The Rough Sea

The Rough Sea
The small whitecaps lapped against the starboard side and then retreated. It had been rough since the start and would be until they reached the breakwater in the harbor. Bob, finishing pulling on the ropes to raise the masts, turned towards the wheel and slowly turned around the rocks. He moved to the back of the boat and sat on the place where the lifejackets were kept.
Near the masts Frank rocked up and down and up with the waves. It was a feeling like no other to him; the fact that the gentle movements could turn rough at any time gave him so much pleasure from the start of the ride to the finish. He loved to sail out as far as he could go before he got tired from the rocking motion and had to stop going farther. He loved trying to venture farther and farther out each time before he had to turn back; his favorite part was the rough sea where the waves were rougher and rougher as he kept going. A sudden gust made him think about turning back, but he knew that they had gone too far to turn back, and he knew he had to keep going until the waves had reached their peaks. Then they passed a part of the water where the waves suddenly stopped and quickly gave way to a very calm feeling inside of him so that he could relax and recollect the ride so farº.

?That was a real surprise, wasn?t it, Rob?? Frank said. ?It got me, too. I wasn?t ready for it, and it jumped me.?

?Yep. Almost fell over when we hit it,? Bob called back to his friend, now near the bow of the boat. ?How?s the water look over there??

?Pretty good, but it looks like there?re some rough caps ahead.?

They braced themselves as they passed over the rough caps, slowly moving around the biggest ones so that the craft wouldn?t capsize. Bob kept a strong hold on the wheel and made sure that they would stand the waves. On the horizon they could see the buildings of the town. The sky had started to get dark. Both of them hoped it would not start to rain until they were in the harbor. They could see the light starting to come from the breakwater lighthouse.

?Great day for sailing,? Bob said to Frank.

?Yeah,? said Frank, ?Perfect.?

?Little rough, but that was it. That just makes it fun.?

?Right. The calm stuff?s not good.?

?Wish I could stay out all day,? Bob said, ?but it?s gonna rain.?

?Yep, sure looks like it.?

Off to the west a fisherman was pulling up his catch. He waved and the two waved back.

?Are you going back to Charleston soon??

?Yah, in a week. I don?t wanna go through Pennsylvania right now.?

A wave sent some water into the boat. Bob took hold of the wheel.

?Going past the breakwater always gets to me.?

?How so??

?I don?t know, it just feels different.?

?Yeah. I know.?

?Are you all set to go back??

?Yes.?

?Do you want to??

?No.?

?Why not??

Frank didn?t answer. Bob didn?t want him to.

?The sailing isn?t good down there.?

?Right.?

?The seas are too calm. There aren?t many caps.?

?They?re never any caps.?

They sighed. ?We might never go sailing again.?

Bob stood up and lowered the sails. They had come past the breakwater. They were in the harbor. He didn?t say anything. Both of them knew they had a long walk back into the town to their homes.

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