Cruising on the Jenny Greenbyronde©
The sun was just peeking over the horizon when I slid back the hatch cover and climbed up the short stairs to the deck of the Jenny Green. I had new clients coming on board at ten, and wanted to make sure everything was in order. Brandy had already cleaned the cabins, changed the sheets on the beds, and stocked up the galley. All that remained was to check the sails, rigging, and engine. After that, I'd make the short trip over to Fred's to top off her water and fuel tanks, and get a couple extra quarts of oil.
The Jenny Green is fifty feet of grace sculpted in fiberglass and teak. She's rigged to sail single-handed in a pinch, so the inexperience of my clients isn't really a factor. She's big enough to have two staterooms and captain's and mate's quarters, and carries a small galley with seating for six if they're friendly. I can weather almost any wind that may blow up, but usually that isn't a problem. The seas around Miami are pretty predictable except during hurricane season. When that time of year rolls around, I put her on her cradle and do my repairs.
One of the best parts of my job is the people who sail on my cruises. I get a feel for clients during phone calls and correspondence about the trip, and then, when I see them, I get to check out the picture I've put together. Sometimes, my hunches are on the money; sometimes, I'm so far off the mark it's embarrassing. Wanda Sanders and Marilyn Beech are an example of the latter.
They phoned to inquire about a weeklong trip around the Keys. I asked if they wanted to help crew the boat.
"Good heavens, no", said Wanda. "I'm fifty eight, and Marilyn's fifty-nine. We don't know the first thing about sailing. I just read this romance novel about a Caribbean cruise, and sailing seemed like it might be fun. Marilyn and I thought we'd try it out."
Since the two women didn't want to help, Brandy came along as my crew. Brandy's my twenty-five year old assistant. While I'm off sailing the deep blue, Brandy takes care of my bookings, pays the bills, and checks in a couple times a day by radio. If I need anything, she arranges for it to be delivered at our next port of call. Brandy's been sailing since she was old enough to hold a tiller and she can climb a mast like a monkey. She's a big help when the weather gets a little rough. She also looks really great in a bikini, so she's a big hit with our male clients. Unfortunately, I'm not her type. Brandy likes young, muscular guys. I'm forty-one, and the heaviest thing I like to lift is a scotch bottle. It's probably better that we don't have anything going. Office affairs never work out, even if the office is the cabin of a sailboat a hundred miles from the nearest port.
The first thing I noticed about Wanda and Marilyn was they looked a lot like our typical Miami senior citizens. It was pretty obvious that Wanda dyed her shoulder-length hair. I've seen a lot of redheads on these cruises, and natural red just doesn't come that color. It did contrast well with the loose green blouse she wore, though. Marilyn had a silver blonde bob that I figured was probably real. Both women had pretty good legs, too, at least, the part I could see below their knee length shorts. Wanda wore a big floppy Mexican hat, to keep off the sun, I suppose, although it looked a little ridiculous. Marilyn wore an oversized T-shirt that said "World's Best Grandma", but she didn't wear a hat. She had on one of those things that look like the bill of a baseball cap, but are just attached to a headband.
I noticed the second thing right after we'd passed the harbor buoy and I was setting the autopilot. I smelled perfume and felt the unmistakable swell of a breast pressing into my arm. Marilyn was looking over my shoulder and was leaning into me in the process. She wouldn't have had to lean; Marilyn was in an awkward position that she could have easily avoided. I was getting the feeling it was going to be a different kind of cruise.
"Captain Rick, what does that thing do?"
"It's an autopilot. I just set it for the compass heading I want, and the Jenny Green steers herself."
"Oh my. Is it safe to do that? I thought you had to steer all the time, like in the movies."
I noticed Marilyn was still leaning on me. Unless she was numb from the waist up, she had to notice it too, but it didn't seem to bother her a bit.
"Well, I'll still be here watching. The autopilot just lets me move around and adjust the sails if I have to."
Marilyn removed her breast from my arm and beamed a big smile up at me.
"It's a little scary, but if you say it's safe, I'll believe you."
I looked up because her eyes had a dewy look that was a little disconcerting. Wanda was just climbing out of the hatch.
"Mari', Brandy just showed me the tiniest little bar downstairs. I know it's still before lunch, but I just had to make myself a sour. You simply must see it." Wanda giggled. "You ought to go look in the drawer of your bed table, too."
