Breaking the Line

Whatever his reasoning, it was soon proved wrong.

The speedboat cut power, angling away from the Marlin III, pulling up broadside to the wildly swimming fisherman.  Rocking in its own wake, the pitching length of the cigarette boat proved an unstable platform for marksmanship.  Three loud reports boomed from the large caliber handgun before the boat resumed its pursuit.

That delay was lifesaving for us – temporarily at least.  The captain ran straight on, full power, heading directly for the short, steep beach fronting this section of the southern tip of the cape, behind which rose the white and pastel hued timeshares overlooking the Pacific.

“Slow down!” yelled Scott, but the captain paid him no heed.

We hit hard, the bow crumpling as it impacted the hard packed sand of the abruptly ascending beach.  The shallow draft keel climbed the berm, reared up, then slammed back down.  We three were hurled about like the agitator in a can of spray paint.

The captain – essentially, and appropriately enough – went down with the ship.  His chest collided with the steering wheel, his head snapped forward, struck the railing that ran three-quarters of the way around the flying bridge, and his body – dead or unconscious – fell limply aft, rebounding off the engine cover to splash into the surf.

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