I love the sea. There is something exciting about it when you stare out at the miles and miles of open water, unable to know what lies out there. It can also be quite haunting and beautiful when you have laid anchor on a clear night and the moon is shining down on the water. But underestimate it and it'll bite your backside.
I'd enjoyed my time on the mainland, spending my share of our latest booty, but I never quite got the hang of staying on land for too long and was glad when I stepped back onto the rocking surface of the ship's deck. The Good Ship Calamity, my home for the last five years. My parents had been French pirates, the best on the seven seas, but one day they were caught out by a passing British naval ship and were blasted out of the water. There were very few survivors, and I was one of them.
My mother had been friends with the Captain of Calamity, maybe more than 'just friends', so when I found myself orphaned at the age of sixteen, he was the person I sought. I must have been a very resourceful sixteen-year-old, because I found him and convinced him to give me a position on his ship.
And here I am, twenty-one, young, good-looking and ready to seize every opportunity I can get. Things could be a lot worse.
'I knew you'd be one of the first back,' a coarse voice from behind the mast drifted to me on the wind.
'This ship is my home. What's your excuse for being here this early George Kelly?' The tall figure of one of my closest friends appeared from behind the mast, his shirt torn and hanging out of his breaches as usual. His hair had been allowed to go uncut for far too long and hung in long dirty blonde rats-tails to his shoulders, and his chin was covered in stubble.
'What can I say,' he said, holding out his hands. 'I have nothing better to do with my time.' I laughed at that, throwing my head back and letting my famous cackle ring out.
'What am I going to do with you?' I laughed looking at the sorry state of my fellow pirate.
'You can do anything you like,' he said, sauntering up to me, looking appreciatively at my figure.
'I don't think that's appropriate Mr. Kelly,' I said flirtatiously, walking away from him, deliberately swaying my hips more than was necessary. 'Now if you don't mind I would like to get settled into my hammock before we set sail.' I looked back, winking at him before disappearing below decks.
There was nothing special about where we slept, it was just rows and rows of hammocks hanging up all the way along the bottom of the ship. I found my hammock in the far corner of the room and put my sack on the floor under it to mark out my territory.
That done I went back up on deck and began helping to prepare the ship for sail. The rest of the crew came back in dribs and drabs. Some of my friends called out to me as they arrived, some stopping to share tales of what we had done on our days in port and share some witty banter.
When the ship was finally prepared and all the crew was aboard, the Captain gave to order to set sail and we pulled away from the harbour.