As both women disappeared down the cabin hatch, I couldn't help but grin.
When you're on a boat, and out of sight of land, you can't just jog down the street to the nearest convenience store. Everything my clients are likely to need has to be carried on board. Some clients would be reluctant to ask for certain personal items, so Brandy came up with the idea of our "cruise survival kit". In the bed table drawer is a plastic bag containing sample size bottles of shampoo and hand lotion, a tin of aspirins, a comb, a razor and small can of shaving cream, and a sample can of spray deodorant. The bag also contains a purse-size box of panty liners and a dozen condoms – six plain and six with lube. I was pretty sure the condoms were what had Wanda giggling.
Brandy joined me at the wheel.
"They're down there having a great time. Good thing we've got two quarts of bourbon on board. Wanda apparently likes her bourbon. Marilyn's drinking scotch and water. They both seem like nice old gals. Wanda told me I was pretty, and said she wished her butt was as tight as mine."
"Well, they're friendly, that's for sure. And as for tight butts…," I glanced down at Brandy's little shorts, "I think I like a little more meat on a woman. It's that old thing about a cushion for the pushin', you know."
Brandy slapped me on the arm.
"Rick, they might hear you. They're nice ladies. Besides, if you don't like my ass, all you have to do is fire me and hire somebody's Grandma. She probably won't put up with your shit like I do, but her ass'll be bigger."
"Nah. I think I'll keep you. You got a little butt, but you can sail the pants off anybody else I know."
"And, you wish I'd sail yours off, right? Well, you keep hoping and I'll keep sailing, but don't hold your breath."
"There is always hope, but I've learned about holding one's breath. One is likely to turn blue if one waits for a certain deck hand to come to her senses."
"Oh, I've already got all my senses. That's why you're still hoping."
Brandy stuck out her little pink tongue.
"Well, it's about twelve, so I'll go fix their lunch. They're going to sunbathe after they eat. Maybe I'll put on my bikini - that little white number that always makes you get all google-eyed - and you can compare."
I ate lunch with Wanda and Marilyn while Brandy took the helm. They were a couple of fun women. Both were widows from Chicago, and seemed to be best friends. I could picture them walking laps around the mall on alternate mornings and playing bingo every Saturday night. They laughed at my jokes, and chuckled when I flirted a little. It was soon time for me to take over for Brandy, and I excused myself. Wanda touched my arm as I turned to leave.
"Captain Rick, will there be many other boats around on this cruise?"
"Probably not, but you're safe enough. The Jenny Green is a very sound boat, and we have lots of safety equipment in the event of a problem.
"Oh, I wasn't worried about that. We're going to sunbathe, and, well…, were not sure how many people would want to see that."
I assured her that I'd warn them if I saw another boat, and went back on deck. Brandy and I were watching a cruise ship a few miles off to port when she poked me in the ribs.
"Rick, I'll be damned. Would you look at that."
Wanda and Marilyn had come on deck. Each carried one of my big white towels, a bottle of suntan lotion, and a fresh drink. Each was dressed in flip-flops, and nothing else except a big grin on her face. Wanda saw us staring and walked over.
"Captain Rick, you don't mind if we sunbathe like this, do you? We used to go to a camp just outside Chicago, but it closed up. Since our husband's passed on, we've been afraid to try another one by ourselves. We figured out here, we could go naked and nobody would care."
I assured them it was fine with me. They grinned when I added that I might be looking from time to time. The two women sat down on the cockpit cushions and started putting on their lotion. Brandy punched me in the ribs again and grinned.
"OK, you horny old letch. I'm gonna go clean up the galley, but I'll be watching you. You leave the nice ladies alone, even if you do like meaty butts."
I watched out of the corner of my eye as Wanda rubbed lotion on Marilyn's back. She seemed to enjoy doing that almost as much as Marilyn enjoyed the feeling. They switched places. Wanda shivered when the lotion dropped on her back, but closed her eyes when Marilyn touched her.
This was getting interesting. I realized I'd never seen an older woman nude before. They were really pretty sexy. Their butts were wider than Brandy's but not at all fat, and if Wanda and Marilyn were representative, everything I'd heard about sagging breasts was grossly overstated. They had a few freckles here and there, and the hair on their mounds was a little sparse, but overall, they looked pretty damn good. I was daydreaming a little about how it would be to snuggle up to those soft breasts when Marilyn slipped her hand over Wanda's butt and between her thighs. She didn't leave the hand there very long, but my daydream evaporated into thin air.
