I knew what he was thinking until Bob stood up. “I’ll help to make sure you do that to the satisfaction of the boys.” He went to the bow, leaned over and threw up. He wanted a glass of water, while I was getting the water the coast guard showed up.
“Everything okay here?”
“Hi Doug, you on duty tonight?”
“Yes, so why is this guy throwing up over your bow.”
“I think he’s an alcoholic who can’t drink on my boat. You know how we call root beer, beer. He thought it was the real thing, took one of the bottles from the boys and took a huge drink. I guess it didn't agree with him.”
“Maybe we should take him in and get him checked out.”
He heard that, “No, I’m okay I just didn’t expect that to be a soda.”
“All right, Kevin if you need us give me a call, we’ll be patrolling this area tonight.”
“Doug, let me know when you’re going in, I may have a few lobsters for you.”
Nicky blew the horn at the seven mile mark, he hollered. “We’re on site, let’s get the nets in, Charles, anchor.”
I looked at Glen and started to laugh. Nicky switched over to battery power, shut off the engines and came down from the bridge. “Did you save anything for me to eat.”
Glen went and took out a dish from the oven. Sat it in front of him along with a bottle of beer. He saw what happened at the bow, I’ll let Travis tell him. “Okay boys, let’s get the nets down. Travis, you help Glen with the port net, Andy, you help me with the starboard net. Charles, you take a few boys along with these crab scraps and show them how to put the stern nets down.”
All of a sudden the galley emptied, those that didn’t have an assignment went to see how it was done. They knew that sooner or later they would be asked to help as well. Nets down, “Boys, I think you shouldget to bed. You can read for a while but the horn will sound at eight tonight and four tomorrow morning.”
Glen and I sat at the table with the dads, all of the dads. There was a pot of coffee, ready for refills. “I was proud of Nicky tonight. He showed me how he figures out where to go and how he pilots the boat. I don’t think Anna will believe it.”
“He isn't the only one who can pilot the boat, Scott and Andy have taken the boat out, Jamie has brought her in. Back up is the key word for me.”
“Is it your intention to have all of the boys able to pilot the boat?”
“Over time yes, but they all can begin now by plotting courses. Most of the boys can do it, you need a little more than basic arithmetic.”
We sat around and chatted, Bob wanted to know if Grace should start to work on another evaluation. “You mean she hasn’t started yet?”
We sat and talked about what made fishing so important for the boys. Bob thought it was trust, Glen and I trusted the boys to do what’s right and not be afraid to ask for help if they didn’t understand anything. Glen’s dad said, showing trust in a boy is very important, you can’t be harping on the negatives. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s the forgiving and then showing them the right way. John said that his boy has gone from a person who was an introvert to an energetic out going boy. "I don’t know what it was about fishing, but it turned him around."
“I saw the knives those boys were using to clean fish, they looked very sharp.”
“They are sharp and the boys know how to keep them sharp. Dull knives hack the fish and you don’t get nice steaks from them.”
“I saw you out there with Adam, isn’t he too young to be welding a knife?”
“If I left him alone yes, but I was with him the entire time. He was quite proud of what he did.”
“Well, I think this is just horse shit, a man who hunts is a real man. Fishing is for sissies.”
Laying down the gauntlet, “So a real man hides in the bushes with a high velocity rifle and waits for an unsuspecting animal to cross his path. Then he aims and shoots the animal. If he was a real man, he would stand out there with a club and battle with the animal. Of course, he might get hurt. Hunting isn’t a man’s sport, it was a way for men to supplement their food, just like fishing. There are a lot of people who depend on our fish to supplement their diets. Do you share the food you kill with the less fortunate in your neighborhood?” I didn’t expect an answer and of course I didn’t get an answer.
“Before Johnny went fishing, we hardly had fish for dinner, now if we don’t have it at least twice a week, we feel like we’re missing something.”
“We pay the boys according to what they do, we call it sharing in the catch.”
“How much do you pay them, ten - fifteen dollars?”
“No, the minimum share of the catch is fifty dollars to a maximum of a hundred fifty dollars. Do your friends share what you make on your hunting trips?”
“We don’t sell what we kill.”
“So if you say, kill a deer and had sausages made from it and there was a person who said he would pay you for it, you would say no.”
“Well, not exactly.”
“Kev, we should turn in its getting late and four am comes awful early.”
