The wild ride and porno

The last two years have been interesting, a wild ride that
started shortly after I'd been so ill that I thought I had
dreamt I'd died and a memory lingered that I'd been tossed

Somehow I'd recovered, rebounding from a nasty infection; In
the aftermath I felt far stronger than I had in some time.

All right, so I had to deal with other issues, of course. I
had _not_ taken very good care of myself, so some of my
work was reconstructive. I even got into exercising, not
that it helped me look any less than my full age.

Even so, I felt like I wasn't complete, like part of me was
missing. It was easy to keep going, though, taking care of
my wife, daughter and my work.

It came as a bit of surprise but, in a break from some of my
more regular duties, I got assigned to provide training to a
crew in, of all places, the Phillipines.

How was I to know I'd never get there?

My paperwork was easy to get into order along with all of
the various vaccinations and extra meds to take so getting
ready for the trip wasn't all that much fun and it seemed my
wife was a bit upset over my being away for over a month.
Despite the distance I fully expected to be able to stay in
touch with my family via video chats.

I went over the checklist over and over again in packing my
two bags, making sure all of my paperwork was where I could
find it. I had a taxi collect me for my first flight which
would take me to Los Angeles, from which I'd fly to Hawaii.

Traveling light is helpful, by the way. I don't like to be
carrying anything more than the absolute minimum which does
help get through security. For instance, I don't carry my
car or house keys. It made no sense to carry anything like
that, especially when I didn't drive myself to the airport.

The first flight to Los Angeles wasn't that bad, despite the
long haul in a coach seat. The next leg was going to be
worse for me despite coughing up the bucks for an upgrade to
business class. I'd also upgraded the hop from Honolulu to
Manila as well. Yes, it wasn't a trivial amount of money
but, given my age, the thought of being folded into a coach
seat for that long a flight had shaken me up.

The jump to Hawaii was OK, sitting across from a couple
heading for their second honeymoon. The woman in the seat
next to me was in her sixties and somehow managed to sleep
through most of the flight, awakening shortly before
landing. If you don't think I envied her the ability to
sleep through the long flight...

So I was pretty tired by the time I boarded my next flight
with almost no layover and no chance for rest. If you don't
think I was dragging my ass pretty low getting onto my next
flight you have no idea what it's like.

Getting to my seat woke me instantly as my heart seemed to
stop, for a moment, seeing an attractive young woman in the
next seat. She caught my eye and held it even though I
couldn't remember ever seeing her before yet she seemed more
than merely hauntingly familiar.

Hauntingly familiar? Bullshit! Despite never having met her
before in my life it felt like I knew her! Every nerve in
my body woke up, each clamoring for attention and making me
feel like I was truly alive for the first time in my life.

When she finally looked up at me and our eyes met I felt
like I was being electrocuted by the tingle that ran through
*all* of my already over-energized nerves. I stood there,
shaky, as her face echoed the same look of recognition I
knew myself to be showing.

Somehow I knew this woman and...

The hell of it was that I could tell that, somehow, she
_knew_ me in the same way.

We smiled at each other and I barely managed enough
coordination to put my carry-on bag into the overhead
compartment. Sitting down next to this woman just made the
feeling of being fully alive that much stronger.

"I don't think I know you, but... it feels like I do", I
started, almost stammering in my confused sense of
certainty, and introduced myself with "I'm Bob."

She smiled again and, for the first time in weeks, my shorts
got tight. "I know the feeling, I feel like I should know
you too, intimately, but I can't recall us ever meeting
before. My name is Bethany."

We shook hands and...

Neither of us were able to explain how we got into a clinch.
The arm between our seats somehow ended up folded out of our
way and I was kissing this woman for what felt like the very
first kiss of my life.

This kiss had me-- well, both of us-- feeling like we were
flying while the plane was still firmly on the ground.

Oh, sure, I had a lot of practice kissing my wife but never
with this level of shared affection much less passion! It
was like a whole new world opened up for us. I knew she was
experiencing the same level of surprise as I was, too.

