A nautical romance of gender politics and the Flying Dutchman, as well as a short intermission in which the cast of characters perform a musical composition of their own devising. Having been some days in preparation, a splendid time is guaranteed for all. etc.”


Getting laid while 3200 miles out at sea, especially somewhere in the icy dark of the Bering Sea, is no more challenging than getting laid at any other compass point on this crazy world, especially if you are on the right boat and part of the right crew. The MAMI WATA, a brawny maritime tug, happened to be such a boat and the three women and one young man that made her skip, tick and jump were such a crew. Cum, Southern Comfort and Diesel Dyke Juice being the three main ingredients that kept the old tub afloat, or at least that how the running joke went.

Now, three days out from Sanak Island, young Guillaume asked the tug’s captain, a certain Sidonie-Hélène Régnier, one of the many innocent questions that had been on his mind of late.

“Ma’am,” he began, his lisp slightly more pronounced in his post-coital fuck fog, watching his own 21 year-old cum dribble down the older woman’s chin. “Why is it you enjoy cock so much and yet insist on calling yourself a lesbian? Wouldn’t that make you more bisexual?” The boy had been eying a “That’s Captain Dyke To You, Asshole!” bumper-sticker Sidonie had slapped up over her bunk years and years ago. To answer such a question one has to know that in 1992 the Queer Nation movement was just beginning to find its short-lived baby legs. The academic halls of Bernard College were still riven over the whole Femme/Butch dualistic schism. Andrea Dworkin and her ilk were doing their damnedest to dismantle 3rd Wave Feminism from within by redirecting focus away from equal pay and civil rights and instead drafting obscenity laws making all pornographic images a federal offense and defining all acts of penetration as rape.

“Because it is 1992 and there are still a lot ignorant fools walking the face of this world making sure sisterhood isn’t powerful after all. Seriously, when academics started taking books like Dworkin’s Intercourse at face value, well, I looked at the writing on the wall and thought that it was a good time as any to haul scrap iron across the Bering Sea for the Canadian government,” Sidonie smiles, licking her fingers clean. “As for what I call myself? Shit, baby, we’re a long way from home and the sea doesn’t care whose cock I suck or whose cunt I fist. When I is a titty-biddy Sidonie I always wanted to run away to sea and live in my own little gypsy boat. And here I am, doing just that. Of course, back then, I thought I is going to grow up to be Lindsay Wagner from The Bionic Woman TV show, too, but this life we have for ourselves ain’t so bad now, is it?”

Guillaume wasn’t sure if his captain had actually answered his question but gender politics is a complicated issue on the best of days, not to mention a buzz-kill after a toe-curling orgasm, and since it was the fey young man’s turn to make Sidonie cum he simply grinned and marveled at her flexibility as he pressed the older woman’s ankles back, further and further over her shoulders, until they framed either side of her round face, her neatly trimmed cunt slowly opening like the Ark of the Covenant, something precious only gods and fools can stand before and not be consumed in divine fire.

“Mmm, Isis,” the other sighed softly between her lips. “Make me cum, boy. Make me cum.”

… and he did, while, under them, one deck down, Tanisha lay on her back, finishing up tightening a giant bolt with an equally giant sprocket wrench. From a distance, people always thought Tanisha an attractive man. Two thousand years ago her shapely, solid, muscular body would have served her well in gladiatorial combat. One could imagine her standing in the Circus Maximus of ancient Rome, naked save for a plumed helmet, clit ring and notched ax, while the glorious elite thundered their applause. Now she stood, shaven bald, tattooed, her sassy brown eyes squinting as she tugged and struggled with the wrench. She had mastered tomboy chic at an early age and decided she liked engines and machines far more than boys and frilly dresses. Actually, Tanisha chuckled, machines are better than girls, too, since straddling a carbine at full throttle could always bring her to orgasm but it would never talk shit behind her back the next day.

Whether or not the new crew member, Aizanne, shared in this sentiment was something to be seen. To her way of thinking, Tanisha was a bit of an enigma in more ways than just her appearance. Aizanne deduced early on that the captain had a weakness for beautiful young men, since the little effeminate twenty-something rarely left her cabin when he wasn’t on duty. What got Tanisha’s juices flowing, however, Aizanne did not know, but wanted to find out. She was damn sure that she wasn’t about to spend two weeks below deck, working along side this Amazonian goddess on the diesel turbines of the MAMI WATA and not get any nookie sucking, finger fucking, muff-diving, double-headed dildo action. A girl is only human, after all.

