Lost in the rigging

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Lost in the rigging

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 11th, 2020, 6:38 am

67th of Spring..


Marino whistled as he approached the site of the Inn. It would be a lovely place he imagined, especially with a proprietor so willing to get her hands dirty. He was wearing a lot more than he had last time they met, because he’d planned on coming up to this construction site all the previous afternoon. His idea of appropriate attire was his a pair of black boots with copper buckles, his nicest breeches which were a bright green, and a crimson scarf wrapped around his neck, with bells the jingled as he walked up. Looking around he tried to spot Tazrae or one of his cousins, but he didn’t spy anyone he recognized so he decided to walk around the outside of the site. Trying to be as unobtrusive as possible as he moved about, he wondered if indeed his cousin even made it over. It was like him to get ‘lost’ in an effort to find some entertainment, but he usually saved such shenanigans for later after he’d gotten at least some work done. Having spoken to the man only a few bells ago, he very much so doubted that was the case.

His cousin must have been reading his mind because he suddenly called out. “Ho, Marino. Checking up on me already?” The voice came from brush to his side startling him as his cousin stood up, tying off his breeches. Pinn laughed and clasped him by the arm. “Don’t piss yourself on my account cuz, I was only relieving myself.” Rolling his eyes, Marino shook of the brief shock and shrugged. “As if I have the free time to keep tabs on you. I was just checking to see if they needed more help here.” Now it was Pinn’s turn to roll his eyes. “Of course this couldn’t be about taking that woman.. What was her name.. Tazrae right?” Marino interrupted, already knowing where this was going. “And why not take her sailing, she told us about this job didn’t she?” Pinn just grinned, before he said. “So you say. I think I saw her going to prepare a meal for the crew, so go on cuz.” He didn’t even know how to respond to that beyond a tired sigh, so he just waved his cousin away, and went towards where he saw a cook fire going, jingling all the way.


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Last edited by Marino Oceangem on June 1st, 2020, 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lost in the rigging

Postby Tazrae on May 12th, 2020, 1:00 am

The build was going well. They'd gotten the whole structure framed, the floors laid, and even the outside walls up. The roof was lofty and made of some hardwood that Randal had treated with oil that made it waterproof and gleaming. The middle section, above what would become her great room, was still easily removable and replaceable so the second story could be put on when she was ready. Stairs lead up to long decks that were partially built. Nothing obstructed the view of the sea nor the pathway back into the jungle from behind the Inn. There were no windows that gleamed with glass. Instead, entire sections of the walls were cut out and outfitted with something Randal called 'storm shutters' that coudl be folded back against the rain.

The weather never bothered Tazrae though. She loved the sound of the rain on the roof of her tent and on the thick hardwood of the new Inn. Even when it rained it was warm here. And having whoel sections of wall that opened up made it even better for getting the cooling sea breeze into the structure itself.

Randal had suggested sun shades hanging from the roof overhang to cool the deck during the heat of the summer when Syna showed no mercy to the shoreline of Syka. He'd procured one from somewhere to show the future Innkeeper and Tazrae had seen it was made up of dried reeds that were all bound together by thin silk twine woven between them. The twine she could get at the Mercantile. She'd purchased enough of it to make more shades and had thin layers of the reeds cut and drying in the sun out on the beach below the Inn. They were weighted down with rocks so as the moisture wicked out of them, the wind would not carry them away.

Later. In the quiet evenings, she'd teach herself to weave the twine through the shades and make the future Inn's deck more comfortable for its guests.

Meanwhile, the whole jobsite was overran. Tazrae wasn't sure how it happened. Sometime yesterday morning, just about the time Randal had been grumbling about his lack of crew, a Svefra had shown up claiming he was an Oceangem... and one of Marino's Cousins. The man asked if there was work to be had and Randal had agreed there was with a small negotiation over price. A bell later, another had shown up, then another. By noon there was a whole bunch of them.

Tazrae had been a little unnerved at first, but once she decided they all needed to be fed. It was instinctual for her, something bred into her Innkeeper blood. Looking thoughtful, Tazrae had quickly gone over her supplies and had grabbed the ingredients of flour and salt and a bit of sugar she'd needed from the Mercantile. She'd bartered three chickens from someone in the Commons whose name she forgot and had them butchered and plucked before she'd started the pasta. Tazrae had gathered the ingredients to make a simple lunch of chicken and pasta in a cream sauce that was one of her favorites, the men had lined up. One would have thought they hadn't eaten pasta before. The chicken made it hearty and the pasta stuck to ribs, giving the men a decent meal to carry them through the afternoon.

The next day more Oceangems had shown up. They were hard workers and Randal had only laughed and shaken his head, hiring on the extra workers which made his life a whole lot easier since he was carrying lumber to the roof to finish it off. With the extra help, Tazrae had used the remainders of the chicken from the day before and had made cold children sandwiches and an even colder pasta salad to go with them. Everyone had just finished eating lunch and Tazrae was cleaning up when Marino had appeared.

She smiled a greeting at him and then nodded to a small pile of sandwiches that remained. "Hungry?" She asked, smiling and nodding at the men on the roof all busy hammering some of the hardwood beams in place.

