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The one thing that keeps me sane during our COVID-enforced social distancing is the boat. It’s not much-a 21-foot motorboat with bench seats and a beefy 125 horse motor. What it represents, though, is sanity. Escape from the problems of shore, immersion in an aquatic world that knows nothing about masks or nasal swabs or stupid political decisions. On the water, more basic elements of survival are at play-sun and wind, currents and waves are the dominant concerns. Below that, the fish migrations have begun and every week brings a new challenge for devoted amateurs like me.
When I can, I convince my wife or kids to come with me. They have homework and social considerations, though, and my wife does not like being on the water unless it’s mirror-smooth. In practical terms, that means 3 out of 4 trips find me off on my own. I love my family, but after almost 2 months at home, three hours by myself is a luxury I take advantage of shamelessly.
Yesterday afternoon was sunny and calm; high tide was just after 3 pm. Work was done for the day, but everyone was in lounging mode when I asked about going out on the boat. The most I got was a “Have fun!” from my wife, accompanied by a languid wave. Chuckling ruefully, I threw water, snacks, bait, and a towel into the boat bag and headed for my car. I was already wearing sunscreen, and my shorts were actually a quick-dry bathing suit, so I was ready for anything.
Not surprisingly, the town marina was full of cars. Most, however, were not boat owners. People go there in droves to sit on the breakwater or walk along the marsh edge that stretches away to the east. On colder days, people sit in their cars at all times of day and watch the water. On that afternoon, though, they were everywhere, and only a few were wearing masks-everyone’s pet peeve these days!
Parking in one of the reserved spots, I waited for some pedestrians to pass and then made my way to the gate. It took only a few minutes to switch on the batteries, lower the engine, and cast off the lines. To keep the sun off, I pulled up the dark-blue bimini top and settled my cell phone and water bottle into the cup holders on the console. Time to go!
In case you don’t know, the speed limit inside a marina is “dead slow”-no one wants a passing boat’s wake rocking everything unnecessarily. I putt-putted along at just under 2 knots, easing around the finger docks and the enormous power cruisers on the outside ends. I collected a couple of friendly waves as I passed by people I knew, and nods from other captains I didn’t. All in all, it was a nice, normal day to be out on the water.
Things changed, however, when I eased past the town boat launch at the mouth of the river. As usual, it was crowded, and although people were polite, it was amateur hour for sure. I should be nice about it, though-it’s not easy to back a trailer down a ramp or pull a boat onto a submerged trailer when everyone around you is watching or waiting! I’ve been there myself and know how self-conscious it can make me. However, the waiting boats usually create a traffic jam of aimless circling hazards to navigation, and it’s sometimes an exercise in patience to get past safely. That day was no exception. I slowed to idle speed, waiting for an opening in the channel and looking around.
One of the best parts about nice weather is that it means fewer clothes. Every guy knows that instinctively, and it was true that afternoon. The pedestrians I had passed, the people sitting on the rocks along the marina, and especially the women on the other boats wore shorts and bikini tops and filmy cover-ups. It was a voyeur’s dream, and I let my eyes roam freely behind my sunglasses while I waited for a chance to get out.
One group of teenagers drew my eye right away. Two boys and two girls, clearly out on someone’s parents’ boat for an afternoon, were attempting to tie up and disembark at the dock beside the boat launch. They missed catching the cleat on their first attempt and had to back and fill as the tide swung them past their spot. One boy was leaning far out with a loop of mooring line trying to lasso the post, but it was not working.
As amusing as their rope-fumbling was, I had a better time watching the two girls as they tried to help. Both wore brightly fluorescent bikinis that revealed a lot of beautiful skin barely touched by the sun. The one in the green bikini was paler and had straight, dark hair that was pulled back into a long ponytail. Her legs were slender, her belly was tight and smooth, and her small breasts barely filled the cups of her bathing suit. When she turned, though, I was immediately drawn by the tight little bubble of her ass. Half of each cheek was outside the line of her suit, and those pale crescents looked amazingly firm and inviting, twitching and bunching as she stepped up onto the seat and tried to balance.
