We have a new neighbor on the cul-de-sac. He fights pirates. Seriously. I thought I misunderstood him when he first announced his profession, but it’s real. His company flies him to Cairo, Egypt where he boards a ship, arms himself and then protects the ship, its crew and cargo as they travel through the Suez Cannel, the Red Sea and into the Indian Ocean.
My children are obsessed with his stories and constantly check to see if he’s outside doing yard work so they can ask him more questions. I know they think of pirates as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” Johnny Depp swashbuckling sword-yielding variety, but when they asked what pirates look like, his answer was telling. “They look like fishermen,” he said simply.
And then he went inside and returned with a handful of coins and paper money from foreign countries to share with my boys. We promptly opened the atlas and found countries like Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Iraq and Sudan. It was a colorful and eclectic handful of money that peaked their curiosity for hours as they sorted and searched for these faraway lands.
The spirit of adventure the ocean and traveling offers is intriguing. With a vastness that never ends, many a story has been told with the sound of waves rippling along the side of a boat.
Ben Cherot is a BQB author who traveled extensively during his technology career. And his book, Tropic Squall, is the story of adventure on the high sea. With a splash of romance and waves of mistrust all during the middle of a Caribbean hurricane, survival is on every character’s mind as this novel proves its sea worthiness.
About Tropic Squall: In August of 1992, one of the small tramp ships out of Miami that trade in the remote ports of the Caribbean is unaware it steams in the path of chaos—a hurricane named Andrew. The seafaring stalwarts who crew her ascribe to different ethics than those on land—they are a diverse group who live in a cruel environment, frightening while gratifying, with values derived from experiences unique to their world, while in both harmony and conflict with nature and fellow humans. Survival is their strongest ethic.
The ship’s first officer, Hogue, a mature and weather-beaten product of the West Virginia coal fields, has long aspired to become a master mariner and captain a ship, requiring he defeat a lust for booze. During the three-day voyage to Haiti, Hogue seduces Cora, a female passenger, which develops into a romance. But the battering of a hurricane threatens the existence of both.
Bon Voyage on your next reading adventure!
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