As Tanisha yanked the sprocket wrench away she pulled her tank top to one side, letting her left nipple pop out like a lone lighthouse on a cliff. At that moment, she caught Aizanne’s gaze with an unspoken challenge, as if daring the initiate to look even closer. Then she rolled toward her, giving Aizanne a full view of both breasts as she clamored off the bench.

“See anythin’ ye loch?” she asked in her thick Berwick-upon-Tweed accent.

Aizanne could not keep her eyes off Tanisha’s muscular body and broad back. The ambient light softened her edges, turning a bald, curvy hooligan into something otherworldly and exotic. This would be a fun run across the Straits. She slowly nodded.

Tanisha simply grabbed the other’s hand and led her out from the engines to the locker room. Aizanne felt heat beat up between her legs at the strange woman’s touch and was grateful when they were finally inside the small ship’s head. Tanisha sat down on a metal Neiman Marcus chair and proceeded to strip off her tank top. She motioned for Aizanne to come in and do the same.

Being the product of a nightmarish childhood in the Japanese port city of Fukuoka, after a many long years of hard living Aizanne finally found her calling and sanctuary in the heart of the sea. Under the filth and oil, the orange jacket, the Doc Martins and Polypropylene shirts and a pair of insulated coveralls, she might even be considered beautiful. Today, though, she was rude and filthy, a grease monkey in every sense of the term and there has yet to be an erotic story written for grease monkeys. Perhaps one day there will be.

With a quick motion, Tanisha pulled off her overalls and boxer shorts while revealing a billowy mound of curly brown hair nestled between dark caramel legs.

Tanisha grinned at Aizanne, still only half undressed, staring at the naked body before her, and began toying with the belted waistband of Aizanne’s grease-covered coveralls. The night runs chill and lashes at the tug outside the tiny porthole but inside the shower was hot and steam crept into every muscle and joint of the two women. As Tanisha tugged at Aizanne’s clothing, she slipped her hand down inside of the other’s coveralls, under her the wet swelling mound and began to play with the thong fabric that defined the curves of Aizanne’s plump cunt lips.

Hot water ran over both of their bodies, washing away a lifetime of cheap beer, engine grime and pain, all with a sassy smile. Tanisha reached over and kissed Aizanne hard on her mouth. Soon her strong, muscular thighs strained as Aizanne licked her way down to her goddess-giver cunt. Golden skin on golden skin. Aizanne marveled at Tanisha’s tattoos, sea maps to unknown lands. She even stopped to feast on Tanisha’s right nipple and reach up to embrace her athletic frame.

As Aizanne swirled Tanisha’s thick pubic hair around her tongue she could easily sense the other’s rapid readiness. The orgasm is divine, it is the prime directive of the living and everything that the dead long for. It is what the drowned remember fifty fathoms deep. The wind in the sails mimics our cumming cries. The waves yawp and break the way cum dashes itself from deep inside our souls — always up and out and into the open. Sea spray. Sex spray. The sea is one storm-tossed orgasm after another. Slowly, the new woman shifted her position and edged down to the top of the amazon’s clit, gently rubbing the rising knob. Tanisha let out a throaty ohhh as Aizanne’s fingers parted her soaking lips and pushed into the warm, throbbing depths of her folds. In pleasure, as in pain, Tanisha made noises as the sea fowls do, screaming over the yawning gulf, until her orgasm collapsed in upon herself and the great shroud of pleasure rolled over her as it has rolled over all us for a million-million years.


It was Thursday and Guillaume, wearing a life vest and tool belt, jumped down into the darkness. He stood in a great cavernous hull listening: an oily, resonating sound mixes with the screaky, rusty steel grinding slowly away and the occasional slap-slap of a vast ocean moving over the barge’s sides, only a few feet away. This was the bread and butter of the crew of the MAMI WATA; rusty piles of industry and girders ranged in corroded heaps, disappearing into the gloom. Scrap metal would always fetch a reasonable price wherever it was that they were going.

On a normal run the MAMI WATA could easily pull the decrepit, 6000-ton tank barge. It might take two weeks but the tug was designed especially for that job. Except now, despite the protesting engines, the crew and their cargo at the other end of a 150 foot tow cable were losing speed, day after day.

