Kelly Marie Munson cursed silently to herself as she stuck her finger in her mouth. She had ruined another nail. She was now pretty much past trying to protect them on this trip. Once it stopped hurting, she turned to continue unloading supplies from the jeep.
She had dressed more for convenience than looks. She had used her long, high, logging boots rather than deck shoes because it was more practical when she drove the jeep. She was less likely to hurt herself if she dropped a box on her foot.
She wore a Lycra, form-fitting, one-piece Speedo that was cut high on her thighs. The fabric of the competition suit was strong but ultra thin. It was practical in that she could be pretty much anywhere and change clothes. She had blue, denim Levis that had been cut and hemmed just below her crotch. The pockets had been shortened so they didn't stick below the edge. Her blue oxford men's dress shirt was sleeveless and the sides were unbuttoned, but tied across her abdomen.
The shirt had been cut short to bare her midriff and the front had been cut so that she had extra fabric to tie at the bottom. Her long reddish brown hair hung down her back past her waist. She had taken several smaller tufts of hair at her temples and braided them so they could be clipped at the back of her head to hold the rest of her hair out of her face.
Her faded blue denim baseball cap was on straight and pulled down to shield her eyes, which were also covered by her Dolce & Gabanna sun glasses.
Dan watched with mixed feelings as his wife unloaded the boat and most of the sailors on adjoining boats seemed to stop their work to enjoy the view. Jenny's long, tanned and toned legs seemed to always draw a crowd. If they were patient, if they used their imagination, they could see her long pink nipples; straining against the one-piece as she levered the boxes down the gangplank. He had a certain amount of pride of having such a beautiful wife; but also annoyed at the attention their docking always seemed to attract. On the other hand, it didn't hurt business when she was along either. His rides always seemed to fill up first.
Her husband, Dan, had taken early retirement from his teaching position at the State College and cashed in a good part of his retirement fund to pursue his next career. He had bought a 43 foot double hulled catamaran and was ferrying travelers from Panama to Columbia. It had been a lifelong dream to get a large boat and sail the world. Now he was living it.
They had taken summer vacations all over the world and went on short fishing and sailing trips. He had fallen in love with the San Blas Islands; the native Indians; the weather and way of life.
Most people have a perception that north and South America are one continuous land mass. Few people realize that about fifty miles of land between Columbia and Panama are almost uninhabitable and almost impassable. The land is infested with marshes, swamps and impassable geography.
Neither government wants to build modern bridges and roadways through it, for fear it would just streamline the drug traffic from South American clear into the U.S
Although there are always some brave souls who attempt to hike through the area many of the FARC rebels (those who haven't been killed by the government forces) are believed to have retreated back to the jungles of Darien, making the trip even more dangerous.
The trip from Panama, around Darien to Columbia takes several days, but with stops in the San Blas Islands, it is a very scenic and romantic trip. Kelly had made the trip with her husband a few times, and now that school was out, she had left their daughter, Dakota, with her sister for the summer to help her husband with the trips.
She was less than excited about his retirement plans, but was determined to make the best of it.
Kelly had been a late bloomer. In high school, she had been a knock-kneed, pigeon toed, tall, awkward, girl with thick glasses and crooked teeth. She had been extremely shy and insecure growing up. It was because of these insecurities that she had embedded herself in studies and athletics. She ended up being second in her class, academically and had a choice of an athletic or academic scholarship to just about anywhere she wanted to go.
Because she was so insecure, she had decided to live at home and go to the local university. It was there that she met her Journalism teacher, Dan Munson. He was quite a bit older than her, (20 years) but was not nearly as aggressive as the other men who were always trying to ask her out.
Once she got to college, her daily runs of ten miles of distance running in the morning and ten miles of running intervals in the evening, pretty much eliminated any knock-kneed, skinny-girl posture she had grown up with.
Her walnut-sized breasts firmed up to a respectable melon size with incredibly long nipples that turned heads in a track uniform. Her short, form-fitting track shorts were cut high on her thighs and the form fitting jersey top did little to hide her long pink nipples. Kelly had gone so long without needing a bra, that she seemed oblivious to the stares when she started to college.
Her coke-bottle glasses disappeared as cheaper contact lenses became available. After she married, her husband paid for braces. By the time she had used up her track eligibility, she was a different woman.
Although the college officials would never admit it, Kelly was probably the reason attendance doubled at track meets during her four years there. She was to the 1600 meters as Anna Kournikova was to tennis, what Danica Patrick was to racing, and what Blanka Vlasic was to women's high jumping.
She was as good a writer as she was a runner, holding positions on many talk shows that covered sports. She was hesitant to give all this up, at the age of forty, to help her retired husband navigate a sailboat between Panama and Columbia. On the other hand, it gave her quite time away from everything to focus on writing stories and adding pictures to them of all the places they had been.
Kelly had been going into town to get last minute supplies for their next trip from Panama back through the San Blas islands to Columbia. Normally, the catamaran had room for ten people. If it got crowded, she and Dan would sleep on lounge chairs on deck to let the ten others have a bed. At $450.00 each, they felt willing to give up their room for an extra $900.00 each way.
Kelly had finished using the hand dolly to load the last batch of boxes into the catamaran and was putting it back into the jeep, which she was going to park in the garage of their storage building, when she heard three 350cc motorcycles roll up to the edge of their dock and shut off their engines.
Most of their travelers weren't due at the dock for a couple of more hours, so she didn't pay much attention to them; fishermen on a different trip, she told herself. Suddenly, she felt a hot, blue, steel barrel against her neck.
"Shut your fucking mouth, and get in the fucking boat." She heard one of them say as he wrapped one arm clear around her neck and held the pistol against her. Kelly hadn't been given time to get scared or understand the situation.
Her husband had been moving the boxes Kelly had loaded onto the deck into the storage space inside the boat when he looked up to see three huge black men coming down the gang plank. The one in front had one arm wrapped around his wife's neck. The other hand had a gun.
"What the fuck's going on he wondered," unable to dissect the information in front of him. "Get in the fucking boat the biggest one, who had his arm around Kelly said. He motioned with his gun to the door and stairs down into the boat.
The men each had a long plastic tube on a strap strung over his shoulder. They also had at least one more on each of the motorcycles. The men jabbered back and forth in Spanish, before two of them went back up to the dock.
The two on the dock started their bikes, put them in gear and drove them over the edge, into the water. They did the same again with the last bike. The two men brought the back packs, saddle bags and plastic tubes onto the boat.
"Let's get the fuck out of here." The big one said; glaring at Dan. Dan seemed to be the first of the captured couple to recover. He went to the side of the boat and untied it from the dock. The big guy let Kelly go, and the couple raised the sails and tacked back and forth out of the harbor.
About that time, Kelly figured out who they were. The Panamanian Government has a cell phone emergency service just like in the United States. If there is an emergency like a tornado, hurricane, fire or earthquake, the government has an application that notifies everybody in that region, regardless of zip code or cell service of the disaster.
They had also gone so far as to notify people in the area of the presence of dangerous criminals. A week or so before, Kelly had seen a text message and pictures, alerting everybody that the Garcia brothers had escaped from the U.S. and believed heading south (through Central America) towards South America.
Felix, Raul, and Ramon Garcia had shot their way out of some drug deal in Florida. They had escaped across the border near El Paso and were believed heading south. Kelly had seen the warning test message and photos at least a week or more before. It just didn't register in her mind that anything could happen to her and her husband.
"The ten others scheduled to board their boat and sail for San Blas will alert the authorities that something has happened." She reasoned. Somebody will alert authorities and the boat will be stopped.
.... There is more of this story ...