We were eventually shaken out of our clinch by a flight
attendant who announced the start of the safety briefing,
so, reluctantly, we sat back and fastened our seat-belts
before I put my arm around her. She snuggled up to me and I
could feel myself trying to purr.

It is, perhaps, a good thing I paid close attention to the
safety briefing. Normally I tend to filter them out, but
this plane was going over a shitload of water and something
seemed to run through me to *finally* concentrate on it. I
could tell Beth was as well. I held up the card for both of
us to look at closely. At the time neither of us was able
to explain to the other why it was suddenly important,

The flight was long, we spent the early part of it talking
to each other, comparing notes and leaving us already
feeling the pain of our expected separation in Manila. We
compared our plans and, with different places and schedules
to deal with, knew we didn't have any real opportunities to
be together after the end of the flight. It hurt seeing no
apparent way we could stay near each other.

Hell, just going to use the toilet on the plane seemed like
a cruel separation, actually incurring emotional pain in
both of us. This was not helping our sense of comfort and
had us _both_ dreading the end of the flight.

The good news is that we were both tired enough and could
sleep on the flight. Being curled up to Bethany felt great
to me and I suspect it was as comfortable for her as well.

Waking up to an emergency was not fun for either of us as I
am certain you can believe. The confusion of awakening as
the plane lost a lot of altitude very quickly made me think
I was shifting into a nightmare rather than being awake and
finding myself in the middle of a disaster.

It's funny, but not too long ago I would have been happy
with the thought that my life was over. Finding Bethany now
in my life I was no longer willing to lay down and die.

With a severe shortage of thrust the flight crew had little
choice but to ditch the plane, seemingly in the fucking
middle of the whole fucking Pacific Ocean. This was not
what I would call reassuring.

Now I realize that accidents like this are not common.
Planes have been known to occasionally fall out of the sky
by accident.

Accident or incident? Who knows? Who can tell the

I hadn't known this before but apparently volcanic ash isn't
healthy for a jet engine to ingest for any length of time.
Despite efforts to forecast ash plumes and direct planes
away from them, we apparently flew for an extended period
through a layer of ash without anyone recognizing the threat
and it was a minor miracle we had even one engine running at
all by the time we got down "to the deck" or there would've
been too little hydraulic pressure to control this large an

The second miraculous event wouldn't be considered minor:
The ocean seemed as flat as a sheet of glass.

Don't ask me about the touch-down, all right? We got the
Mae Wests on, took the brace position and... I don't have
any clear memories of the actual touch-down but I do recall,
once the plane had come to enough of a stop, that I sprang
up and headed for the nearest door that had an evacuation
slide, pulling Beth -- and our seat cushions -- with me.

It turns out the Bethany and I were better prepared for this
event than many others. For instance, I travel in the most
comfortable clothes I can. Beth had the same kind of sense,
wearing comfortable shoes like I do, so we didn't have to
take them off. Also, despite the expected temperatures at
our destination we were also over-dressed. I have *no* idea
why I chose a long-sleeved shirt to travel in, as did Beth.
We had far more protection from the sun than many of the
others on the plane.

In any case, there were a lot of yellow life rafts out here
on the Pacific with almost no swells to disrupt the view of
the plane sinking away.

A third miracle, when we started to do the book-keeping
much later, had occurred: It seemed most, if not all, of the
passengers had gotten out and into the rafts.

Many years ago I had been a Boy Scout, so I knew how a watch
could be used as a surrogate compass. I looked at my wrist.

Well, duh!

Douglas Adams was right: Digital watches are *not* that
good idea after all.

They are even more useless when you don't even know what
time zone you're supposed to be in, so you can't figure out
easily if it's morning or afternoon.

I looked around at the large group of people sharing the
raft formed by an evacuation slide with me, which included
the flight crew and two of the flight attendants.

Looking around, we paddled our way closer to the rest of the
rafts and, under the crews directions, helped to tie rafts
together, allowing the plane's crew to be distributed across
the collection of rafts.