Guillaume reached a low point in the black hull and shown his flashlight down upon a small lake of sloshing brine, foul as rancid milk in a dish, lapping noisily against the side of the bulkhead. The young man was able to estimate, after staring for a moment as the water slushed back and forth, that just below the waterline there must rest a leak in the ancient seams of the barge’s steel plates. If not corrected the barge would break apart, sinking to the depth and dragging the MAMI WATA with it.

Guillaume stopped at the foot of the companionway and pulled himself up the rickety metal ladder, standing for a moment on the swaying deck. It was a typical summer day in the southern Straits; a healthy swell and a stiff icy breeze that arrived endlessly out from the southeast. He closed the hatch behind him and made his way forward.

Up ahead the tug chugged steadily on, its pink-black clouds of exhaust rising from massive diesel turbine vents.

Guillaume cinched and checked his body harness. There was not an ounce of machismo in his slender frame and yet, deep down, he relished the thrills of working on the open sea. This primitive method of crossing the gulf that separated the two vessels was such an example. He clipped his harness onto a heavy pair of eye-cleats and then climbed out, onto the swaying tow cable, a tiny speck hanging over the endless, black, crushing depths as the waves crest and crashed across the bow, only a foot or so beneath him. It reminded him of the old Tom Swift stories his mother once read to him, stories of future people simply shuttling between lighter-than-air vehicles hanging miles over the earth, all on guide ropes, as nonchalant and easy going as crossing a street. The only difference being that if a roller knocked him off his perch the rest of the tug’s crew would have no way of saving him from being crushed by the rusty bulk of the barge. Still, he thought as he starts off toward the tug at the other end, this was exciting.

On the opposite end of the metal cable Aizanne and Tanisha monitored the young man’s progress from the stern. Aizanne had been hired on as chief engineer. She now wore the same soiled coveralls and nicotine stained fingers that were de rigueur for all nautical mechanics the world over. Tanisha was the acting first mate of the MAMI WATA. As far as Aizanne could figure out her new lover hailed from some backwater, red-neck hellhole, probably Carlisle or maybe Newcastle, populated by the type of people who always feel threatened by everything that symbolizes this particular Afro-Jamaican.

“They didne ken whether tae caa me dyke ur faggot sae they called me baith until Ah was auld enaw tae stain up fur myself. ‘en Ah showed them some ‘Come tae Jesus’ pay back.”

“A big pay back?”

Tanisha was silent for a moment, then she picked up the other woman’s hands and lightly kissed each fingertip.

“Bairn, thaur was some stoatin’ satisfaction tae be foond in breakin’ aw th’ teeth ay a snot-nosed rich college brat fa thought jist coz he had tois an’ a half inches atween his legs he could dae whatever he wants. Let’s jist say efter ‘at Ah hud tae disappear sae Ah cam it haur.”

The two women watched as Guillaume pulled himself, inch by inch, toward them, the cable occasionally dipping down a few feet with ocean spray as a passing swell moves by. Tanisha smiled at the boy, showing something close to sisterly pride.

“Swatch at th’ life we’ve got. Nae bigots ur religioos fools tae be gettin’ intae yer business. Jist ‘ard wark an’ ‘ard feckin’ an’ a pay check when we pull intae dock. That’s th’ guid life, mah bairn, th’ guid life.”

It was exactly for that same reasons that the effeminate young man had signed up to work on the MAMI WATA; a lifetime of abuse by the good folks in Topeka, Kansas, had taught Guillaume that the only use God-fearin’ holy rollers had for delicate boys was to break them in the most sadistic ways possible. Those same good folks nearly had done just that until Sidonie chanced upon him and taken him on-board. That changed everything and it was from then on that the old tug began collecting her orphan crew of Amor Oscuro, as the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca once called this particular flavor of love.

The two women hurried forward to help Guillaume pull himself into the stern where the cable wound into the housing for the tow anchor.

Guillaume explained what he saw and added: “It’s a slow leak.”

He unfastened his harness and dropped to the deck.

Tanisha was concerned, “Whit dae ye pure techt by ‘slow’?”

The young man ran a hand through his glorious mane of hair and thought for a second, “Maybe twenty gallons an hour? Maybe more?”

Now it was Aizanne’s turn to look concerned, “Where was it coming in from?”

“Amidship, somewhere starboard down at the beam,” Guillaume shrugged. “Just under the waterline. Maybe it’s a problem.”

Tanisha laughed and slapped the boy on the shoulder. There was no sexual attraction between the two, which let Tanisha treat the young man as a friend, sometimes even as a kid brother, “Hear ‘at, Aizanne, loove? Guillaume thought it micht be a problem.”