"You didn't mislead me talking about your cousins. I didn't know it was possible for someone to have so many relatives. They are hard workers, most of them very skilled too. But they never are quiet are they? And their mouths... I think I've learned words I never even dreamed existed." She said, good naturedly, and gestured at Pinn... the one currently closest to him. "That one sings too. He has a lovely voice. I always get excited when he starts to hum something then breaks out in song... until I realized all he really knows is dirty sea shanties." Taz said with a laugh, picking up a rag and wiping down her worksurface with water that had been mixed with basil and vinegar. The table was actually just a few planks of wood set up on sawhorses. But it was functinoing well enough for a workspace for the moment.

"What brings you around? You aren't volunteering yourself are you?" She asked, as one of the Svefra slipped up and took two more sandwiches. She started to reach for one of the remaining ones, but then two more men came up and cleaned up the last of the leftovers. Taz shook her head with a chuckle. "They sure can eat." She added, then began packing up the remaining ingredients for the sandwiches and hanging her towel over her shoulder. She took off the apron she'd carefully covered her work clothing with and left it draped over a lounge chair that was only half-built.

"How is Twist?" She asked, curious about his dolphin for a moment. "And how are you, for that matter?" She included politely.... curious why he was here. She looked around, noted that the men were all busy, and sat down abruptly in one of the other half-finished chairs. "I'm feeling it today. I spent the morning nailing in deck planks before I made lunch. I think my muscles have muscles that ache." She laughed lightly then beckoned to a chair a bit further down. "You are welcome to sit a few. I can grab you some water from the well they just dug if you'd like?" She inquired, wanting to make sure he was comfortable and feeling well-hosted.

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Tazrae
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Lost in the rigging

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 12th, 2020, 5:45 am

Marino’s face brightened when he saw Tazrae, and he briefly fussed with his scarf before heading on over. He was glad it didn’t appear he was interrupting anything besides cleaning up lunch. “I wouldn’t mind a bite” He said quickly, forgoing the typical greeting to grab a bite of one of the sandwiches. It was better than he expected for something encased in bread, and he took another two bites before looking at who she was gesturing towards.

With a sigh, he said. “Pinn has the vocabulary, certainly.” As if reading his gaze, Pinn waved back at him before sharing a laugh with one of their cousins. Shaking his head, he finished off the sandwich. Wiping his hands on his breeches, he said. “No, I wanted to see if you wanted to go sailing today. The weather is good.” There were other reasons as well, but his common wasn’t so good as to explain all of that. While he spoke, he gestured towards the sea before briefly pointing towards the sky. It wasn’t exactly what he would have used with Fratava, but the gestures felt appropriate for the common words he was using.

He offered the briefest of nods to the Svefra that walked up, but it was clear that his attention was on her. “If it is there, they will find it.” He answered with a grin, adding. “Did you make it? It was good.” It wasn’t too heavy on the stomach, and had a pleasant taste which checked the boxes for him. Even better when shared in good company. He’d worried after the other day that things hadn’t exactly left on the best foot.

Marino’s thoughts shifted though, and his eyes lit up at the mention of Twist. “He’s great, and I am too. Coming back to these waters has been wonderful.” Syka had been good to him so far. It was hard to imagine ever moving on from here, something he was becoming more certain about the more friends he made here.

I’m fine, really just relax a bit.” He said with a chuckle, waving off the offers. At this rate they’d be sailing forever as he tried to pay off her repeated kindnesses. Best to limit it now while there was still time to catch up he mused as he met her eyes. “Fortunately, sailing won’t be too tiring if you can get away from work for a bit” He said with a conspiratorial grin.


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Lost in the rigging

Postby Tazrae on May 13th, 2020, 12:35 am

She spotted Marino on his way over and admired his sharp slash of scarlet scarf and dark green pants. She was slowly getting used to seeing Marino with little to nothing on, so his bare chest wasn’t a shock to her. In a way, the boots were. Bare feet were common place in Syka… so too were thin sandals. Syka’s dress code was about as relaxed as Taz had ever heard of. She wasn’t completely comfortable with the nudity that tended to be rampant, but she was starting to understand it wasn’t so much a sexual thing as it was a fact that people here were comfortable in their own skin and comfortable with one another in a way tended not to happen in other places. And somehow, with the jungle at their backs, bare skin was starting to look almost normal to her.

She laughed outright at the way he said his cousin ‘has the vocabulary’. And then she laughed again as the subject of their conversation seemed to know he was being discussed and waved their direction. The Oceangems were a lot to take in at one time, especially for an only child. But she liked the way she felt around the whole lot of them. Taz had no real way to describe it, but somehow the collective lot of them somehow made it easy for her to be herself, to relax, to drop her guard and simply exist without any sort of mask or worry of offending anyone by being something they didn’t approve of. The whole lot of these people in Syka just made life… easy. Well, easy wasn’t probably the best way to describe them since they came with chaos, a whole lot of talking, and activity. Svefras were not quiet. They were not reserved. And they certainly weren’t dull of mind or body. They had instead active whit, humor, and seemed to be in perpetual motion.

Taz was appreciative of it… in the same way she was beginning to like the view of all the bare skin and defined muscle. The fact hit home to her just how vulnerable she was being small, soft, and untried in the wind, the sand, and the sun. And a quiet terrified place inside of her was scared of the jungle behind her too. Tazrae knew she could thrive here in Syka, but to do so she’d have to be harder, bracer, and take chances to learn new things.

Marino was definitely a ‘new thing’.

