A Little R & R
by George Miller
It was only six in the morning when the ladies arrived at the docks. They all held the belief that this was a cruise that was going to remain in their memories for many years to come.
They were all standing there looking at the beautiful ship in awe. Were they really here? It was just too good to believe. They had traveled from all parts of the country to be here at this very moment.
“We’re really here,” Linda said.
“I know, isn’t this great?” Elaine added.
“After all these years, we’re finally going to meet him,” Dani said. “I don’t know if I can control myself.”
Chris placed her hand on Dani’s shoulder, “You may not be alone with that feeling.”
Norma asked the group, “Are you sure this is the time Carol told us to be here? I’d hate to think we’ve got the wrong day.”
Teela was the first to answer, “Oh, yes. This is the day Carol told us about.”
“I’m sure she would know,” Elaine said. “After all she has that inside contact to the Seaview.”
“That’s right,” Dani laughed. “I guess you could call Admiral Nelson a pretty reliable contact.”
“It’s just too bad she couldn’t be here this time.”
“Well, after spending those three weeks aboard the Seaview, work has her pulling double shifts.”
“But, you know,” Teela said, “she tells me she doesn’t mind pulling all those double shifts. She said it was a small price to pay.”
Everyone had to laugh in agreement to that. “Well, ladies,” Bobbie said, “should we go aboard?”
They all picked up their bags and began the walk up the ramp. At the top of the ramp, they were greeted by an awaiting crew member of the ship.
“Hello, ladies. Welcome aboard. My name is Julie McCoy. I’ll be your cruise director during you time here on the Pacific Princess.”
“Thank you, Miss McCoy,” Linda said.
“Please, call me Julie.”
“Sure, Julie, let me introduce everyone to you...” Linda said as she directed Julie’s attention to each of her group. “This is Chris and Elaine. This is Dani, Bobbie, Norma and Teela... and my name is Linda. We’re the Seagals!”
“Oh, yes, the Seagals. I was told you would be aboard this trip.” Julie began flipping through her boarding sheets for their cabin assignments. “Ah, here you are... I’ve found you cabin numbers. This is strange...”
“You all have separate rooms. From what I’ve heard of the Seagals is that sometimes you can party late into the night.”
“Oh, while that’s true, we decided that we have our reasons for individual rooms... after all this is the Love Boat, right? Anything might happen...”
“That’s fine... you just have a wonderful cruise. I’ll have Gopher take your bags to your rooms,” Julie said while giving the room numbers to each of the Seagals. “You can join the others on the upper deck for departure... it’s sort of a tradition.”
Off to the side a few of the Seagals were sort of arguing, “You ask her.”
“No, you ask her.”
“No, I can’t.”
Oh, I’ll do it, “Chris said. Turning to Julie she asked the question they all wanted to know, “We were just wondering... Do your records indicate if a man named Lee Crane will be on this cruise?”
Julie flipped through her sheets again. “Yes, he is listed here. He has not checked in as of yet, but he should be here soon. Do you know this Mr. Crane? Is he expecting you?”
“Not exactly... We all know of Mr. Crane, but he’s not expecting us.”
“Well, I’m sure you will be able to find him sometime during the cruise.”
They all thanked Julie for her help and as Gopher picked up their bags, they made their way quickly to the upper deck. They were determined to get a spot by the rail where they could see every passenger come on board. The anticipation was building.
They all stood by the railing, watching guest after guest come aboard. Not one of the group had actually seen Lee come aboard.
Dani looked at her watch and said, “I’m getting worried. It’s a quarter to twelve and we are supposed to set sail at noon.”
“Where is he?”
“He just has to make it!!”
At least we know he does have reservations, so we know Carol was right with her information.”
“I know, but it’s not going to be anything like we expected if he doesn’t show up.”
They continued their vigilance at the rail, right up to the last moment. They watched as the platform leading to the ship was removed. They started to scan the area near the ship, looking for anything that might indicate the Lee would still make the cruise.
The large horns gave several blasts as the Pacific Princess began to pull away from the dock. People, both on board as well as on the docks, were cheering and screaming their good-byes and tossing the confetti overboard.