"Folks" the Captain finally announced once the rafts were
all secured to each other, "we got out the mayday call and
confirmed our location via GPS and Sat-Phone. I was told
that we'll likely need to wait a day or so until the nearest
ship can get to us."

A bit of excited babbling greeted this announcement. I eyed
Beth's expression as she sat curled up to me.

"That's the best they can do?" came the question from a
particularly displeased passenger.

The captain pointed up "Airliners can move pretty quick so a
plane can go over-head, but it's not like they can get to us
down here. Nobody has enough flying boat capacity, either,
*and* PBYs were never very fast. We're not quite in the
middle of nowhere, fortunately, so there are shipping routes
that will come nearby. We'll get picked up soon enough,
folks, though we'll all get a bit hungry and thirsty before
help can arrive."

Beth's head popped up and looked around, as I did. We'd
positioned ourselves at the end of this raft furthest from
the rest and, following her gaze, I spotted the smaller raft
she'd already seen drifting towards us.

It was empty so, before it could bounce away, we reached
over and snagged it, Beth tying it to the raft we were in.

There is nothing I can say to explain the feeling I got when
Beth's eyes met mine before we moved to climb over to the
smaller raft with our cushions which got us some funny looks
from others we'd been previously sharing a raft with.

There was only a little bit of water in it so we bailed it
out carefully so we could lay down and cuddle each other.

We were quietly cuddling with each other when we overheard
the captain say "It's a pity these rafts don't come with a
satellite phone."

Bethany's eyes and mine couldn't spend much time *not*
looking into the others' but this time we shared a giggle:
Given food and water we wouldn't mind being out here
together for more than just a day or so, just so that we
wouldn't have to be separated. We stopped when we heard
someone speak up, saying that they remembered they had one.

I heard groans from three or four other voices saying they
had no cell phone service, which got Beth and I grinning at
each other like thieves.

I don't know all of what was going on; we spent a lot of
our time kissing and cuddling and so paid little attention
to the rest of the passengers.

Given the movement of the sun towards a horizon, it was
late afternoon when I fell asleep with Beth in my arms. We
apparently hadn't slept for very long on the plane.


I faded back into wakefulness with a full bladder under a
very different sky.

Beth slept on in my arms, providing an emotional anchor
reducing my confusion on awakening. Given the quantity of
hydraulic pressure my kidneys had contributed to, I gently
released her so I could move to the edge of the raft and
knelt up, un-zipped my fly and took a whiz over the side and
into the Pacific Ocean.

I have no idea how loud my sigh of relief was but, at least,
it didn't awaken my partner.

Once the pressure was off I could think about other things.

My first action was to look up through a cloudless, moonless
night and...

I recalled, as a child, seeing a lot of stars, back before
the street-lights got bright enough to fill the sky with too
much light too see them through. That remembered sky had
nothing on what I was seeing now, a magnificent bowl of
night sprinkled with stars. It was almost a hypnotic sight
to see this sky and the sheer quantity of stars kept me from
immediately recognizing any of the constellations.

That last isn't reassuring to a space nut like me, you know.

It took a while for me to drink even the first sip of this
seductive sky, but I had to come back to earth-- or ocean--
for a moment to check on my partner Bethany and the others
who'd been dropped into the drink.

Beth was fine, but where were the other rafts? I saw no
sign of any of our fellow passengers at all! The line Beth
had tied to secure us was somehow undone.

I'd not even thought to double check the knot she'd used
though the idea that we weren't close enough to other people
to be pulled away from each other had it's own allure.

In the dark night at sea it was obvious that I wouldn't see
anything despite my adapted night vision. At the same time
this part of the Pacific was calm, and, to my mind,
unnaturally flat. There was barely a breath of wind and, as
a sailor, I'd be annoyed by being becalmed like this. In a
life raft, though, the current weather conditions would be
considered optimal. Given the lack of wind I wondered how
we could have drifted far from the crowd.

Sighing, I knew it didn't matter much in the long run. When
search and rescue came looking we'd be found soon enough,
there being only so far we could get from the other rafts
while drifting like this.