The Svefra asked if she made the food and then complimented it. “Yes, its actually leftovers from yesterday. The heat here isn’t good for hearty foods. Stews and things just weigh one down. I think the climate calls for lighter more frequent meals… something I have to think about for the Inn.” Tazrae mused, looking thoughtful and offering him a smile.

“I’m glad you came by. I could definitely use a break.” She said, jumping up abruptly as if going to do a jig. In fact, she did, after a fashion. “Would you believe…..” The young woman said, skittering about three lengths away to where a new section of deck started. “I nailed this board……” She said, gesturing to the deck plank that looked freshly laid… “…. to this board and it took me all morning?” She said, having jogged lightly down the dock about twenty feet. “That’s a lot of boards.” She said, like a simpleton and then felt like kicking herself for saying it that way. “I mean… of all this work going on, I suspect laying deck planks are probably some of the easiest around… but I’m still proud. I did this section all by myself.” She said, as if trying to either convince herself she deserved a break, more than she was trying to convince him.

“I’m glad you are both happy here. These waters…. I’ve never felt a call like I feel being here. Looking out at the ocean…. It feels so comforting, so much like it could be home. I never felt like this in Riverfall and the city there was on the coast as well.” She added, and returned to settle in the seat she’d originally claimed. The chairs really needed to be finished. They lacked backs, and could use woven pads to cushion them. But like everything else around them, the Inn and its furnishings were a work in progress.

“I can… I honestly can get away.” She added, then rose again, popping out of her seat as if she naturally had a lot of energy. “Just a chime. I’m going to change clothing.” She said, frowning down at her cooking and work clothing. “Juli fixed me up from the Mercantile.” Tazrae added, taking the steps off the deck two at a time. She didn’t head towards the shell of the inside of the Inn which wasn’t even remotely done. Instead, she headed closer to the ocean where he would see down by the sand a camp set up with a large tent, a cooking fire, and some miscellaneous crates strewn about in an organized fashion. Tazrae was living out of a tent while her Inn was being built. The future Innkeeper disappeared into the tent for a few moments.

The young woman pulled off her apron, blouse, stripped out of her britches and kicked off her boots. She peeled down her socks and underthings, and twirled around to a chest where she opened it and pulled out the clothing Juli had laid out for her. Taz wasn’t ready for the full Syka experience yet, so she took a moment to wiggle into the bikini briefs and slide the bikini top down over her head and tie the ties that held the bright swirls of cloth over her breasts. A bright colorful skirt wrapped around her narrow hips and tied off at one hipbone. A billowy shirt went on, was rolled up, and tied off above the top of the skirt revealing her navel. She slid on sandals and pulled the tie out of her hair so the curls bounced free and crinkled around her head like an aura.

Grabbing a bag, she pulled her waterskin into it, tossed in a couple of dried fruit and oat bars, and then added a knife, small survival kit, and her small jars of insect repellant and burn relief cream. She stuffed her floppy straw hat onto her head and was headed back up the little rise to where she left Marino moments ago.

“Is this okay?” She asked, indicating her work clothes to sailing clothes change and the small bag of gear she had with her. “I’m ready if so. Lead the way! If we get out of here fast enough, no one will put us to work with another project.” She said with a laugh.

“I’m going to owe you lots of free nights stays if you can actually teach me anything about sailing and swimming.” She added, knowing full well he would deserve something for all the time he seemed willing to spend teaching her. Tazrae wasn’t used to generous kind people. She was used to favors exchanged for favors and debt silently being accrued with high payback costs. But she approved of this way far better. She’d even managed to discover a few of Randal’s other work sites and had shown up there with food for those crews as well. The Founder had seemed to approve, and the future Innkeeper had started testing recipes on a wide variety of folks to see what she could take from Riverfall and adapt to Syka.

Hopefully, she’d find a way to pay back Marino as well…. Something that surprised and benefitted him. All she could do in the mean time is ask a few questions. “How long have you been sailing? Does your boat have a name? Is it hard to learn?” She said, then paused to smile at him, waiting for him to lead the way and start answering her questions if he was so inclined to do so.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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Lost in the rigging

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 13th, 2020, 3:43 am

I agree, on the water we tend to eat small meals throughout the day. It is easier that way.” He smiled and watched as she jumped up to show her progress today. Looking over the deck appraisingly he tried thinking of something to say about the deck. However as nothing came to him, he found himself nodding as she spoke of it. It looked like an excellent start. Certainly a whole lot straighter than he could’ve done it which is why he hadn’t come up with his cousins. Also because he’d spent the morning cleaning his Casinor so that it was presentable. It wasn’t particularly that he was messy, but he had a tendency to get distracted and leave things all over the ship. Like when he woke up, cuddling the gaffer in his bed this morning. Finding that had been a sober reminder to watch how much he drank at the bonfire.


You are doing a much better job than I could. The sea is much simpler than all this.” Marino said finally, gesturing in a wide sweep to the Inn. “I suppose I could try sometime, but I will not promise the boards will be straight.” He gave a hearty laugh at that, and took the seat she’d offered earlier. As he sat down, the wooden mouth piece of his traveler’s pipe came untucked from the left side of his breeches, but he didn’t notice as he was thinking about what she was saying. It was comforting to hear that someone else felt about this place in a way kin to how he did. Especially when he’d practically spent all of last night’s bonfire trying to validate his ideas to himself before he brought them to his family.