The other girl was less slender, but had fuller curves. Her breasts strained against the shiny blue fabric, and my eyes locking atakent escort onto the pale skin beside and below her top. It was a voyeur’s dream-underboob and side-boob framed a luscious pair of breasts with an inviting swell of cleavage between them. Her belly was not as flat as her friend’s, but her hips were wider and her suit was cut a little lower, drawing my eye down the seductive curve between her hip and thigh. A quick glance at the tiny swell of her mound made one thing clear-here was a girl who kept herself smoothly shaven! There was nothing blocking the line of shadow created by the cleft of her pussy as it curved up from below. God, I love younger women for that! Her ass, by the way, was luscious and full as well, and it jiggled delightfully as she moved to the stern to try and catch hold of the dock. At one point, both girls were leaned over, clinging to the edge board. I almost strained my eyeballs trying to admire those two sweet asses without appearing to stare!
Sadly, the line of boats cleared for a moment and I had to putt-putt away from the girls at last. Smiling ruefully to myself at how much I had enjoyed their youthful beauty, I tapped the throttle forward. Happily, I saw another woman standing at the middle of the dock on the opposite side, looking out at the water. She was clearly not as young as the other two, but her figure was lean and her skin was lightly tanned. I couldn’t see as much because she was wearing denim shorts, a button down shirt tucked up and knotted around her waist, and a floppy hat with small, stylish sunglasses. A big straw bag hung over her near shoulder, obscuring some of my view. Light brown hair was caught up in a low ponytail behind the nape of her neck. Most importantly, a small, brightly colored mask covered the lower part of her face. My kind of woman!
Not wanting to get caught peeking at her, I turned my head openly, ready to nod at her as I went by. She turned toward me at that moment, though, and saw me looking right at her. She tipped her head back for a moment as a greeting.
“Looks nice out there!” she called in a clear voice.
“Perfect day to be out,” I said agreeably. That was it. Nothing suggestive, just a friendly guy trying not to stare as he passed by. From what I could see of her face and her skin, she was probably close to my age. Her smile was relaxed and genuine.
My head started to turn back toward the channel markers and I checked for other boats. Suddenly, I heard that clear voice again off to my left.
“Take me with you!”
Looking back, I have no idea what came over me. I simply nosed the boat to port and backed the engine a little, coming alongside the dock just at the end. I kept enough speed on to hold her there against the tide and looked over my shoulder.
“Are you serious?” I asked simply.
She came toward me with quick steps. “Will you take me?” she asked, her hands on her hips.
Maybe it was the challenge of her posture. Maybe it was the firm line of her thighs as she stood balancing on the dock. Maybe it was the boldness of her manner-not begging, but clearly asking for what she wanted. Whatever it was, I couldn’t resist it.
“Jump on,” I told her, nodding toward the seat next to the console.
With a long, graceful step, my mystery woman went from dock to rail to deck, one hand resting lightly on the brace for the bimini. She dropped her bag on the seat and came to stand beside me, switching her grip to the rail around the console. I headed away from the dock bemusedly and entered the channel. My hand automatically bumped the throttle forward to gain speed.
“I’m Kate,” she said simply. The mask muffled her voice only slightly.
“I’m Steve,” I told her in return.
“Where are we going?” she asked, looking directly at me with a smile in her eyes.
“Well, I was going to go out fishing on Chatham Reef…” I told her.
“Don’t stop on my account,” she said happily. “I love fishing!”
I grinned to myself, thinking guiltily of my wife. “It’s not choppy,” I warned, “but out there you’ll definitely feel the swells. Are you okay with that?”
“Totally. Can I sit here?” she asked, gesturing to the seat beside mine.
“Sure,” I said, nodding dumbly in agreement. Who was this woman? Why was I taking her?
“Would you feel OK if I took my mask off?” she asked as she sat down.
“Of course,” I told her easily. “I mean, I should probably take your temperature and get your medical history and all that, but you seem okay to me.”
She lifted the elastic off her ears and turned to tuck the mask away in her bag. When she turned back, I saw a small nose, full lips, and white, even teeth. She smiled easily up at me. With more of her face revealed, I revised my age estimate upward. While still fresh and beautiful, her skin (like mine) had the tell-tale signs of middle age-fine lines, less elasticity-all the usual stuff. Also, like so many akbatı escort women (and men) in the midst of business closings, she hadn’t had her hair colored in a month or two, and streaks of gray were evident along the edges of her hairline. I’m in my late forties, and I guessed she was about the same or just a tad older.