With nothing left for me to do, it was easy to decide to get
back to sleep holding Bethany. She didn't awaken as I
folded her back into my arms but she did sigh, a happy
sound, as we got back together.

Listening to her breathe, sleep returned quickly.


I awoke again to rain-- warm rain, yes, but rain. The raft
was swaying a bit with wave action but the rain felt good...

It wasn't the Stygian night I would have expected-- there
was some kind of light behind the cloud deck illuminating
us on the ocean and I figured the moon had risen. It was
good to see our surroundings instead of having to cast
about blindly.

I tried to rest again, still feeling sleepy, but my eyes
snapped open again and I hunted for some way to collect the
fresh water raining out of the sky, finding the bailer...
and then remembered the plastic storage bag I'd brought a
muffin onto the LA-bound plane with. I'd not trashed it but
had put it in my pocket.

Not once did I realize how unnatural it was for me to NOT
have thrown this piece of trash away as I shook out the
crumbs and started to catch water with it.

I didn't even realize how many miracles, large and small,
had swirled around Bethany and myself. It wasn't until much
later that we would have time to think about it.

Heck, I didn't even think about the oddness for a woman so
much younger than I to be attracted to me. The idea that I
would find her attractive, of course, could never have been
in question for I always believed myself to have good taste,
even if I seldom acted on it.

Well, maybe that was the unusual part for me: I acted on
the attraction. Usually I manage to keep my feelings in

The rain turned heavier and the sudden downpour woke Bethany
and put almost two inches of fresh water into our raft still
didn't raise any suspicions; no, we were busy scooping up
water, drinking our fill directly from the bottom of the

And, yes, there was the slightest indication that there was
salt mixed in but it wasn't more than a touch; the rain
water tasted wonderful.

Say what you want, we were pretty thirsty already, so we
pigged out on this sudden supply of water. My storage bag,
with water scooped from the raft, would hold us over for a
day, maybe, even though we *should* be drinking a gallon a

By this time the waves were moving and getting higher-- and
I was getting pretty worried. The wind was picking up as
the rain diminished, now that we didn't need it so badly.
Our gift from the heavens sloshed around us as the waves
moved around under us.

Yet we still didn't see the coincidences, but then we were
living in the moment, with little time for real reflection.

Then Bethany let me know she had to piss real bad so I
helped her peel off her wet jeans and panties and held on
tight as she hung over the side. This wasn't easy and gave
us both a bit of a scare.

After pulling her back in she declined to dress in her wet
jeans, sticking her panties into a pocket, and then shed her
shirt and bra.

All right, so she wasn't really big chested but she was very
attractive to me.

In my efforts to avoid staring at her alluring body, my eyes
caught the scoop of the bailer and I told her that next time
we could have her pee in the bailer. I got a good laugh
from her before she told me to pull off my clothes.

By this time the wind and waves had worked up to the point
that I was getting anxious. I looked at her.

"I want to make love to you before this storm kills us both,
all right?"

I nodded and decided to comply.

It's strange, but, once we started, it ceased to be a matter
that she made love *to* me. I didn't make love *to* her,

*We* made love. Together.

There are romantic stories that spoke of "two souls joined"
in the act of love-making. Given what I felt-- and echoed
by Beth-- the "two souls" scenario is, in my view, more an
example of egotistical bullshit and assumes the two people
are, for want of a better word, complete within themselves.

I knew I was an incomplete person even before we coupled.
Looking at her face afterwards showed me that she wasn't all
that different from me.

I felt like I'd been only half a man for so long in my life
and, with Bethany, I felt like I'd met the rest of me. Now
if only I could hold onto that feeling...

I felt diminished afterwards with the recognition that I had
only half a soul with a ragged edge that matched the edge on
Bethany's tattered half. When we made love it felt like our
half-souls merged, making one whole soul, a whole person,
fully alive.

We'd both felt the fusion. Our eyes spoke volumes as we
shrank back into ourselves.