There is something about this place I am having a hard time placing, but it feels a lot like when we have a large gathering with our pod.” He said, scratching his chin, coming out of having been deep in thought. It was more than that, he knew, but he couldn’t sit out here thinking about it all day. They had good weather to take advantage of after all.

His smile broadened when she accepted his offer. He moved to get up, but sat back down when she mentioned needing some time. “I’ll be here when you get back.” He replied, and fished for his pipe. When he’d gotten up briefly it had slipped down again, and unfortunately spilled water from the internal reservoir onto the the contents of the bowl. Some of it washed down the inside of his breeches leaving a slightly darker green streak down the side of his breaches while what remained in the bowl had soaked through. With a sigh, he cleaned off the edge with his thumb, pushing what he could back into the bowl before taking a light pull from the mouth piece. The water crackled as there wasn’t much left in the reservoir.

Even though it wasn’t lit, and he really couldn’t taste anything besides the water, he took another pull before tucking it back into the side of his breeches. It wasn’t something he liked to get into in front of strangers, but the gesture helped him focus. There was a calming influence there as well. The pipe had been given to him by his grandfather and after he had passed the previous year, he’d taken to carrying it around with him everywhere. Drawing upon it in quiet moments whenever he didn’t want to think too much.

Speaking of, he looked up to see Tazrae approaching. He was pleasantly surprised at her change of clothing. She caught on quick to life here in Syka. With a crooked smile, he said. “Are you sure you’re not a Svefra?” as he stood up to get a good look at her. “You’ll be natural on the water.” He laughed with her, if only to share her joy as he lead the way along the beach.

Lets just make it even for lunch, and saving me from being eaten.” He joked, rubbing the back of his neck. It made him uncomfortable to think someone might owe him a favor. With the pod, he simply did things because he liked to see them happy, and down the line that love was returned. Aside from that, the walk down the beach was very pleasant as they talked about the subject he loved.

I started almost two years ago. I named her Seasilk, though I’m still trying hard every day to live up to that name.” He said with a slight blush. While he was a decent seaman, he was in no way perfect on the water and had his share of petch ups. Fortunately, her next question was a convenient way to move on from that, and he quickly replied. “It was hard at first, but like everything, it got easier once I remembered the lines. I think that is something we could focus on today, though I’ll warn you now, I’m a terrible teacher. Don’t be afraid to give me a nudge if I get off track.

By now they were on the dock approaching the Seasilk, which bobbed gently beside the dock amongst a cluster of other Casinors. Its sail was neatly furled, and the mounted harpoon on the bow was covered up with a blue cloak that was tied around it. Leading the way, he hopped onto the deck before turning around to help her up if she needed it. Then without saying any other word, he disappeared below deck, quickly emerging with the grappling pole that he set down against the port side of the ship for now. “Ready to learn about lines?” He asked cheerily walking her over to the mast and grabbing the halyard. While he still wasn’t sure how he was going to try and break this down, he was starting to form an idea he’d like to try if she was game.

Now, before I say, what do you think this line does?” He asked, tugging at the halyard. The line he held ran all the way up to the top of the mast and back down to the sail that was currently furled. If she wanted to further examine the sail, she’d see that there were slots the rope ran through before continuing on to where it was secured to the boom. After giving her time to look it over and listening for any questions she’d have, he’d tugged the halyard loose. “This is called the halyard, and it brings the head up.” He said as he pulled on it. Slowly the sail started working its way up to the top of the mast, when suddenly he remembered himself. Stopping, he held out the rope to her. “Would you like to give it a try?


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Lost in the rigging

Postby Tazrae on May 13th, 2020, 4:29 am

He was easy to spend time with. Taz hoped Marino would turn out to be a good friend. The Gods knew she needed some in this place… and he was particularly appealing to her because he was so different than the Akalak men and even her own father. Any of them – her father included – would have chastised her for following a virtual stranger out onto his boat to sail Gods knew where or even just far enough out into the water where she could be vulnerable to Gods knew what. Only… Taz felt she had a good instinct on people. She always had. Even her own mother had given her feelings of uncertainty and insecurity while her father had made her feel nothing but comfort and security. Randal was like that… so too were the other Founders. She’d trusted them instinctually upon meeting them.

And just as Selene had made her incredibly uneasy a few days ago, Marino had made her feel warm and relaxed, secure in his presence. She felt absolutely no risk heading off with an almost complete stranger onto his boat…. Ship? Taz wondered what the proper term was. She’d asked when he gave her time for questions later.

The future Innkeeper flushed under his praise, knowing if the man looked closely, he’d see many crooked nails and nail heads that were slightly warped where amateur hands had driven them into the studs beneath. Still… she wasn’t going to closely scrutinize her own work. She was just glad it was done. Each nail meant she got better. Each plank placed was a small victory. Even Randal had smiled patiently and had adjusted her grip on the hammer multiple times so she got more force in her swings.

Tazrae wouldn’t think of that. Instead, she looked forward to the adventure ahead. Sailing! And then a solemn moment when she nodded agreement to what Marino said about Syka having something to it… a feeling… one he equated to a big family gathering. And rather than responding, she simply offered him a knowing smile, one that conveyed the understandings he had for what he was saying. Yes… she’d felt it too. She changed, met with him again, and laugh when he asked her if she was sure she wasn’t Svefra. “I’m just human. We adapt.” She said, smiling and following after him.