“I’ve been really careful since this whole thing started,” she told me. “I stocked up before my office closed, and I stayed home for damn near a month before I felt safe enough to go out shopping again.”
“Yeah,” I told her. “We kind of did the same thing. If someone had to go out, it was mask and gloves and sanitizer and drop your clothes at the door and wash your hands for 2 minutes.”
“It’s crazy, isn’t it?” she asked.
“Yeah…that’s a good word for it.”
Lost in that thought, we stopped talking for a minute. My hands worked the throttle and the wheel automatically, guiding us through the long arc of channel markers, making room as another boat came in, and slowly picking up speed as we got away from the crowds. We were still inside the harbor, though, so I kept it down close to the 5-knot speed limit. As we neared the harbor mouth, though, my thoughts returned to my situation.
What kind of person jumps on a stranger’s boat? What kind of woman puts herself in that position? What kind of married man takes a woman he doesn’t know out on a boat in front of the whole town? What the hell was I doing with Kate on my boat?
“I bet you’re wondering what the hell I’m doing here,” she observed in level tones, turning to look at me once more. She had taken off her sunglasses, and I saw for the first time her clear, gray eyes.
I snorted. “Now that you mention it…” I said with a smile.
“Well, I was watching the boats go out and come in for an hour sitting on the rocks, and everyone looked so happy! I was wishing I knew someone with a boat, but I just moved here and I haven’t found someone yet. So when I saw you driving by looking so happy, I just kind of…decided!”
“I’m all for acting on impulse!” I told her in response. “Especially when it comes to getting out on the water.”
“So can I ask you a question now?” she said, still looking steadily at me.
“Do you usually pick up strange women when you’re out on your boat?”
I laughed, then answered her as honestly as I could. “It’s never come up before, but no…I’m not the kind of guy who picks up random women. You just seemed kind of…genuine. Like you just really wanted to go out on the boat and I just wanted to take you.”
“What will the neighbors say?” she asked in a breathlessly affected Southern drawl. Her hand came up to flap beneath her face in feigned agitation.
I laughed again quickly, then put on a serious look, arching my brow like Rhett Butler.
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
Fortunately, that drew a laugh in response, and Kate’s eyes shone with genuine pleasure.
Genuine. That’s a good word for her, I thought to myself.
“Well,” she went on, “I’m glad I had that impulse! I am SO ready for some fishing, and I’m glad I chose the right Southern gentleman to take me out.”
“Hold on to your hat, then,” I warned her. “The reef is another mile or so out, next to the lighthouse…it’s a lot quicker if I get this thing up on plane and run out there fast.”
Wordlessly, Kate tucked her hat away and put her sunglasses back on. Like an old pro, she braced her feet on the bench in front of her and laid her hand on the rail.
“I’m ready, Skipper. Let ‘er rip!”
I grinned in response, then eased the throttle forward until we reached 20 knots. Outside the harbor, I could feel the swells rolling past, but our speed kept us skimming across their tops rather than riding them up and down. The straps of the bimini hummed with the force of the wind against them, and I glanced over at Kate to see if she was okay. She looked amazing! One hand gripped the rail, and the other was on her thigh just below the ragged hem of her shorts. My eyes followed the line of her legs down to her braced feet, admiring the lean muscle, the softly tanned skin, and the dark red splash of color from her toenails. Letting my gaze work its way back up, I took in her flat belly and admired the way the wind pressed her cotton shirt against her breasts. From my angle to the side and slightly above her, I could see down the neck of her shirt pretty easily. All that I saw, though, was the edge of a brightly printed bikini top cutting diagonally downward to a hidden point. Her chin was up, her head turned a little to the side, and a faint smile lingered on her lips as she watched the water fly past.
When I eased the throttle back, she turned to look at me.
“Are we there yet?” she asked with an impish smile.
“Let me show you,” I replied, gesturing to the GPS unit.
Kate stood up, transferring her grip to the console rail again. aksaray escort She leaned across to see what I was looking at. The scent of her hair and her skin filled the air around me, not a powerful perfume but a subtle, feminine combination that suggested sun and health and cleanliness.
