sorry Jiggs, but something just came up,” I spoke
into my old friend’s voice mail. If I timed my call just right, he wouldn’t
even be in the office to pick it up until Seaview and I were already
far far away.
not that I don’t enjoy getting together with
him for pretzels, beer or such, but I
knew that with some important war games coming up, he’d probably want to draft
Seaview as his command post. So when Agent Catfish sent me an invitation to
visit Daytona Beach, well, frankly, if you don’t want to do something, and you
have a chance to eat all the oysters you want, in the half shell, fried, even
Oysters Rockefeller, well, one excuse is as good as another to tell the Commander
of Submarine’s Pacific that
you can’t loan your sub out, so I grabbed her lifeline.
not as if I’m technically a gourmet,
but as far as these mollusks are concerned,
well, it’s just hard to say no. Now, most marine biologists will tell you to
use a bit of caution. A lot depends on
the water they’re harvested from. After all, they filter out a lot of gunk. So
taste can range from the sublime to the rather...earthy. Still, I’ve never
met an oyster I didn’t
like. And she offered me the chance
not only to be a guest speaker, but to
help out laying in new oyster mats for the refurbishing project. I could get my feet wet. Up close and personal with
them. And add my acumen to the Halifax
Oyster Festival. Why, there’d be food,
beer, music, paddleboards, and sailboat rides…a good day to be had for one and
all. And only $6.00 a pop. You don’t
find that good a bargain any more.
sure how my crew or even Lee would take the news
that their long awaited shore leave in Hawaii had been cancelled as I ordered
the change of course, but by the time most of them woke up (I’d used the
owl watch to shape my devious
plans) they would simply have to face it
as a fait accompli. It’s not as if they’re not used to their plans going
astray. Such is life aboard Seaview. Besides, they can have shore leave in
Florida. The beaches aren’t that much different than those in the islands.
Well, okay, maybe Daytona doesn’t normally have hot tubes, but it does have
water and sand. What more can one want?
much, Lee touted, as he stormed into my cabin, still half sleep and in his PJ’s, having
felt the change in direction. A talent he has down to a fine point where it
regards his boat, even if Lt. O’Brien handled the turn well. And so he stood
barefoot, hair tousled and read me the riot act for not checking with him first.
And I’m sure it wasn’t just the fact that I hadn’t informed him, as the
Captain, about my change of plans. He was sore because he’d made plans
to go sailing with his friend
Lt. Cmdr. Jackson around the islands, not to mention enjoying an honest to
goodness Luau. A real one, minus
tourists, as invited guests of a mutual friend on the island of Niihau, which to this day, is pretty much tourist free.
I think Lee and his friend might have been up to
no good with their plans but there’s no proving it. In the meantime, while he
managed to take a breath during his tirade, I sort of suggested that Lee
volunteer his services with the festival coordinator to skipper some of the
sailboat rides. Appalled, Lee informed me he
hated oysters (he doesn’t-I’ve seen him down a dozen or so himself) and if he
was going to skipper a sailboat, it would be his own, or Joe’s, thank
you very much, and went back to bed.
I thought as I retired for the night.
hopeful that by time we reach Daytona, he’ll have
calmed down somewhat, and maybe even join me at the festival.
One thing's for certain, though. With or without his support, I fully
intend to have a shucking good time.