Then they were at the dock and she was studying the little casino that had so much charm. “Seasilk is a great name.” She said softly and took his hand a moment to jump lightly from the dock to the ship. She looked around curiously, kicking off her sandals and stashing her bag with them out of the way. She peered upwards at the line, then puzzled out where the rope lead. She tilted her head curiously at what he said, then stopped him a moment.

“Wait… what’s the head? That sail there?” She asked, pointing upwards. “Will you tell me what all these parts are first? Before the lines? I mean… I know mast and hull and deck, but I don’t know what the sails are called, and if you show me the lines one at a time after that, I probably can remember most of them.” She added. “I know what fore and aft are from The Veronica… and Port and Starboard… are there any other terms I need to know right away?” She asked, then looked at him. She seemed to pause then, stuffed her straw hat more firmly on her head as the wind picked up, and abruptly smiled.

“You said you were going to be a terrible teacher. But I forgot to tell you I’m probably a horrible student too.” She added, apologetically. Taz was far too curious for her own good. “Can I see inside your cabin too? You live here full time right? I can’t imagine it… it looks so tiny from the shore… these ships I mean… but here it is looking far bigger than I ever thought they’d be.” She added, glancing around.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
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Lost in the rigging

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 13th, 2020, 8:01 am

Thank you” He said, quite proud of the name. It was an apt name for a vessel of this size. Provided it was in the right hands of course. He first thought of it as a child watching his mother steer their casinor across the open water. It was nothing short of majestic the way they skipped across the sea, and had inspired in him a love of sailing.

Yes, of course I should have started with that.” Then after thinking about it for a bit, said. “Tack. If you haven’t hear that one before, it is an important to know. It usually means I am changing direction and to watch out for the boom, which would be this.” He said, patting the long, solid piece of wood. “Before we get into what that does, we’ll see about the sail. We can go check out the cabin once we get underway.

Looking at the sail now, and the mass of lines that ran from it, he could see where she was coming from. It would be certainly easier if he started with the sail first because she wouldn’t know what the lines were doing without that information. It was a good thing she asked too because he had completely forgotten to uncover the sail in his haste. Freeing the straps, he pulled off the black, ramie covering and set it aside for now. “That’s to keep the sail out of the sun. Helps it last longer.” He said while he pulled at the sail trying to find the part he was looking for.

When he found it he grinned, and looked over at her. Holding up a corner of the sail, he said. “This is head of the sail. It goes all the way to the top of the mast.” Looking at it, she would see that the had a metal circle that the rope ran through. It was also particularly thick along the edge. Following the corner down he held up the edge not attached to the mast. “This is the leech, and it goes away from the mast.” Pinching the edge, he made the rope inside more visible before saying. “This runs the length of leech to keep the sail stiff. Here is where we tighten it.

As he spoke he followed the leech down to where it met the boom. There towards the end of the leech was a metal clasp affixed to it with a rope wrapped in a figure eight around it. It looked like a smaller version of the metal cleats attached to the mast. “Then, we have the foot which is attached here to the boom.” He said while pulling at the fabric to show where it went into the slot that ran the length of the boom. “After that all we have is the luft, which is attached to the mast. When I bring down the boom, pull up the head, and draw out the clew, you will be able to see how the luft fits in.” Then realizing something he missed, muttered “Shite” before digging at the sail to find the corner that ran along the boom. “This is the clew. Sorry I don’t have much experience talking about this.” He said with a nervous chuckled before he turned to look at the lines, and hide the slight blush going across his cheeks.

Now where we? Oh yes, the lines.” Grabbing the one wrapped around the cleat on the middle of the mast. After unraveling it, he held it out to her, and said. “This is the halyard line. It’s going to run the head to the top, and stiffen the luft. If you want to hold this, I’ll bring the boom down.” He said holding it out to her, before going around the mast to another cleat. “This one is called the sheet.” He said, coming from around the mast once he got it free so she could see it easily. Then hauling on it, he brought the boom down from the main mast so it was now stretching across the center of the deck towards the stern.

Pull on that one now. You want it at the top, and I’ll show you how to tie it off.” He said as he came around the mast, and helped her with the line. When it was at the top, the luft stiff against the mast he started wrapping it around the cleat. Quickly, he tied it off after making a double figure eight around the cleat, tucking the excess rope into the base. Then heading along the boom, he got a hold of another line, and pulled on it, bringing the clew towards the end of the boom. Belatedly he remembered he was supposed to be naming this and he suddenly turned towards her, holding out the line. “Overhaul. This line is the overhaul, it brings the foot across the boom.” Then added. “See, told you I’m terrible.” Laughing, he brought the clew across and secured that line the same way he had the halyard.

With all that out of the way, he ran over to the dock to pull off the rope, and picking up the grapple hook he’d left there earlier, pushed off the dock. Then he headed to the stern and took control over the wheel, working the sail so they caught some wind port side. “Tacking starboard” He called out more from force of habit than trying to teach anything as he worked on getting them enough wind to steer clear of the other Casinors and away onto the open water. For Marino, these next few moments were ones of intense concentration as he worked on making sure he kept control of the boat. After all, if there was going to be an accident, it would most likely happen during these opening maneuvers. He did however spare a glance at Tazrae and offered her what he hoped was a reassuring smile.