“So this is a combination GPS and sonar unit,” I explained. “The reef is just ahead of us here,” I said, tapping the screen. “You can see the edges of it here on the sonar where the line of the bottom changes. It’s 60 feet down right now, but the top of the reef is 25 feet higher, so we’ll drift over that and do some drop-down fishing, okay?”
“Sounds great!” she said happily.
Fortunately, the black sea bass were biting that afternoon. Kate and I drifted across the reef a dozen times, dropping sandworms or jigging with brightly-colored lures. Almost every pass brought up a fish-porgies, sea bass, a sea robin for variety, and even a small kingfish. She was great company-baiting her own hooks, taking the fish off herself, and laughing whenever she missed one or hauled one up. All in all, I couldn’t remember a more pleasant afternoon of fishing in years.
As good as she looked, humor and intelligence and self-sufficiency are powerfully attractive as well. I found myself enjoying her company a lot, and when our activities brought us close together, she didn’t seem to mind being arm to arm or thigh to thigh.
When we had our limit of sea bass, we retreated to the shade of the bimini and let the boat drift downwind with the engine off. There was no one else on the reef-all the avid fishermen were hunting for striped bass in the full sunlight, which usually makes things difficult. We sipped from our water bottles and shared the Cliff Bars I had brought along. Kate contributed some plump, sweet clementines, and we chatted and ate as the boat slipped smoothly across the water.
When she had finished her snack, Kate tucked the remains away and stood back up.
“God!” she said with a grin, “I could do this all day! You are so lucky to have a boat.”
“I know it,” I told her with a smile in return. “It’s my happy place for sure.”
“Do you always fish, or do you just drive around?” she asked.
“Well, I always SAY I’m going fishing, but sometimes I just kick back and let her drift. It’s better than meditation, and it’s a LOT better than mowing the lawn or checking my emails!”
“That does sound good,” she said slowly, glancing forward. “Do you mind if I stretch out on the bench there and get some sun?” she asked.
“Be my guest. I may just take the other bench and join you!”
Permission granted, Kate dropped her hat and sunglasses into her bag. Her shirt came next, revealing the bright bikini top I had seen before. This time, though, I could see the small, firm breasts that it contained and I pretended to be busy with the fishfinder so I could keep my eyes on her discreetly. Finally, she unbuttoned her denim shorts and with a quick shimmy slid them down her legs and kicked them up onto the seat as well. A matching bikini bottom cut like boy shorts showed off the petite curve of her ass and the slim waist above it. I sighed happily to myself when she bent just a little to tuck everything into her bag more neatly.
When that was done, Kate turned around and looked at me forthrightly. “Are you OK with this?” she asked, gesturing to her outfit.
“Whatever makes you happy,” I told her, trying not to leer too openly.
“Hmph,” she responded speculatively. “What about you?”
“Right behind you,” I said, turning off the GPS to save battery.
When that was done, I took off my sunglasses and pulled the lightweight fishing shirt over my head. I turned and folded it into the boat bag, and when I turned back, Kate was still looking directly at me. I saw her eyes travel from my shorts up across my reasonably firm belly, linger on my chest, and then move up to one shoulder before returning to my eyes.
“How’s MY outfit?” I asked in a teasing voice. “I was going for a suburban dad look with a touch of nautical charm.”
That drew the snort it deserved, but Kate’s eyes were shining happily again.
“Looks good to me!” she said with a wicked grin before turning away.
Without another word, she stepped forward and lay face down on the wide bench cushion, pillowing her head on her folded arms. My eyes quickly traced the lean, alluring lines of her body from feet to calves, thighs to ass, waist to back to shoulders, and finally to the side of her face. Her eyes were closed against the sunshine, but that same smiled curled the corners of her lips. I knew she was showing off for me a little, and I appreciated the treat. I guessed that part of her smile was born of feminine smugness-she knew I was looking, and she knew she looked good! My eyes returned to her ass once more, and I followed the curve of her suit bottoms as it dipped between her thighs, the shadowy recess beckoning my gaze.
Shaking my head, though, I went around the other side of the console and mirrored her posture on the other bench. The sun felt great on my back as I settled myself comfortably. My eyes closed against the brightness, and I was quickly lost in the warmth and the subtle rocking beneath me. The only sound was the soft slap of water as it pushed past the fiberglass hull.
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