Sunday Stories: “On These Seas, Colors Wash to Gray”

On These Seas, Colors Wash to Gray
by Justin Bryant


The South Atlantic Ocean, June 1974

By nightfall, the near-fight between Francis and Randolph had been forgotten. The Barracuda pivoted from her anchor, the stern swinging in slow arcs near a pair of identical rock islands. In the lee of Dyer Island, the water was calm, but winds pushed the fifty seven-foot vessel to the length of her anchor line and into the jagged seas. Cape fur seals bellowed from Geyser Rock, fifty yards across the channel. The wind shifted and brought the ammonia stench of guano from the rocks. Lights from Gansbaai lay like a string of jewels low on the horizon. Just after sunset, sea birds took flight and wheeled away in severe arcs. Cold, dark water chilled the hull. Inside the cabin, the men pulled on sweaters and coats. Lucas caught Randolph’s eye as he was climbing into his bunk. Randolph smiled at him.

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