If Tazrae was watching the sails, she would see the back of it fluttering, and the foot all stretched out as he hadn’t tightened them all the way. He wasn’t confident enough in his abilities to go full sail straight out the docks, especially with the wind they were getting today. Instead, he let himself lose some speed and power in exchange for maneuverability. Because for him, slow and steady was the only way to go till he got a better grasp of his points of sail.

When they finally cleared the last casinor, Marino breathed a sigh of relief, and turned to Tazrae while he leaned against the stern. “Would you like to try steering, or would you like to go down to check the cabin now? I can put us at quarter sail so we can coast for a while.


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Last edited by Marino Oceangem on June 1st, 2020, 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lost in the rigging

Postby Tazrae on May 14th, 2020, 1:29 am

“I don’t think I’ve heard tack before.” She admitted, stepping closer to stand beside him so she could follow his gaze and where he was pointing from his perspective and not misunderstand. “So tack… tacking… changing direction mid-travel?” She thought for a moment about what that might mean. “So… that’s an action… turning the bow so that the way the wind is blowing across the boat is different? From what it started to do? Is that related to jibbing?” She asked, having heard that term on the Veronica on the trip over. She could see the boom… and tell it would change when the direction changed due to the action of the wind. Taz took a step closer, her sharp eyes noting the back of the ship, the front, and how the boom was orientated and how it could swing.

“I think I understand.” She said thoughtfully, her brow furrowed in thought. Marino could tell she wouldn’t be the type of person that would parrot his words, lock them into her memory, without any understanding of the why or how of it.

She smiled when he showed her the ramie covering and nodded. “Smart. I bet sail cloth isn’t cheap and lasting as long as possible is important.” Taz added, noting where he stowed the covering and how he removed it. The future Innkeeper turned apprentice sailor nodded, following his gestures and gazes, noting the leech and how it orientated from the mast... and how the ropes worked.

Taz stepped closer noting how he pulled the leech down and how he wrapped the rope in the figure eight around the cleat. “That’s so clever.” She added, seeing how strong and yet how fast it was to fasten and unfasten the rope. She also saw how complicated it all was. The Seasilk didn’t have multiple masks though she had multiple sails. Tazrae couldn’t imagine how complex sailing The Veronica must be… and understood suddenly why James’ crew was so large. Just tacking on the Seasilk wasn’t easy, and it was hard for her to wrap her brain around doing it on multiple masts.

She took the halyard from Marino with a nod and followed it up to where it acted to stiffen the luft. She wondered where the sail had gotten its name, the head being obvious but the luft not so much. She held the line as he indicated and nodded at the sheet when he pointed it out. She pulled when he asked, immediately understanding how the whole thing worked seeing it in action. “Oh, that’s clever. These ropes replace a dozen hands and you don’t have to climb. For some reason, I always assumed you climbed up to adjust things.” She admitted half ashamed she’d actually thought that. She thanked him for the help and stepped back for a better look, her face tipped upwards. She pulled her hat off, tucked it under her arm, and then followed his verbal explanation of the overhaul and how it worked.

Tazrae got a little lost as he ran fore and aft, picking up the grapple and pushing off the dock then running back while calling tacking starboard. She ducked the boom as it swung, laughing, and hurrying to join him, following on his shoulder but out of his way so she could see what he was doing but not interfere. The man handled the boat nicely, as if the Seasilk and Marino had been old friends for years. Her sharp blue gaze noted the loose sails and took a few moments to understand Marino was going slowly. “What happens when you tighten these up and catch more wind?” She asked abruptly, curious… would that make the ship faster? It would wouldn’t it?

Tazrae looked at Marino and her smile faltered suddenly. Had she heard him right? Was he asking her if she wanted to basically steer the ship? Her eyes took on a far away look for a moment, and she was almost instantly transported to one of the last converstations she’d had with her mother.

(Back in Riverfall….a short time before Tazrae boarded The Veronica)

“Tazrae. You are doing what?!?! You are NOT going to Syka to open an Inn. That part of our life is over. You are going to stay here, in Riverfall, where it is safe. We’ve always sheltered you. Why in the world would you want to go anywhere that far away? You can’t possibly believe you’d enjoy yourself or even thrive?” Estra said firmly, her voice a sneer.

The young woman frowned at her mother, shook her head, and shouldered the travel bag she had just finished packing. “I’m going, Mother. I’ve already booked passage. Larikav and Remi financed it.” She said, naming the Akalaks that held Estra’s contract as a Nakivak. “They believe I can do it. Why can’t you?” Taz retorted, sounding frustrated and angry.

The older woman just shook her head. “Just like your father… a petching dreamer. I hope the real world over there in that God’s Forsaken place doesn’t bite you in the ass, little girl.” And then she turned and left her daughter standing there… no good luck, no well wishes, and certainly no votes of confidence.

(Back in the present…)

Tazrae couldn’t believe this virtual stranger, this Svefra, had more faith in her than her own mother. The blank look left her face and she broke out into a smile. “I want to steer first! The cabin will always be there.” She said, laughing again. “You’d really let me steer? I’ve never steered a boat. I’ve never even steered a wagon or horse.” She added, pausing, then glancing around to spot the wheel or bar that steered the rudder. She darted across the deck, dodging lines, ducking under the boom, and at the said location before Marnio could even blink hard. “How do I do this? Any tips?” She said, lightly touching the wood of the device.

Then she paused, looking at him straight in the eye, with her clear sky blue gaze.

