Steve and Chuck Go Sailing
Caution: This Action/Adventure Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa,
Desc: Action/Adventure Sex Story: Chapter 15 - Steve and Chuck sail off to to Europe with their families for business and pleasure. This story will be better understood if you have read the other stories within Florida Friends.
I rolled over and almost rolled off the bed. My movement, while catching myself at the last minute, woke Sue who looked at me funny. She smiled at me and asked, "What are you doing up? You were on duty until two this morning! Sleep a little more."
I looked at the clock and said, "It's already six and we should be near port by now. I want to be up when we enter that lagoon at the yacht club. Chuck probably won't have a problem but I should probably be there to help tie up. Let's get up. The kids will be up soon anyway."
Kathy propped her head up and frowned, "You don't know how to get a good night's rest do you? I'm not getting enough beauty sleep lately. What's with you waking everyone up so early? This is a vacation, isn't it?"
Mercy sat up, "But we're coming into Italy, or at least we should be. I want to see where we are. Aren't you excited about being here?"
Kathy moaned, "Italy will still be there in an hour or so. Get out of here, the kids will be in here any minute demanding breakfast."
Mickey was stirring and smiled, "Soon it will one of mine waking us up for breakfast."
Mercy prodded Mickey's swollen belly, "What do you mean one of yours. Do you have more than one in there?"
Mickey laughed but said, "I don't think so, but this isn't the only one I'm going to have. My mom and dad need more than one grandkid to spoil."
I got up and was quickly in the shower. Sue, Juanita, and Mercy followed me in for a quick scrub. Juanita was and had been unusually quiet the last couple of days. I hugged her and asked, "Are you feeling okay? You've been a little quiet lately."
The mature Latin lady smiled, "I'm okay, just wish I had babies. Seeing Mickey swelling up makes me envious that I didn't get the chance to be a mother."
Mercy hugged Juanita and said, "But you are a mother to all of our kids. They love you. Think of how many times all of them have come to you to sit on your lap, for that little extra love you give them. Nita, you're a mother, a great mother."
Juanita nodded as we finished our shower, "But I think it's different when one grows in your belly and you give it life. That's something I missed."
Sue gave Juanita a quick hug as she handed her a towel. "Juanita, you have been a wonderful mother to all of the kids. Just think last night before bed, Trixie and Dixie were both on your lap. They're getting almost too big for that, but you sure didn't complain. You hugged them and took them down to bed. That's being a mother."
Juanita smiled, "Yes, it is. I am lucky to have all our kids and the kids from the park. They do seem like mine so much of the time."
As I finished a quick shave, I said, "I think you're homesick. I have been homesick for home and our friends, too, but we're on a great adventure so let's enjoy it. When we get home we will wish we were out sailing. Come on; let's see if we're close to docking."
I knew we weren't that close as I didn't hear or feel the engines running. If the sails were still up, we were still out far enough that we didn't need to maneuver yet. As I passed through the galley, Chuck's Taiying and Sing were busy helping Julie and Glenda get breakfast started. I could see Sing was rolling out dough for biscuits and that made my stomach growl.
After a hug from Glenda, I grabbed a mug of coffee and went up to the salon to be with Chuck. He was in the captain's chair looking forward. He was punching some buttons and turning to make sure the sail winders were gathering the cloth without any wrinkles.
As I came to the helm area, Chuck turned to me, "We're still about ten miles out, but I thought I should drop sail and motor in the rest of the way. All of a sudden the traffic has picked up and they operate their boats like I've always heard they drive. Two small fishing boats have run right across our bow. I couldn't have missed them by more than ten feet, really scary." [On the one hand, sailing vessels have the right of way. On the other hand, in an accident between a native and a foreigner, the foreigner is always wrong. Yeah, good move to switch to engines.]
I said, "Yeah, I remember from before how crazy these people were about giving any room to maneuver. You made a good move to drop sail."