The feeling of losing half of yourself at the end was going
to make sharing love like this an addictive activity. The
agony of being diminished only made up for by the ecstacy of
being one. We clung to each other in the rain, trying to
prolong the sensation of being one soul as long as possible.

It took us a while to calm down from our shared ecstacy to
find that the wind and waves had calmed as well. The wind
was no longer cold, the rain had long since stopped, the
waves weren't steep, the motion of the raft was soothing us
and rocked us back to sleep.

I don't tend to remember dreams but I awoke with the feeling
that someone was laughing, pleased by our performance.


The coming morning was confusing; even when at the crest of
a swell there was no sign of the rest of the life-rafts from
the plane, so we were alone on an almost empty sea.

The wind continued and we seemed to be tracking across the
ocean quickly. The water in the bottom of the raft was,
surprisingly, still quite fresh, despite what we'd done
together in that puddle. Heck, we weren't taking on much in
the way of water from wave action, either.

The cloud cover wasn't very thick since it was backlit by
the sun, though we could make out where the sun was so we
could know which way was east.

All right, so we were apparently moving south west, as if
that made any real difference.

It was strange how, while alone on the largest ocean our
planet had to offer, we didn't feel more fear. We were too
comfortable together and enjoying all the time away from the
world too much.

When our eyes next met we made love again. With the cloud
cover we didn't worry about getting sunburned, so we stayed

I had it easy compared to Bethany when it came to taking a
whiz; I could just aim over the side. She peed into the
bailing scoop and sent it over the side. When we each had
to take dumps, though...

*That* was no fun at all, all right? But, by this time, we
had the confidence to dip into the ocean to clean off and
get back in. Granted, this ruined the "fresh" water we had
in the bottom of the raft, so we bailed it out again, doing
our best to make the puddle of water in the raft as small as

Otherwise our morning was spent cuddling and talking with
each other. Sometime around mid-day we made love again. It
was still a religious experience to feel so whole and alive.

Feeling incomplete in-between was not as much fun but being
able to spend the time cuddling, touching and talking--
basically, making love without the sexual connection-- was
still satisfying.

We had to resort to the water bag we'd collected for water
in the afternoon.

Despite our growing hunger, we were ready to fall asleep
again when the pod of dolphins arrived.

Pacific dolphins aren't the grey "bottle nosed" variety
those of us on the East and Gulf Coasts of the US are used
to seeing; these dolphins had much different snouts and
dark patterns that, if they'd been much larger, would have
looked more like killer whales.

So it was strange, to say the least. We were sleepy and the
pod surrounded us, brushing the raft with their fins, but in
a way neither of us found threatening. Some of them jumped
playfully, which seemed contagious, as we increased our
level of sexual touching as we watched these dolphins play.

There were even signs that several of them were mating, too.
They seemed to stay near us for a surprising length of time,

All right, so wild dolphins can be unpredictable.

They did take a lot of close looks at us, we heard them
whistle at us, which reminded me that my hearing range had
not been completely lost with age. We tried talking at them
but I was certain they weren't all that interested.

It was reassuring-- and fun-- to be surrounded by life. The
"wet desert" had shown us something wonderful. We weren't
completely alone.

They seemed to be gathering to leave as Bethany and I made
love once more and fell asleep, still coupled.

We awoke at night, still together, the raft seemingly moving
through the water in fits and starts and realized, when we
heard the dolphins taking breaths around us, that they were
pushing the raft somewhere.

When Beth got on her knees to look over the side, well...

It sure as hell drew my eye, so I approached her from behind

I think the dolphins enjoyed her sounds of ecstacy as she
shrieked and squeaked her way through an orgasm. Somehow I
think my grunts would have left them cold.

It was dark enough to see the phosphorescent trails of our
company and saw even more signs of mating. We also heard
some squeaks that were obviously attempts to mimic the
noises that Bethany made as she came.

We spent the rest of the night like that, cuddling while the
dolphins pushed us along to wherever they wanted to.

And our "friends" had no problem when we had to pee.

We'd been hearing "hungry sounds" from our bellies for some
time but we both had enough padding to keep it from being a
real threat; it was down to having enough fresh water for
our needs. I wished I'd had a second bag.