“Thank you, Marino. I’m having so much fun…. but more than that… its … its just really good to have someone not mind showing me something new. Where I came from…. In Riverfall… the people around me didn’t like new things. They didn’t like change or fresh starts or even the idea of me coming here most of all. I just…. its just… its really nice finding a friend.” She added, her voice rich with emotion and sincerity.

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Lost in the rigging

Postby Marino Oceangem on May 14th, 2020, 3:31 am

He hadn’t expected that he would enjoy teaching much, but with Tazrae, he kinda was. It made him excited to hear her questions. To see an interest in what he had to say about this even if he wasn’t the best with his explanations. Some of that excitement bled through his tone as he spoke, “Yes, thats right, and you know jibbing? That’s when you take the stern through the wind. It is more complicated to do, so I usually try not to put myself into situations where that is necessary. Besides, last time someone went through a jib, I nearly got knocked out by the boom.” He ginned, and scratched at the back of his head.

Looking over at her, he could see that she was taking this very seriously, which was nice. A lot of times people mistook his friendly attitude for a lack of discipline, but Tazrae was different. She respected him and his ship, while asking all the right questions. It was refreshing to say the least.

He smiled under the praise. “Yes, and it helps keep the grommets from rusting.” He said, putting his finger on one of the metal rings that the rope ran through on the sail. “These help the cloth last longer, and reinforce the sail. Also keeps the rope from snagging.” While he did the next part, he watched her as well, and paused after fastening the rope. “Would you like to try it? I can walk your hands through the motion. I know I found it easier to learn when it was my hands doing it.

If she said yes, he would unfasten the rope, and then hold it out to her. While he kept tension on the upper part with his right hand, he would watch as she worked with the loose rope. If she asked for his help about the steps, he would slowly guide her hand with his left. “First, we go around the base of the cleat, there thats it, now over the top” He said as they made a circuit around it and brought it across the top of the cleats horns. “Now we go under, and around where we started. Yes. Back across now.” Together, they guided it under, and over the horn and back across towards the opposite side. “We are going to do make a loop, and slip it around here” He said, helping her to her to manipulate the rope so the end of the rope would be under the final loop to go across the horn. Then he would release her hand and let her slip the loop over the horn. “Now just pull on the end to tighten it. You did great your first time securing a line!” He said cheerily.

As they moved on to the operation of the sail, he gave Tazrae an amused look at the suggestion. “Truth be told, the thought of climbing terrifies me. I dread the day when anything near the top of that mast needs repair” As he said it, he gave the mast a wary glance. It wasn’t really all that tall comparatively, but he didn’t like having the ground too far from him. He’d gotten butterflies walking up into Syka’s commons yesterday, and wasn’t keen on repeating the experience any time soon.

Oh yes, especially with this wind. You want a tight sail when the wind is strong, or very weak. It is harder to maneuver of course so I find it helpful to start slowly and build speed as I go.” He said as they finally got underway. Tazrae of course was full of surprises as she reacted quite differently to his offer than he had been expecting. He’d expected her to jump on the opportunity, but instead she stopped smiling, and got this strange look in her eye. Had he misinterpreted something in his excitement? His brow crinkled in confusion for a heart but relaxed when she gave him that smile that said everything was alright.

Smiling back, he said. “Of course,and don’t worry about it, I’ll be close on hand.” He said and was impressed at how she deftly maneuvered across the boat. The wheel was not far astern, and sat above the cabin. Walking up beside her, he gestured towards the knobs, ten and two on the wheel. Others radiated, evenly spaced around the entirety of the device. “Holding it this way will make it easier for you to control. Now the turns might be slower than you expect, but give them time and you’ll see the change.” He said, and chewed his lower lip while he considered what to say next.

Marino totally lost his train of thought though when she met his eyes. Suddenly the hesitation earlier made much more sense. It also clicked why she would want to travel away from the people she knew there. If he had been in her situation he would have done the same in a heartbeat. Looking into her eyes for a long while, he nodded. “I understand, and I am happy to call you friend. I..” He started, but was interrupted by a splash off the port side, and just barely catching a grey blur as it did a triple flip before splashing back down into the water.

Twist found us.” He said with a grin, and went over to the side to watch as Twist poked his head up and started enthusiastically clicking at him from the water before dipping down below. Waving at Twist, he gave Tazrae a sidelong smile. “I suppose it was only a matter of time before the clever porpoise found us out. What do you say about me tighting up the sails so you can try steering under some speed? Then we can find a quiet place to see how well you float.

If she agreed, he’d head down to tighten the sails, and trim them appropriately. Looking over to see that she was watching what line he was grasping, he pulled on the outhaul to tighten and trim the foot so that it had a strong curve across the bottom as the wind caught the slack. Then turning to her, he showed off tying it off as he had before as in his experience, repetition was everything. When the sails were done, he’d stand by the wheel to answer any questions she had about steering the boat. This was done much to the consternation of Twist who would occasionally jump up on either side of the boat, showing off with his flips, and noisily clicking at them. Looking at Tazrae, he just gave her an exasperated smile and shook his head at his Tavan’s antics.