Chuck pulled the spring-loaded toggle to start the first diesel engine. He watched the gauges until the engine had smoothed out before pulling the toggle for the second engine. When that one was idling at a steady RPM, Chuck engaged the props. We heard and felt a thump as the gears meshed to drive the twin propellers. Chuck advanced the throttle until he smiled and said, "About ten knots should do it. We should be in the yacht club harbor in about an hour fifteen to an hour and a half. No sense in ruining a good breakfast."
Dewey came upstairs and immediately began assembling Bloody Marys. He looked at me holding out an empty glass and I smiled and nodded. A little something to get going this morning sounded good.
Sue came to the top of the stairs and announced, "Glenda said that if you want some of her biscuits and gravy you better come early as the kids are ravenous this morning. Taiying and Sing are making up more dough now, as the kids are devouring everything in sight."
I asked Chuck, "Want to eat and I'll watch?"
"Go ahead and you two eat now. I'll eat when you're through. I'm enjoying watching the approach. The GPS says we are headed right for the harbor opening of the yacht club. I'll radio in pretty soon to advise them of our entry."
Dewey and I finished our tangy drink and went below and observed both tables jammed with people eating, anxious to be in Italy. There were enough hands making breakfast, so that as soon as Dewey and I entered the galley area, we were asked how we wanted our eggs. As soon as we answered, we were told to have a seat and the eggs would be brought to us in a minute. There is some good service on this boat.
The kids were extra rowdy this morning. The women were cautioning all of the kids, giving them instructions on how they should act, and where their boundaries were. Sue, Mercy, and Juanita remembered the yacht club, but Kathy wasn't with us the last time we were here. I wondered if Michael was able to have one of the long dock walks cleared for us this time or whether we were going to have to tie up on the causeways that formed the outer perimeter of the harbor. I needed to go up and call the Irish Bell to find out.
While we were eating, Sue said, "Serene and I need to talk to you when you get a chance, and it needs to be this morning, okay? It is important."
I guess I'll find out what they've been in deep discussions about pretty soon.
Back up in the salon, Chuck said, "I'd like to open the outdoor helm before going into the harbor."
"Good Idea," I said, "Have you called the yacht club or the Irish Bell?"
"Not yet, the tide is coming out and we're not moving in very fast. I don't want to increase the power too much so I can control the boat around all of these crazy day sailors. Watch the helm, Steve, and I'll go open the outdoor helm. If you want, make the call to the Bell. I'll call into the yacht club."
Dewey came up and went outside with Chuck to open the helm there. I called the Irish Bell on the radio and asked about our berthing. The captain answered back, expecting us, he said, "Be careful coming in. With the tide going out, there is a pretty bad rip around the mouth of the harbor. Be ready for it as it will want to twist you around a little." He continued, "When you enter the harbor, you will have mooring on the end of the center walkway. You'll see the Irish Bell as soon as you enter. You will be on the other side of the same dock. They cleared a lot of boats for us to dock together. Be ready though. This is a place where the waiters and dock hands get in your way. The concierge will come out to you as soon as you're tied up. He'll offer you everything, including his wife." The captain laughed, but said, "Not really, but I think he would have if he thought we wanted her."
I radioed, "We're getting close. We should be entering the harbor in about fifteen minutes." There was a double click of his microphone confirming what I had said.
Chuck rang the bell and announced over the intercom, "Everything is up out here. Come on out, the weather and view is excellent."
Outside, I told Chuck about the tide problem at the harbor entrance. He said, "That's one of the things Dewey told me about when he was working with me. From the tide tables, I kind of figured we were going to be pushed around as we entered. I heard your conversation with the Bell and have advised the yacht club we are near. They said they would have men on the dock to wave us in and to help tie up. How about putting out the fenders now? I'm going to watch and be ready as we enter the harbor."
Dewey and I put out the fenders and were accompanied by a bunch of kids that were running around the deck in their excitement. Glenda was outside with Martin, watching our approach along with almost all of the adults. Glenda said, "The sweet Asian sisters will be up in a minute. Those two, Frieda, and Marie insisted on doing the cleanup."
There must not have been a big mess, as I saw the four she mentioned come out of the salon, heading toward the bow to be with everyone else.