Walking into the Captain’s cabin, I nudge Glen. There was Peter and Adam all snuggled together. Peter had his arm around Adam who had his head on Peter’s chest. I looked at Glen and smiled.
Then, “Dad, no I’m not going to sleep with you. None of the other boys are sleeping with their dad.”
Glen and I went out, there was Harry trying to pull Travis into his cabin. “Harry, what are you doing?”
“He’s my son and I want him to sleep in my cabin.”
“Harry, he’ll be up at four am, do you want to be awaken at four am? Let him go, he enjoys the friendship of the other boys.”
“No, he sleeps with me. Who knows what goes on in those cabins. With two homo’s running this ship. I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t sleep with them. They aren’t paid for fishing, you pay them for sex. Well, my boy will not be a sex toy for you two homos.”
That woke up Bob and Glen, who had the cabin on either side of Harry.
Now I was mad, “Nicky, take us out twelve miles, with the nets down. Listen you homophobic pig, twelve miles out is international waters. A captain in international waters can and does demand total obedience, what he says goes. When we get there, I’ll hold court with my officers and determine if we should hang you or not.”
“You can’t that would be murder.”
“No, mutiny has always been accepted as cause for the death penalty.Now get in that cabin and I don’t want to hear another word out of you.”
He started to pull Travis again, “Travis go to bed.” As Glen and I separated Travis from him. He went to grab Travis again, Bob stepped in.
“I suggest you do as the Captain says. Or you will find yourself in jail for citing a mutiny aboard the ship.”
“Like hell I am. You have no jurisdiction here.”
“No but we do. Now what’s the problem?”
“These homo maggots won’t make my son sleep with me.”
“You know it is against the law to have sex with underage children.”
“Yes, these two homos are doing that with these boys.”
“No, they aren’t, no court would buy that. But you insisting your son sleep with you will bring an investigation to determine if you are having sex with your son.”
That did it, I’m not sure who threw the first punch but the handcuffs were on Harry, Bob and Doug were leading him up the stairs and onto the Coast Guard cutter. I felt bad that Travis had to witness that.
“Travis, go to your cabin and try and get some sleep.” When Travis opened the door to his cabin, the boys that were sleeping there grabbed him and gave him hugs. I don’t how they did it, but they cocoon on the top bunk.
The four am whistle was very muted. Glen and I knocked on the boys cabin doors. After a trip to the head, we went to bring in the nets. Actually, we hadn’t moved. The starting of the motors rocked the boat enough that it seemed like we were moving. “Nicky, played that well.”
“Yes, I have read about cases like this in school. Classic cases where like father, like son. Travis breaks the mold.”
“Thanks to his mother.”
As the boys came up, the nets were pulled, Glen and I watched. We could have never done that on Scuffy. I saw the Coast Guard pull up along side. I took two cups of fresh made coffee out to them. Told Charles to get me two nice size lobsters.
“What a piece of work that man is. He screamed all the way in that we were leaving his son in the hands of perverts.”
“What did you do with him?”
“He said he was staying at the Wharf, so we dropped him off there. He was still spouting as he entered, but then he got very quiet. You have a loyal bunch of captains and bartender there. There was a woman who came out in her bathrobe. She said something to him and he started to say he was sorry and didn’t mean anything.”
“That was his wife. I suspect a divorce coming up. She has the money and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t work for her dad. I know my boss doesn’t like him, he’s one of his golf four.Here is your bounty from the bounty of the sea. Enjoy and thanks a lot Doug.”
Everything was back to normal. Scott, Travis and Andy were busy preparing breakfast. It seemed a very quiet this morning. I pulled Travis over to the table and had him sit next to me. “It’s going to be okay Travis, you'll see. They took him back to the Wharf.” I knew he was embarrassed by the behavior of his father. I wonder how he acted when he was home. I think his wife would keep him in line, she looked like the type.
Breakfast was great, I thought this was the way it should have been. Everyone was eating, talking, telling stories of fishing and of course, our boys were telling stories of working on Scuffy. The dads were telling funny stories about their sons, everyone was relaxed and soon the boys were telling stories about themselves. I watched Travis, he was relaxing and laughing as well, Dad, had his arm around him as they ate.
It is sad when a father doesn't allow his children to express themselves. Not all boys are destined to follow in their dad's footsteps. A wise father would encourage rather than use the child as an object of derision