It was obvious that there were seven very unhappy Seagals on board as the ship pulled out to sea. They had decided to make the best of a bad situation. The weather was fantastic and the ship was very beautiful. Perhaps they could have a good time after all. They all decided to go by their cabins, put on their swimsuits and head out to the Lido deck and spend some time by the pool.
Captain Stuebing was in his cabin with Adam Bricker going over some report sheets from his crew. He thought how glad he was when everything was going so smoothly. It was at that moment that he received a message from the intercom on his desk of an important call that needed his immediate attention.
He acknowledged the message and picked up the phone. Adam was showing his concern as he could only hear his Captain’s end of the conversation.
“Yes, this is Captain Steubing... I see... well this is mighty unusual... But... Yes, Sir... I understand. I’ll make all the arrangements. No problem, Sir. I’m glad I can help.”
Captain Steubing replaced the phone and picked up the intercom and called to his Control Room, “This is the Captain. All engines stop. Prepare for boarding.”
“Boarding, Sir?” the response came.
“Yes! Repeat, stop engines, prepare for boarding.”
Adam, with a questioning look to his Captain said, “Boarding, Sir? Out here almost fifty miles from shore?”
“I know it’s unusual, but I need to go greet our guest. You can come along if you’d like.”
“I think I will...”
Up on the deck of the Pacific Princess, the guests could tell the ship had stopped. They were all wondering if it was some kind of problem. All of a sudden several people were calling out from the rail on the starboard side of the ship. The Seagals, also becoming very curious, ran to the rail to see what all the excitement was.
Elaine spotted the change in the calm ocean surface. She yelled to the others and pointed to an area about one hundred yards from the ship where the bubbles were showing. While most all the guests had no idea what was happening, the Seagals knew right away.
They stood in awe as before them the great sleek gray body of the Seaview broke the surface. Water ran from the conning tower and from her decks. It was a breathtaking site to behold. Their disappointment was changed to joyous expectations once again as they saw the deck hatch opening.
Norma pointed to the hatch towards the front of the Seaview, “Look, I think that’s Sharkey. Yes... Yes, it is. What’s he doing?”
Teela answered her, “It look like he preparing a raft.”
Dani was watching the hatch by the conning tower, “Look... over there... is that Kowalski?”
“Yes, it is,” Bobbie said. “Look, there’s someone else coming out on deck. My God, it’s Admiral Nelson!”
The other guests were all watching the Seagals, trying to understand how they seemed to know everyone they saw come out of the mysterious submarine.
“LOOK!!!” Chris screamed. “There right next to the Admiral. That’s Captain Crane!”
“This is unbelievable!”
They watched closely as Sharkey lowered the raft and put some baggage in it. As the raft hit the surface of the ocean, he climbed down the rope ladder along with Kowalski. The two sailors waited while Crane had a few final words with Nelson and then joined them in the raft.
The Seagals were all smiles and laughter again. Their Captain was indeed going to be on board with them. The only thing was that they had no idea how they were going to actually meet him. They were too thrilled as they watched the raft approach the ocean liner to worry about that now.
They stayed by the rail as Captain Crane climbed the rope ladder to board the Pacific Princess. They watch as Kowalski and Sharkey gave their skipper a salute and shoved off with their raft to return to the Seaview. They could see the Admiral as he gave a final wave to his Captain.
The Seagals continued watching, even as the other guest were returning to whatever they were doing before the excitement. They wanted to enjoy every moment they could as they watched the fantastic submarine Seaview and some members of her crew. Kowalski and Sharkey made it back to the submarine and Sharky deflated the raft and passed it back through the hatch.
Sharkey and Kowalski followed the raft through the hatch. On the conning tower another sailor made an appearance next to Admiral Nelson.
Elaine called out excitedly, “Look, there next to Nelson... That’s Chip!”
In another few moments, Admiral Nelson went through the hatch, followed by Chip. All hatches were secured and the Seaview began to dive back into the ocean’s depth’s. In just a few minutes, the sea was calm again... as if the Seaview had never been there. But the Seagals knew better. They all continued to stare at the ocean as if they could still see the Seaview as it continued it’s journey...
Captain Steubing was there as Captain Crane came aboard. Captain Crane stopped and asked Steubing, “Permission to come aboard, Sir?”
“Permission granted!” Captain Steubing said. “It’s good to have you aboard.”