The big boat was actually buffeted around a little with Chuck applying a little more power to move through the swirling water. It was strange how the confluence of the tide and causeways caused such turbulence. As soon as we cleared the unstable water, Chuck shut down the power and spun the wheel. He applied power to only one engine to begin turning the boat sharply. I watched as he disengaged the transmission from the opposite engine and propeller and slowly slipped that prop into reverse. There wasn't a big thump; we only felt the change in the way the deck felt. As Chuck gave the engine operating in reverse propeller more power, the boat began to turn faster while drifting toward the dock where we were going to tie up.
When we were about a third to halfway turned, Chuck shut down the forward prop and disengaged it. The boat kept swinging which made Chuck spin the big wheel centering the rudder. From this point forward, directional control was done using the propellers. The big boat was broad enough aft to have the props spaced apart far enough to give the helmsman control.
Chuck was handling the boat masterfully as he slowed the turn and began easing back toward the berth. He was moving the boat slowly, not forcing the boat to the dock. When he was lined up, drifting toward the waiting stewards, he reduced the engines to an idle and just let the boat ease into position. Sue was at the bow, Don was mid-boat, and Mercy was aft, all holding lines, ready to pitch them to the men on the dock.
I thought Chuck cut the props too early, but the boat washed toward the dock until we were about five feet away. The three people on board tossed the lines and the men on the dock pulled us into the dock, tying us up snug to the dock so we wouldn't be washing around bumping against it constantly. As soon as the lines were tied up, the folks on board were hollering, cheering that we had arrived.
The folks from the Irish Bell were all standing on the dock as Chuck extended the gangplank. He pulled the fold down railings upright on the six foot wide walkway to make a safe and easy access to the boat. As soon as Chuck locked the railings in place, the stewards were pulling cables, flexible hoses, and pipes toward the boat. Chuck directed where the access points were and watched the connections. He turned to me and waved. I knew he wanted me to check the current and check the frequency of the power being supplied. There it was, the U.S. standard of 60 HZ and a heavy hundred and fifty amp, two twenty service. We could accommodate 50 Hz 220, but it was nice the yacht club could accommodate us.
I hollered at Chuck, "They're giving us a two-twenty feed at sixty Hz, did you connect the service to that feed?"
Chuck nodded, so I began synching the power from shore to our generated power on the boat. When the screen showed a match, I pushed the cutover button that dropped the generator and used the shore current. This boat had everything. This was even better than our big boat or the hundred and ten foot Magellan.
When all of the greetings were done, I shut down the helm and closed everything up. The concierge was coming on board to advise Chuck of all the services available. I could see Chuck was going to be busy for a while.
Sue came to me and said, "Honey, can you come down to the office with me? Serene and I have something that we want to talk about, and we want Mac to come too. Can we do it now? The others are taking the kids to the grassy park so they can run around on real ground for a while."
The four of us went below to the office. Sue and Serene were behind the desk while Mac and I sat in the comfortable chairs in front. Sue began, "Serene came to me with a really great idea. As you know, Mac proposed that we open a sewing operation in Ireland. He said our presence would be a great help as we would probably employ at least two hundred people. The building he had picked out for us is supposed to be really nice."
Sue shuffled through a couple of pieces of paper, "I had Hannah and Mike Williams, along with one of Henry's men go to Ireland to see what needed to be done. Hannah immediately contacted a marketing firm to solicit contracts for military clothing at prices comparable to what we charge in the U.S. She tells me the way the accountant has shown the costs, we should be in line there. Mike made arrangements for some remodeling following the guidelines you established when we first took over Needles in Tampa. He's found a source for some quality used equipment that will help keep the opening costs down. Hannah is setting up a training center to teach our way of production, so as you can see, there's been a lot of activity in a short time."
Sue smiled at Serene and said, "That brings me to what Serene has suggested. Serene has brought to my attention something that could really enhance some of our high end fashions. We don't do a lot in the fashion industry but we do supply some quality basics even to the high fashion stores."