The shortage of water was rendered moot as rain poured down
from the sky again, warm and soaking the clothes we'd left
in the bottom of the boat.

We got our fill of water, drinking deep again and refilling
the bag so we'd have something for later.

With dawn's arrival we made love yet again.

I am *not* a young man so I tallied it up on my fingers.

Nine times?

I shrugged. We were going to be hungry today. Hopefully a
rescue ship would be looking for us soon.

We had to wear our wet clothes again to protect us from the
sun; sunburn or sun poisoning was something we wanted to

This hungry day was spent cuddling and talking, exchanging
histories and I finally learned that she'd attempted suicide
less than two years before and had, somehow, fallen out of
bed, awakening her room-mates. I told her about how I'd
given up caring whether I lived or died and had neglected
myself, hoping to die.

She said it first: "Maybe that's why we feel like we're
only half a person when we're not making love: maybe each
of us is only half alive?"

The echo of these words in my head made some sense to me.

We agreed, then, that we wanted to live.

With this commitment to each other we fell asleep later in
the afternoon.

We awakened to a loud splash and a spray of salt water on
our bodies and found our life raft was motionless.

There was almost no light to see by and I wished for the
dolphin's ability to use sonar. Hearing whistles and
squeaks from our company until my lover and I started moving
about seemed to be making sure we were awake since they
quieted down once we were up and trying to see what was
around us.

Apparently this pod of dolphins had been helping us while we
slept; I heard the distinct sound of breakers from almost
*all* around us, but we were almost completely motionless.

The cloud layer hid the stars but our eyes had adapted well
enough now to see phosphorescence in the water... and could
see breakers lighting themselves. Down in the still water
around us were the streaks of light as the dolphins swam
with us. I reached over and patted the water surface and
said "Thank you."

The beauty of the scene as the clouds cleared and the moon
rose was breath-taking, all by itself, but we found
ourselves in the lagoon of a small atoll, too small for
people to live on, but still better than being adrift in the
middle of the ocean.

The real prize was right next to us, though, long dock lines
securing it to trees on the shore in two different places.

A sailboat.

A silent sailboat. No sounds of snoring, for instance, and
the water was so still in the lagoon we didn't even hear any
slap of waves against the hull.

We used our hands to paddle up to it and knocked on the hull
for attention and calling out greetings.

What we'd first taken for contact with a potential rescuer
remained as silent as a tomb, so we pulled ourselves around
to the stern and found a convenient swim platform, making
boarding easier for us.

We boarded the boat, constantly calling out hellos, hoping
someone was on board. We climbed over the lazarette into
the cockpit, making as much noise as possible once I'd
secured the raft as best I could to the stern cleats.

It was reassuring to see that the companionways slide hatch
wasn't locked so access was instant. I think Bethany was
thrown off by how the hatches worked as we opened the slide
and batten boards to the main cabin and I worked my way down
the companionway steps into the main cabin.

I have enough familiarity with sailboats of various makes to
be able to find the master switch and power panel, but it
helped that the owner had the same habit I did by having a
flashlight clamped along the side of a cabinet facing the
companionway. The flashlight could have been better charged
but it was enough for me to find the main switch and power
and fuse panel. Once I turned the master switch to the "A"
battery the meter lit up and jumped to 100%. From there, it
was not a problem to flip switches to bring up the
interior-- and exterior-- lights.

I heard Bethany squeak as the lights on the spreaders came
on, surprising her. The greater brightness was strong
enough that it took time for our eyes to adjust to it.

Once we recovered from the shock I searched the boat and
found no other sign of occupancy than a written journal left
on on the navigation table I had sat at to turn on the
power. I took a quick look and found that the last entry
was just over a month before but didn't read it immediately,
choosing instead to guide Bethany down the companionway and
together we searched the boat again, letting her see where
everything was.

We were alone on this boat.

It was also quite neat, the sheets on the berths ready for

Now that we knew we were alone, we stripped off our wet
clothing again and I climbed into the cockpit to lay them
out on the coaming before re-joining Bethany.