The smile fails to return to the other’s eyes but it was clear to him that Aizanne was not angry at the bearer of bad news, rather her scowl was directed to the dark hulk that moved slowly behind them in their wake. She scanned the horizon for a moment, taking in the endless, empty heavens, before turning back to her comrades, “Good. I’ll sleep better knowing that.”

Inside the tug’s pilothouse, the captain, Sidonie, stared at the green glow cast by the GPS navigation equipment. At 48 she had been at sea for most of her adult life and it manifested itself in the crows feet at the corners of her eyes and the great swath of silver hair that cascades like a frozen waterfall, from the widow’s peak at the top of her forehead, all the way to the shapely apple-curve of her ass. She sipped her coffee and glanced out across the wide stretch of infinite sea. A walkie-talkie by her elbow suddenly rattled to life.


She listened to her first mate on the other end, Tanisha’s accent mixed with the cry of wind.

“Th’ number nine oan th’ starboard side’s half flooded. Guillaume says it’s a slaw leak jist under th’ waterline, abit twintie gallons an hoor. We must’ve burst somethin’ afair we left Sitka.”

Sidonie frowned. “Did we?” It was not a question, it wasn’t even dry humor. Finally she said: “What do you think, Aizanne?”

Aizanne’s voice, suddenly half-consumed in white static, drifted away for a second and then came back strong.

“If it started out at twenty an hour we’d be at the bottom of the Straits by right now, Ma’am. Still, whether it’ll make Nova Scotia was still to be seen.”

Sidonie thought about it for a moment while Tanisha signed off in the curious manner the four of them developed, more to amuse themselves than anything else.

“Red sky at nicht, sailor’s delecht,” Tanisha chuckled into the microphone.

“Red sky at morning,” echoed Sidonie, finishing the nursery rhyme, “Sailors take warning.”


According to the Pirate Captain, in the yarn, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists, the best thing about being a pirate are the sea shanties. This was just as true for the crew of the MAMI WATA as it was back in the old shiver-me-timber days of Black Bellamy. In fact, being such avid fans of shanties, when the tug docked in Liverpool, more often than not the quartet could be found down in the old Pog Mo Thoin Pub, enlivening the crowd with snatches of song and ribald descriptions of their daring-do.

Tanisha, naturally, played the washboard and spoons while Aizanne was a pro on the upside down washtub with a broom handle, standing in for a dandy, upright bass. Guillaume, as the band’s vocalist, naturally was drawn to the more macabre and gruesome tunes, hailing, as he was, from the Midwest. The Flying Dutchman, the legend of a 18th century ghost mar-of-war that can never make it around the Cape of Good Hope, doomed to sail the oceans forever, was one of his favorites. Sidonie was a master on the tenor saxophone and between the four of them they kept the shanties hoping all through the night. THE SCHEMING VICARS, for that was the band name they adopted, were popular enough to draw a steady crowd. Jazz-fusion shanties are hard to discover in their natural element, but when one does stumble upon one, it is well worth the effort.

De vliegende Hollander.

De vliegende Hollander.

‘Twas on a dark and cheerless night

to the south side of the Cape,

from a bitter and cruel nor’wester

we had just barely made our escape.

Like a Bairn in her cradle,

all hands lay fast asleep;

and peacefully we sailed along,

o’er the bosom of The Deep.

De vliegende Hollander.

De vliegende Hollander.

Just then the watchman gave a fearful shout

as if some dark shadow had just blotted the moon out.

The sea all round us turned to blood and moonshine,

and we saw the Flying Dutchman

come a-bounding o’er the brine.

De vliegende Hollander.

De vliegende Hollander.

Oi! our gallant crew, all hands to the rigging

as the ghost ship passed o’er our lee.

It takes a real bull-dagger to beat the Devil of the Sea.

Pity poor Vanderdecken, forever is his doom;

and the seas around our storm-tossed Cape

remain his living tomb.

He’s doomed to sail forever and a day

and never again shall his soul enter

the sheltered cove at Halifax Bay.


All afternoon the MAMI WATA pulled its barge between the swells of the gray ocean and grim sky. At midnight it was Tanisha’s watch at the wheel and as night crept over the sea and visibility diminished she periodically turned her head to check the GPS radar against their position. At exactly 12:34 in the morning she paused and stared. A frown crossed over her chiseled, androgynous features. The radar beeps a second time and her frown deepened. Reaching across to her walkie-talkie she spoke into the white static hiss.

September 2018
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