“What kind of idea ya got?” Salty said running his fingers around the edge of the box.
“Don’t strip off the Cody Boy quite yet,” Rich said. “Let’s head back to the coast; south of Cape May.”
“What ya got in mind?” Salty said.
“Let me check the charts,” Rich said.
Rich stepped over to the chart table and scanned a map of the coast south of Cape May. He ran his finger along the Delaware coast of Delaware Bay.
“Let’s go back on deck,” Rich said.
Salty was the first on deck. He grabbed the helm and looked down to check the heading.
“Let’s set a heading of 235,” Rich said.
Salty turned the wheel starboard to adjust the heading.
“Lewes Beach, in Delaware,” Rich said.
“What’s there?” Salty said.
“A ferry to Cape May,” Rich said.
“Okay,” Salty said, “tell me what you got cookin’?”
“We dock at Lewes,” Rich said. “I take the tracker on the ferry to Cape May, turn it on, call the police and say The Odyssey has been spotted on the bay. The police won’t be able to find The Odyssey because it is Cody Boy. They contact Smithson and he brings the receiver down from Maine. By the time he gets here we’ll be better than 100 miles out to sea.”
“Why don’t we just sail out to sea right now and drop the tracker in the water?” Salty said.
“When they put the tracker on board and we found it, that tipped their hand,” Rich said.
“Isn’t it best we just leave them in the dark for a while,” Salty said.
“As much as I agree with you,” Rich said, “I’d to play with their minds a little. I want them to doubt and over think everything. I also have been thinking about a couple other tricks.”
“How are you sure there is a ferry?” Salty said.
“Cape May is where the U. S. Coast Guard boot camp is,” Rich said. “A month ago I talked with a guy at the Rockland Coast Guard Station who just came from boot camp at Cape May, he told me a ferry service just started this past summer.”
“Where do you think you might stash the tracker?” Salty said.
“Don’t know,” Rich said. “It probably won’t come to me until I get there.”
“So what do I do just sit around on the boat?” Salty said.
“Yep,” Rich said.
“Sounds risky,” Salty said.
“We’re seamen,” Rich said. “We’re used to danger and risk.”
“We’ll dock and sleep at Lewes tonight,” Rich said, “and I’ll catch an early ferry to Cape May tomorrow. It shouldn’t take me any longer to place the tracker than it takes to off load and load the ferry again.”
“I hate to see you at risk, mate,” Salty said. “It’s hard telling what will happen to you.”
The Odyssey sailed serenely into the Delaware shore. Salty assumed the helm and Rich sat on the dinghy on the foredeck. He watched the gentle yet majestic land to his left carved by sea and wind. Slowly raising beaches buffeted the sea from grassy dunes. It seems desperately lonely; not dead, just lonely.
It was near night fall and there was yet the a glow from the sun to see their way when The Odyssey dropped sails and putted into the waterway at Lewes.
“There’s the a marina, port,” Rich said to Salty at the helm.
“What’s straight ahead? Salty said.
“A cove,” Rich said.
“That looks like a quiet place to be,” Salty said. “How ‘bout if we put-in there?”
“Steer dead ahead, Salty,” Rich said.
The cove laid at the end of a short waterway no more than 75 yards in length. Everything was hedged by shrubs. They slowly motored into the waterway and off to the port, a small marina with a couple dozen boats or so seemed lifeless and lonely like a graveyard. It was mostly a marina for recreational boaters who have little liking for the cold waters and winds of Delaware Bay in October.
The ferry terminal laid about three miles east.
The Odyssey rested in the middle of the cove and the anchor was dropped.
Rich and Salty had a meal of steaks, potatoes, bread, and butter. The waters of the cove were calm. The only movement of the boat came from their movements.
“Salty,” Rich said, “this is a wonderful place.”
“It is, isn’t it,” Salty said.
“I can’t think about settling here,” Rich said, “although it looks favorable and inviting.”
“You don’t know the people,” Salty said.
“A place like this can change a man,” Rich said. “The land gently meets the sea. That’s good. Places like that can grow on you. Maybe when this is all over this is where I’ll settle.”
“Will it be over?” Salty said.
“Everything has a beginning and end,” Rich said. “People tire, forget, or die.”
“Sounds like the type of talk that can keep a man up all night,” Salty said.
Salty stood and ducked into the forward quarters. He returned with a bottle of whiskey. He opened it and poured a little into each of their tin cups. “Enough to keep the bug away,” he said and winked.
They sipped and talked. Rich cleaned the dishes and sat at the table again. Another tilt from the bottle was poured into each cup. They sipped and talked.
As the night was well along and eyes became heavy Salty stood, “I’m turnin’ in, mate.”
“I’ll sleep out here, Salty,” Rich said. “I’ll let you know before I shove off tomorrow. I’ll row the dinghy to the shore and walk to the ferry.”
“If something goes wrong let’s have some sort of plan,” Salty said.
“Do you have anything in mind,?” Rich said.
“There’s a place in Key West named Tony’s,” Salty said, “Several years ago I accepted a job to rebuild a damaged boat down there. That’s where I hung out. I’ll sail to Key West and be at Tony’s everyday at six PM. I’ll do it for 30 days.”
“Then what?” Rich said.
“The Odyssey has a journey and I mean to see it through,” Salty said.
“That’s good,” Rich said. “To do otherwise wouldn’t be right.”