We've cruised with lesbians before, and we've cruised with gay men. It's all part of dealing with the public, and it doesn't really bother me. Each to his own, and all that. True, I would rather the gay men kept their affection out of sight, but that's just a personal preference rather than a prejudice. Brandy was going to die when I told her she was the one who'd have to watch out on this cruise.
It's not unusual for the crew of a cruise boat to have the opportunity for a little lovemaking with a their clients. I've had wives come on to me right in front of their husbands. It's usually best to ignore the invitation. A husband tends to become upset if he thinks the captain of the boat is fucking around with his wife, and I don't relish the idea of swimming home. There have been a few occasions when the husband was a "watcher", but I politely decline those offers, too. Call me modest, but having some guy watch me ball his wife is not my cup of tea. Kinda worries me that I might feel something knocking at my back door while I'm plugged in and pumping away, too. I'll take my screwing one-on-one and in private, thank you. Brandy gets more than her share of passes, and she's of like mind.
I'd be lying if I said it's never happened. Neither Brandy nor I are prudes; if the situation is right, and the chemistry is there, things happen as they will. We just don't accommodate any and all requests. Brandy says that'd make her feel like a hooker, and I agree.
About five, Wanda and Marilyn went below to shower and dress for dinner. We pulled into our berth in Key Largo about six, and had them seated at Gibbey's Crab House by seven. We were having the shrimp appetizer and looking over the menu when Marilyn sighed.
"Well, I just don't know what to order. We've had crabs before, but I don't remember which kind. They were pretty small, I think. That stuff the doctor gave us for 'em tasted just awful, so I don't want that kind again."
Brandy snorted her iced tea through her nose, and about fell out of her chair. I nearly choked on my shrimp until Wanda pounded me on the back. Marilyn had a devilish grin on her face.
"Gotcha there, didn't I?"
I was starting to like Wanda and Marilyn. They were full of life and full of themselves. They'd lived too long to care much what anybody thought of them or what they did, and it gave them the freedom to do whatever turned their fancy. They fancied having fun.
We left Key Largo at nine the next morning, bound for Key West. On every cruise, we try to stay on the water at least one night. There's nothing like sailing under a clear sky. Since there are no artificial lights around, the stars shine like diamonds and the moon glows like burnished silver. The weather forecast called for miles of visibility and a light breeze. Tonight would be a fine night for cruising.
The Wanda and Marilyn lazed around on deck naked all day, just as they had the day before. I was amazed at how comfortable they were. They'd not met either Brandy or me until a couple days ago, and yet, they were completely at ease laying on the deck cushions with their legs raised or spread apart so the sun could get to their inner thighs. If they itched, they scratched, no matter where the itch was. I confided to Brandy that all this bare skin was getting to me.
"I've seen you like this before, you horny old fart. Any bare skin gets to you. On that first cruise, you kept having me bend over to pick up things, just to see if my boobs'd fall out of my top. I figured I'd have to lock myself in my cabin before we got back."
"You know you weren't in any danger. I was a perfect gentleman. If you were so afraid, why'd you stay on?"
"Well, I got to thinking about it, and figured if you did try anything, I'd just sue your skinny ass off. Then, I'd own the Jenny Green, and I'd go hire me a couple o' hunks for deck hands. Pretty good plan, huh?
Brandy flashed me a dazzling smile.
"Besides, I know you're harmless. You're forty-one."
I ignored the shot at my age. One of these days, I'm gonna show her just how harmless I am. Well, no, I won't, but I'd like to.
"Well, much more of this, and I'm gonna be wanting to see how many times forty-one goes into fifty-nine on the bow. Of course, you'd probably have a better chance than me. That interest you at all?"
"If what you say about them is true, it'll be seeing how many times forty-one goes into the five on the end of your wrist. As for the other, yeah, I've thought about that a time or two. I don't know what I'd do if it really happened. Never looked for the opportunity to find out."
After dinner, we sat on deck with cocktails and watched the sun sink into the ocean. Right on cue, the moon came up and bathed the ocean in glistening, silver ripples. I love it when Nature cooperates.
