them you know Trevor’s dad, they’ll probably tell you too. It’s all real, Dad, and I can prove it. What you were about to do might have gotten my best friend killed.”
Robert rocked back and stared at his daughter for a long moment, his mind awhirl. “Lisa, I’m sorry, but that sounds... hard to believe. I’ll have to check this out, but... I won’t call Joel’s parents or Dirk until I do.”
Lisa smiled, feeling relieved. She stood up and said, “I’ll get my purse; I’ve got a number you can call.”
When she returned to the living room, she handed her father an embossed business card. “That’s Bridget’s number and she told me to call anytime. I had brunch with her this morning.”
Robert looked at the business card for a moment, and then his eyes opened wide. “Bridget Bellevue is your friend? I thought you meant a friend from school... Her brother owns the air conditioner repair company that I did some database work for last year and I’ve met her a couple of times... She owns stakes in that business and a few more, from what I’ve heard. I think she used to be married to Arnold Bellevue, who was some kind of big time attorney and wheeler-dealer...”
“She’s widowed but she still has contacts of some kind, that’s how she found out,” Lisa said, handing her father the cordless house phone.
Robert made no move to dial. He looked at his daughter and asked, “How on earth do you know Bridget Bellevue?”
“Trevor is too young to get a captain’s license for his charter business, so he worked out a deal and hired a captain named Julie. I got to know her pretty well, and she knows Bridget, I’m not sure how. When Trevor had to run, Julie set up a meeting between him and Bridget, hoping she could advise him. I heard about that, so when I decided to dig into the divorce papers for Trevor, I emailed Julie and she put me in touch with Bridget. I met her for the first time this morning. She’s a bit formal, but nice.”
“You probably shouldn’t call her by her first name, given her age,” Robert said.
Lisa shrugged. “She told me to, so I do. Give her a call and ask about Trevor’s father, and also ask her if she thinks Trevor was right to run.”
Aboard Atlantis, Trevor lowered the Zodiac and installed the distributor cap. He fired up the outboard, relieved to feel and hear it start. Then, he shut it down and dashed into the galley, where he opened the can and microwaved a hot dog.
With the still-hot hot dog held in a paper towel, Trevor cast off and motored towards the Safeway store, eating as he went. ‘Kind of a cross between a real hot dog and a Vienna sausage, but not bad and they’re cheap,’ he thought.
When Trevor motored up to the waterfront across the street from Safeway, he tied up at a narrow concrete ramp that led down to the water, locked his outboard, and jogged around to the main entrance on the inshore side, where he found Joel standing out front.
“They make you bag your own groceries here,” Joel said, shaking his head in surprise.
Trevor glanced at the groceries. “You paid already? I didn’t think you took that much out from the ATM. How much do I owe you?”
Joel shook his head. “I used up most of my cash and my ATM card works as a debit card, and forget it. I said I’d pay for some stuff. Besides, I had to use some of my cash; it’s pounds and from here on out those won’t work, right?”
Trevor glanced at the two carts, full to the brim with bags of groceries. “That was way too much money, man. Some of this food is for the next leg of my trip and I’ve got funds for stuff like this, I’m just being careful. You don’t have to–”
“Trev, shut up. You’re going around the whole damn world and I know you’re short of money for a trip like that. Besides, if I don’t spend it on food, it means I’ll have more money for clothes shopping, which means I’ll be dragging you along. Your choice, dude.”
Trevor held up his hands in surrender. “Okay, you win, if you’ll consider it a loan until I’ve got an income again.”
“Whatever floats your boat,” Joel replied, grinning at the awful pun he’d made.
Trevor groaned at the pun, and then added, “One more thing; I tried the hot dogs and they’re okay and they’re cheap. I want to get two cases so I’ll have over fifty cans. That should last me most of my trip at a couple of cans a week. Stay here; I’ll go get ‘em.”
Five minutes later, Trevor came out of the store with two boxes of canned hot dogs, and heaved the heavy boxes into the rack under one of the carts. “There, we’re set. The Zodiac is around back, and that part you bought for me works great, the outboard fired up, no sweat.”
“I hope that raft doesn’t sink under all this weight,” Joel replied, looking at the two carts.
Looking south at Gibraltar; Africa in the background. The Siege Tunnels are in the nearest part of The Rock. The yacht basin is on the right, just above the runway.