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Lost in the rigging

Postby Tazrae on May 14th, 2020, 3:27 pm

She looked thoughtful at his comment about things rusting and at his offer for her to try. Tazrae nodded then, offered an “Of course I’ll try…” and took the rope from him when he offered it. She tried by herself at first, unsure how to start the process, then glanced up at him with her eyes full of question. He covered her hands with his own and showed her once more how to start the rope then wind it successfully. She tensed, then gradually relaxed, as the whole process became clear and she nodded her understanding and glanced at him, his face inches from hers. She decided there was more to the Svefra – then and there – than just the laughing cousin that seemed to be infested with good humor night and day. She made the loop obediently and finished securing the rope the way he’d instructed, pulling it tight. “It’s a clever thing… I wonder who first thought of how to do this? The cleat is unusual… like nothing on the land. I bet it was a very smart man who did so… someone frustrated at his ropes tangling. This… makes it near impossible to tangle… and you pull here right? Just one solid yank and the rope is free to be unwound quickly.” She added, touching the whole thing now that they were done fastening it.

“It is remarkable… the wit involved in managing the ropes, sails, and thinking of the wind. One had to be part engineer and part mathematician. And that was even before thinking about the tides and weather. I’m starting to think you Svefra get too easily dismissed when to even survive on the sea you have to be incredibly smart.” She remarked, careful not to praise him directly but instead to praise his whole culture. Tazrae wasn’t a someone who just lavished compliments. And she suspected none of this was something Marino invented directly. Instead, he’d grown up in a remarkable culture that could do remarkable things.

In a way, she was envious. And she said as much after a moment. “You are lucky, Marino. And I have to admit I’m a bit envious. I grew up learning how to be quietly unseen… to cook, clean, to make others comfortable, but there’s not a whole lot of skill involved in changing bedsheets and washing linens. Its just had work. But I bet you took your first steps aboard one of these ships and learned to walk among the lines. I picture you here or someplace like here mending sail as a little one… learning to take care of ships like they are living things.” She said softly, offering him a whimsical smile. “It’s a happy picture. I hope I am not wrong. I can’t imagine the freedom this ship gives you… to go anywhere… to do anything. I had to fight tooth and nail just to get on board The Veronica and be someplace other than Riverfall.” She said softly, then glanced at him.

“My father died and my mother lost our Inn. It feel into disrepair and she stopped caring about it. It was a ship with no one worrying about the gromets rotting. She told me once it was my father’s dream not hers. It was the saddest day of my life when I had to pack up what little I owned and go with her, leaving it forever. She became a Nakivak. Do you know what that is? It’s a human woman paid to have an Akalak child. They pay them a great deal because the births are dangerous, but they can’t have children any other way. She wanted me to do the same. She wanted me to sell myself to a stranger to live in comfort and be pampered the rest of what might have been a really short life.” Tazrae said softly, and then shook her head. “I wanted something different. I wanted something like this… something like The Seasilk… only an Inn of my own…. to take care of.” She smiled a little then… an amused smile. “It horrified my mother. We fought and I left. My stepfather, the one that put a baby in my mother’s stomach, gave me the funds to come here. He said even though he was an Akalak and that it was his job to promote the Nakivak system…. He understood. She was furious at him. She said terrible things before I left. But you know…. I don’t think she’ll survive the birth of this child she’s carrying. I think he knew it too. She had me very young, at thirteen in fact, but now she’s thirty five and that’s old for a human… “ Tazrae said, wondering suddenly why she was confiding in Marino. She’d not told a soul here her story. “But he knew James Chaliva and he put me on The Veronica and said if I went anywhere, Syka would be a good place with good people. He wasn’t wrong.” She said after a moment, stepping back, out of the circle of Marino’s gaze, to give herself room to breathe.

They moved on to the operation of the sails.

She glanced up and laughed. “I’ll climb it anytime you need something untangled or repaired. One of the draws to Syka was all the trees. I love climbing… the higher the better! She added, twirling slightly to ease the mood and rising up on her toes with her arms in the air like a dancer…. mimicking the trees. Taz was lighter than Marino and a bit shorter. “Just keep me out of small tight places. I hate them… especially underground. Even my cabin on The Veronica was a bit small for my tastes. I could sleep with the porthole open but mostly I came up on the deck and dozed instead.” She added, figuring him for someone who was unafraid of caves and dark basements.

They moved on to steering directions and stumbled through the friend conversation. It was awkward, but not too awkward. Tazrae blamed herself for making things weird for a moment, but she was a forthright person and she tended to speak what was on her mind. Marino didn’t seem upset by that, just simply surprised. She would have said more to reassure him… to explain further, but Twist showed up and Taz rose from where she was examining the tiller and laughed as the dolphin splashed them in its antics.

“That’s a great idea. Tighten away… do I just sit here and hold the tiller for a moment?” She asked, wondering if she needed to help him tighten anything. But immediately she could see he was used to sailing the ship on his own and had things well in hand before he was back at her side. He’d called out to her as he worked, explaining what he was doing…. tying off lines and trimming sails. The ship responded eagerly, like a horse given free rein, and sped up almost immediately as the wind filled the tighter sails and gave the ship a far greater push.

Tazrae was entertained by the dophins antics and laughed even as Marino tried to give her instructions on the tiller use. They worked on steering for a while, she listening to his instructions and following his directions, nothing the wind direction, the ship speed, and how the water acted beneath them. Before long, Marino was roaming the ship again to adjust the sails, making them go slack and rolling others up to stow as they lay anchor in a beautiful spot where Tazrae assumed they would properly meet the dolphin and see about floating.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
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