Sue was still smiling, "Serene has suggested we use some genuine Irish lace to enhance some of our products or to possibly use with some original designs. I know we have machined some lace for a few creations, but it was just that, machined lace. What Serene has suggested is to organize a cottage industry consisting of young housewives, more mature women, and even senior women who enjoy making their heritage lace. Serene has said that there are many handicapped people who make lace as well. She said the market for the handmade lace is good but the market is almost all like our flea markets. No organization, no promotion, and most of all, they have no one to help them do those things that will bring them a steady income."
Mac wanted to interrupt, but Sue kept holding her hand up so she could continue, "I talked to Hannah about it and she's off the wall, wanting to immediately begin finding some of the handmade lace to integrate into our better creations back home. I think the European market would be really good as they would be wearing and showing local product. Serene says her mother and her grandmother both make lace. She says she does it as well, just to pass the time. Now we can have all of these people who could use the extra income, become private contractors to us, and produce their own type of lace for us to use. Since each woman or family makes their own designs, almost every high end blouse we adorn with the lace will be unique. The wealthy will be bragging of their handmade lace garments."
Sue looked at Mac, "Now Mac, what do you think?"
Mac was beside himself with excitement. "Serene, this is such a wonderful idea, if my daughter and son-in-law get tired of you, I'll adopt you. A clothing plant will employ some people and help our economy, but giving all these other people an opportunity to make a little money to augment their husbands' incomes or their stipends will be a real benefit to the Irish economy. Do you think there are enough people to produce enough lace for this to work?"
Serene said, "I know in just the small community I grew up in there are many women who make lace for their own clothing. Most women get married with the family's lace adorning their wedding gowns. To Irish women, especially those from smaller communities, making lace is a tradition. A mother who has learned from her mother and grandmother, teaches her daughters. The patterns within families remain fairly constant, but each piece comes out a little different. That's where the uniqueness comes from."
Mac looked at Sue, "Do you really think you can do something like this? How or who will organize this for you? How are you going to get all these different people to know that you're interested in buying their handicraft lace?"
I almost laughed, but held back to let Sue manage this meeting. She said, "That's where you come in, Mac. You have to introduce us to people whom we can employ to do just that. First, an individual will have to advertise that we are looking for a group of people who don't even consider themselves as part of the workforce. Once we have their attention, we will have to visit various communities and inspect the lace the locals produce, sort of like a job fair and craft show rolled into one. We'll have to negotiate with each of the creators, or group of creators, to establish base prices. From there, we have to arrange product transportation so the lace isn't damaged in shipment or delivery. I'm thinking we will need to set up an independent organization of lace creators. The creators will still be independent subcontractors, but will have the security of having a watchdog group to make sure both they and the buyers are treated fairly."
Serene said, "I can help organize the women within my home community. I know they will become excited to be able to sell the results of their hobby. I'll call my family in a little while and get them started."
Sue squirmed, "Now, Mac, I'm sure you know of a good marketing person who needs a job. You might also know of someone who has people skills to make our initial contacts with the creators. Think about it and keep me posted. I will have people begin looking locally where the new plant will be, but it would be nice to have some professional help to get this new idea started."
Mac was shaking his head, "This is really a big deal. I know Irish lace can be a much sought after product, but I didn't think of it as a cottage industry. This will really help a large group of people who really don't have a way to support themselves or to augment their family income. Serene, you've come up with a wonderful idea."
Sue said, "Good, now to get going to making this happen. Steve, Jeff made a lot of friends and contacts in Ireland. Since he's about finished in Germany, do you think he might spend a day or two with Hannah, Mike, and the accountant to see if he knows any of these key new people we'll need?"
I said, "I'll call him as soon as we're done. I'm sure he'll do it. He wants to go home, but he's pretty flexible."
Sue smiled at everyone and gave Serene a hug and kiss on the cheek. Sue held up a large piece of lace and said, "Serene says she made this when she needed something to keep her hands busy. She says this is the result of a few months of intermittent effort, so she knows what she's proposed can be done."
With a sigh, Sue said, "Let's go see Italy."
