The Caribbean waves melded themselves against the front of my kayak as I pushed myself towards them, eyes peering at the horizon to gauge the distance between the shore behind me and the waters before me. It wouldn’t feel right if I was too close to land. It wouldn’t be right.
I paddled for another ten minutes until I lost the sound of the shore and only the gulls and the ocean remained with me. I was aiming for an outcrop of the island, thrusting itself out of the water a hundred feet before me. It felt special to me, though I had no idea why. With the wind to my back, it took me very little time to reach my destination.
Coral flashed below and pelicans watched me approach with beady eyes as I let my kayak drift into the rocky island’s wake. My eyes suddenly burned with unshed tears as I reached out and touched the barnacle-encrusted stone, and instead of turning away, a tune pushed its way unbidden to my throat.
“The king and his men, stole the queen from her bed,” I whispered hoarsely, picking up my paddle from my lap and circling the outcrop. “And bound her in her bones…”
I pushed off from the rocks, watching the sea life below follow my boat’s wake as I left the stoney outcrop.
“The seas be ours, and by the powers…”
I started to paddle forward, the wind changing direction to caress my cheek. “Where we will, we’ll roam…”
I took a steadying breath, tears threatening to choke me, and I pushed into the waves with speed, paddling out further past the island as I carried the dead’s silent tune.
“Yo-ho … all hands. Hoist the colours high … heave-ho, thieves and beggars … never shall we die -”
I was in Jamaica a couple years ago, and did a kayak trip. This came from that trip.