A prequel to Pirate Ophelia
Chapter IV: London
The trip to England was longer than Janneke had excepted. Diana had said it would take almost a month to get there from Bermuda, likely less time because of the fast speed of a typical sloop. Janneke was always amazed at Diana’s knowledge of ships and navigation, making her more curious about the woman’s past.
The crew settled in nicely and each did their fair share. With so few of them, they had to work extra hard to keep the ship sailing smoothly. Finn was great at quick repairs when needed, Lukas and Fons kept the rigging tight, and Sabian was both an excellent cook and great at keeping the crew on task. Silke was usually below deck with Diana, learning how to sew clothing and keep track of inventory and finances in a ledger. Matthias filled in where needed, his years of experience making him an expert in most jobs on the ship. Though they were not yet as close as Captain Daniel’s crew, Janneke felt they were on the right track. She could see a future with them, commanding a merchant ship and sailing all over the Caribbean.
“We should be there soon,” Diana said as she gazed through her spyglass.
“Diana…” Janneke started, but hesitated.
“What is it? You can ask me anything.”
“How do you know so much? About sailing and traveling all over I mean.”
“I’ve sailed a long time.”
“But you seem to know more than any sailor I’ve ever met. My grandfather sailed most of his life, and I don’t think he could chart a course like you.”
“I like maps. When I sailed with the merchant, I usually plotted our course.”
Janneke gave her a curious look. She could tell Diana was not being entirely truthful about something in her past. She did not want to press for information, but her curiosity was getting the best of her.
“You know, Captain Daniel said he used to be a pirate,” Janneke said quietly, taking a chance.
“I figured,” Diana replied. “Why else would he want to retire in Nassau? Plus some of the rum shipments didn’t quite match the ledger. And his reasoning for sailing under Dutch…