We all went up to the salon where a lot of adults from both boats were talking to Ed or 'Eduardo' the guide. They were all having some refreshments, even if it wasn't even ten in the morning yet. I looked outside and saw Chuck talking to a couple of suits. He didn't look perturbed, but was directing the two men, waving his arms in different directions. One of the men used his cell phone to make a call, with Chuck listening to the local side of the conversation. He was nodding as the suit closed his cell phone and continued to talk to Chuck. In a few minutes, the men walked back up the dock and Chuck came on board. The two men reached the end of the dock and split up. One headed toward the front of the yacht club area, while the other found a place in the shade that offered a good view of the boats and dock area. I guess Chuck was going to have them watch us the way he wants it done instead of how others think it should be done.
When Chuck came into the lounge, he had a smile on his face. He came over to me and said softly into my ear, "We have some protectors from the State Department. I don't think we'll have any trouble, but if they want to be watchdogs, I told them they needed to multiply. They needed people watching the front, inside, and the water approaches. The lead guy talked to his superior and they are sending more people. They do want us to advise them of our movements. I told them we were probably going to rent an airplane for some business stuff. What do you think, want to fly to Germany? We'll see what we can rent. I think John would enjoy flying. I know Lisa would and you probably would too. I can wait. You guys need to cure your itch."
I grinned at Chuck in anticipation of doing some flying. Ed was showing the group several brochures and a printed itinerary. He told us he had a large bus hired to take us everywhere we wanted to go. If the group wanted to split up, he had another guide available, as well as another small or large bus. Ed said, "The way the economy is, I know I'll do anything I can to make you folks happy. We don't get enough visitors like you. Most don't want to spend the money for professional guides."
Missy and Beth were going over the itinerary Ed provided and seemed to be happy with what was planned. Missy asked Ed, "Have you made reservations at these hotels yet? Will it be difficult for us to get in at the last minute?"
Ed laughed, "There are a lot of open rooms lately, but you folks enjoy staying in the large suites. Those are almost always open unless there are a bunch of movie people in town. Even the diplomats stay in lesser rooms than what you like. Normally, I would suggest that a large family group might rent a fully staffed house or villa for their stay, but for 39 people together, there is only one rental in town that can accommodate all of you, and that is two large adjacent houses in Trastavere, just south of the Vatican, and that would be $8,000 per day."
Beth just nodded and said, "If we were staying the week in Rome, that might not be a bad idea, but not for just a couple of nights. Anyway, there's no sense in not indulging and enjoying ourselves when we're on vacation." Beth pulled Ben to her and showed him the brochures. He seemed excited in anticipation of the tours.
Ed asked, "Are we going to begin today or will you want to get your land legs first?"
Missy looked around and said, "Is there anything close we can enjoy this afternoon? The kids are full of energy and we need to keep them busy. How about we do something right after lunch until it's time for a late supper?"
Ed smiled, "I can do that. I'll call the bus service and have them bring a bus here by twelve thirty. Is that good timing?"
Missy and Beth looked at each other grinning and Beth said, "Perfect."
I needed to talk to Tiny and Henry to make sure he was aware of what Sue was planning. They needed to be kept in the loop. I went downstairs to the office and found Dennis on the phone. Dennis was obviously talking to the new hire in the R&D group. I couldn't imagine how he was talking to him at six in morning in Florida.
From the tone of Dennis's voice, he sounded enthusiastic. Dennis gave the person several instructions about items that would be good to become familiar with. He also cautioned the person to watch himself around Geraldine, as she could be rambunctious. Dennis said, "It wouldn't be intentional, but she's damaged just about everyone who's worked in R&D. She gets carried away, so watch out when you work with her. Make sure you wear your safety glasses and watch your fingers." Dennis was laughing as he thanked the person he was talking to for the conversation this early in the morning and said he would call again soon and hung up.
Dennis looked at me, "This guy is going to be good for us. He's a software and computer guru. He's someone who knows how to organize projects and has already created a program to keep track of a project. Look, he sent me the first three pages while we were talking. The guy knows what he's doing."