The fore cabin v-berth was partially filled, stocked with
food and water jugs, which surprised me. We dug out a box
of granola bars and a jug of water and went to town.

Yeah, it wasn't much of a meal but it sure helped. We were
also happy to be awake, though, to be honest, the idea of
dragging the other half of our soul into the big berth under
the cockpit and feeling whole again didn't take long to
surface in both of us.

Neither of us is stupid enough to let this chance pass us by
so we made love.

Using a more stable platform, like a bed, allowed us to push
up the pace, so we not only made love but we fucked our
brains out.

We passed out almost immediately and slept until the bright
morning let us know day had arrived.


With daylight it was easier to go through the boat; I found
that the icebox was empty which was a good thing; I would
not have wanted to face a month's growth of mold.

Again, we chose the simple path and ate some more granola
bars and beef jerky, chasing it all with bottled water.

One important find was a cache of sun-block. We needed that
to work on deck since we weren't thrilled about having to
get dressed again.

Of course we left some interesting patterns on the deck
where we'd applied the sun-block to each other and then made
love again in the sun.

To cool things off a bit we set up the bimini over the
cockpit and I found the awnings and bungee to hang them over
the booms to shade the main cabin. Another awning, once I
puzzled out how to hang it, covered the foredeck. We could
feel the relative coolness of a shaded cabin almost right

Our need for our morning ablutions had me teaching Bethany
how to operate a marine head. I don't think she was
comfortable with having to pay attention to the position of
the sea-cocks, either, before she used the button on the
powered head. I'd already checked and the heads ran to a
holding tank, which, in a lagoon, made some sense.

Beth sat down to read the journal from the start while I
used a pair of binoculars to sweep the atoll surrounding us
which protected us from the ocean. Her voice was still
seductive and entrancing.

In my search I found our benefactor... or, from what Beth
was reading, what was left of him. From his journal, he'd
sailed out into the ocean to die of his cancer, alone, and
had returned to this, his atoll. He'd drawn out the channel
through the reefs with the GPS points so that someone who
might find his boat could leave with it and advice on how
and when to pass through the cut.

The journal also told us where to find the title to this
boat-- along with a bill of sale. I'd owe his estate all
of one dollar.

*We* would owe his estate a dollar. Bethany's eyes met mine
as she lounged on the other side of the cockpit.

The dolphins had gotten us in through the reefs while we
slept bringing us here to this boat. There was now no sign
of our finny benefactors so I didn't know what to think.

Bethany and I couldn't bear to be apart from each other more
than the length of the boat so we brought the inflatable to
the atoll's inner beach by the simple expedient of using the
ropes securing the boat to the island and pulling the raft

We'd chosen not to dress but we'd left our shoes in the raft
so we put them on even though they were uncomfortably
saturated with water but were needed to comfortably cross
the sharp coral lining the lagoon.

Our benefactor was quite dead, picked away by birds and
insects. He'd wrapped himself up in a body bag of some sort
before sitting in the folding chair on the beach under a
well-secured tarp to keep rain off of him. In a case on a
small table within his reach we found a digital memo
recorder and a even a digital camera, both with dead
batteries. He'd been here a while.

As instructed by the journal, we were to photograph the body
in situ and then bury his remains out at sea, rather than
within the lagoon. We couldn't take pictures right away
since the batteries were quite dead.

Well, we'd have to make another trip to carry out his

We'd pulled the inflatable raft up by the trees and went
over to his original dinghy, drained it of rainwater, and
brought it to the lagoon. We were pleased that the tiny
outboard still worked which made our trip back with his
camera and recorder much easier.

Putting our shoes out to dry this time we used the fresh
water shower on the swim platform to feel clean and got back
under the bimini.

Instead of re-applying sunscreen we used towels to dry off
and then used what was now "our" cabin to make love again.

Once we came down enough we went looking for new batteries
for his camera and recorder and found them, ready for use.

I wasn't ready to listen to the recorder.

But... it was time.

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