THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 126
…The Coast Guard Cutter Monsoon is still 10 nautical miles away, so please be careful.…
— A needle in a haystack. That is an apt odds-against appraisal of Roy Crippen’s odds in locating either the helicopter or the boat carrying the McKinney boys. But Roy knows the Gulf like some people do their backyard pool, having seen it all in his fishing boat or 300 miles above aboard the International Space Station and now taking his sweet whirlybird up to its 4,000 foot ceiling for his best view. There are few boats less than 200 feet out in the northerly chop and most of the oil derricks have their crew choppers parked, waiting for the first shift to end, with the second shift still on the mainland.
“There has been a possible sighting, 120 miles due south of Biloxi Mississippi, by the Deep Water Neptune, a BP rig. They are being boarded by what they believe are pirates,” Braden King’s temporary replacement is on the ball.
“Pirates of the Caribbean, great, is the Black Pearl flying the Jolly Roger with Captain Jack Sparrow denuding them of their oil?” Every seafaring lad had seen those old Johnny Depp movies. “Did you say the Neptune; I think I know the day foreman there. Tell anyone who cares that I’m a 25 miles southeast and closing in.”
“The Coast Guard Cutter Monsoon is still 10 nautical miles away, so please be careful.”
Careful is the operative word, seeing that all he has for guns is an old Colt 45, given to him by his grandfather
A sizeable ship has docked alongside the Deep Water Neptune, without permission or explanation. If the crew suspects pirates, look for some armed resistance on their part. And had it been the ship alone, the rough and tumble brutes could hold their own. All three legs of the platform are secured.
The addition of an incoming helicopter tips the balance of power. Is it Rompin’ Roy and his six-shooter to the rescue?
Sadly no, it is not the square shooter from South Texas. This twin-rotary ransacker is armed with a potent arsenal from which to subdue the rig. After strafing the deck, clearing it of resisters, the camouflaged war bird sets down with a resounding clumsy thud, plainly bottoming out, perhaps because the folks inside were in a panic.
THE RETURN TRIP