About ten, Marilyn said she wasn't sleepy and asked if anyone wanted to play cribbage. Wanda said she was tired and was going to bed. That left Brandy and me. We'd agreed on a four and four watch that night. I'd drawn the first four hours. Brandy said she'd play for a while, and the women all went below deck. I heard voices coming up the companionway for about a half-hour, and then everything got quiet.
Night sailing is a fantastic way to travel. You get everything trimmed out just right and then just sit back and enjoy. I heard the familiar frothy sound of the cutwater breaking the surface, and a quiet gurgle as the wake formed at the stern. A light breeze was blowing just hard enough to fill the sails and send the Jenny Green on her way. The whisper in the rigging was the kiss of wind on wire and cloth, and sang of the love affair between air and water and the caress of a sleek hull on moon-silvered waves. I leaned back in the chair behind the helm and looked up at the stars. A billion pinpoints of light beamed down through the soft white cloud of the Milky Way.
"It's beautiful, isn't it."
I'd been so absorbed I hadn't heard Wanda come up the hatchway. She was standing beside me with two coffee cups in her hands, but my eyes didn't linger long on those. The moonlight highlighted her hair with glints of fire and turned her black lace gown to transparent mist. I suppose it was her normal sleeping attire, and it didn't hide anything. The lace draped sensuously over her breasts and hips, and accented every curve. After seeing her naked for two days, I thought I was immune to her curves, but that black lace changed everything.
"Yes. I love sailing at night."
Wanda held out one of the cups.'
"Brandy made some coffee before they started playing. I couldn't sleep after all, and got up to drink a cup. Thought you might like one, too."
"Yeah, I would. Thanks."
Wanda sat down on one of the cockpit seats and stretched her legs out on the cushions. We stared up at the stars for a while.
"What's that funny looking bunch of stars up there called?"
"Right up there. Come sit over here so I can show you."
Wanda put her right foot on the deck and patted the cushion beside her. When I sat down, she leaned over, took my face in her hands and gently pointed it toward the sky.
"There, that one with the stars in kind of a circle."
I was finding it difficult to concentrate because her breasts were mashed against my back and she was breathing in my ear.
"Hmmm, I really don't know. I can go get my star maps and find out if you'd like."
Wanda leaned back, and I turned to face her.
"No, it's not that important. Just looked different, that's all. Say, would it be all right if I put my other leg up?. It's kind of uncomfortable the way it is."
Before I could answer, she'd lifted her leg and set it across my thighs. The gown had ridden up almost to her waist. I guessed Wanda didn't sleep in panties, because she wasn't wearing any.
"Ah, that feels better. Your coffee OK?"
"Yes, it's fine. How'd you know I like cream and sugar?"
"I watched Brandy this morning. She's a pretty girl, I think. She seems to like you, too. You and her ever…, you know, have a little tumble between the sheets?"
"No. She works for me, and I don't think those boss/employee things ever work out right."
"I suppose you're right. Marilyn thinks Brandy's pretty too. 'Course, Marilyn says the same thing about me. Marilyn's a little different, if you haven't noticed. Has been since her George passed away."
I was thinking they were both a little different. I was also thinking Marilyn was right about both women.
"She's right about one thing. You're pretty good looking. You both are."
"For our ages, you mean."
"No, for being any age."
"Really? Well, my boobs aren't where they used to be and my butt isn't high and firm like Brandy's." Wanda chuckled. "I guess you know that already, since we've been traipsing around the boat naked for two days."
"There's nothing wrong with either, if you ask me."
"Oh, come on. Wouldn't you like these better if they were up here?"
Wanda had cupped her breasts and lifted them about an inch higher. I noticed her nipples seemed larger and they pushed out the lace.
"No, they look fine where they were."
"Well then, how about my butt. Here, feel it and tell me if it's too soft."
Wanda grabbed my hand and quickly pulled it to her left butt cheek. Before I knew it, I was off balance and falling toward her. I caught my weight with my right arm as we went down on the cushion together. Her breasts pressed into my chest and she wrapped her arms around me. My waist was cradled between her thighs, and she seemed to have moved them closer together. I realized our faces were only inches apart. Her eyes glowed deep blue in the moonlight.
"Well, what do you think." Wanda' voice was a throaty whisper. "Is it too soft?"