35 Carribean Straits, British Virgin Islands 

(Image, December 2002, © 2005 M. Childers)

The capstan creaks under the shanty of the crew. The anchor brings up kelp leaves that drape like wet laundry against the bow. Mateo takes a gaff and scrapes the kelp back into the bay. You can feel the tug of breeze catching the sails, as they fall. Old Fagan barks orders to the men in the rigging. They are ready for adventure. You twirl the long ringlets in your beard.

If the wind is with you as you pass under the lea of the headland, the crossing can be made before dark, before they know you’re coming, before they can strengthen their defenses, before they know the vengeance that lies at the core of your very dark heart. And you are Blackbeard, Morgan, or Kidd; and you are the gunner wielding your long range Canon 35mm camera around this throbbing tourist powerboat with entirely too much imagination.

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