“I’m glad to be here.” Crane added. “Sorry I’m late.”
“Well, I will admit that it is unusual to have guests arrive in this manner, but it was great to see your Seaview. I’m glad your Admiral called to ask for us to stop. He’s a great man!”
“You won’t get an argument from me on that...”
“So, tell me Captain, is there anything I can get for you?”
“No, thank you, Captain. I just need a little time in the sun. We’ve been on a major research mission and have been below the surface for the last four months.”
“That’s fine. Julie McCoy here,” Steubing said indicating the lady next to him, “has your room assignment. Your baggage has already been sent. I hope you’ll be able to join me for dinner this evening. There’s so much I’d like to ask you.”
“I’ll look forward to it, Captain!”
Lee got his information from Julie, “Thank you. I think I’ll go by my cabin and change and go spend some time relaxing by the pool. It’ll be great to just sit and bask in the sunshine.”
The Seagals, reclaiming their chaise lounges by the pool, were all busy with their thoughts as to just how they were going to meet their Captain. This was not given to much thought since they were all so excited about the idea of just seeing him.
As they were talking quietly about a few ideas... most of which were turned down by the others, Chris spotted Lee coming out onto the deck. He had changed into swim trunks and had on a light windbreaker. He stopped by the bar and got a drink from Isaac and made his way to a chaise by the pool.
He was happy that the other gusts did not recognize him as being the cause for all the earlier confusion... at least he thought no one recognized him... He sipped his drink and relaxed back into the chair to soak up the sun that he had seen so little of over the previous months.
The Seagals were all talking amongst themselves now, “Well, what are we going to do?”
“It’s got to be something that’s not too obvious.”
“Yeah, we don’t want to scare him away.”
“I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could sit here for hours and just catch glimpses of him.”
“That may be enough for you, but I want to meet him... I just don’t know how... yet.”
They continued watching Lee, trying not to be noticed. After all, they all agreed, they have two weeks to be on this cruise. There will be plenty of time. They also agreed that they did not want to wait for the last day to meet him, either.
Chris said, “Well, while we’re all thinking of how we’re going to handle this, I’m going to go over and get a drink from Isaac. Anyone else want anything?”
With the drink orders subjected to her memory, Chris got up and started towards the bar. She knew she would have to pass right near Lee on the way. To her, this was not a problem.
As she was nearing Lee and going past the pool, she stumbled and fell into the pool. She left out a scream and began flailing at the water...
“Help me,” she cried out. “I can’t swim.... Help me, someone...” She continued to fight the water and calling for help. The rest of the Seagals thought they recognized the voice and looked up to see what was wrong. Other guest were coming around the pool at the cries for help.
Lee Crane, looked back over his shoulder and immediately jumped into action. He through off his windbreaker and dove into the pool. He reached Carol as she was sinking towards the bottom of the pool. He brought her to the surface as quickly as possible. He carried her over to the edge of the pool and laid her down.
“She’s not breathing!!!” someone cried out.
Captain Crane, using all his training acquired after so many years aboard Seaview started administering CPR. Chris’s body was limp as Lee continued his CPR and began mouth to mouth resuscitation. Within moments, Chris began to cough and breath on her own. Lee knew she was going to be fine. He told the other people around them that the crisis was over and that all this lady needed was a little room to breath. The crowd dispersed with the exception of the other six Seagals.
Chris sat up and Lee supported her back, “Listen... you need to take it easy...”
Chris looked into his eyes and said, “I just can’t think of the words to thank you for what you’ve done.”
“That’s OK... no thanks are needed. I’m just glad you’re going to be all right.”
“No.. No, you must let me repay your kindness and quick action...” Chris looked to her six friends and continued, “Please, I’d love it if you could join me and my friends for dinner. You’ve really saved my life, so please... would you consider it?”
Lee looked up and saw Captain Steubing rushing towards the scene of the earlier confusion. He turned back to Chris and said, “Yes... I’d love that, thank you...”
“Wonderful... I’ll look forward to it. Thanks again...”
Lee stated, “I don’t even know your names...”
Chris answered, “I can fix that... Let me introduce my friends to you... This is Elaine, Linda, Dani, Bobbie, Norma and Teela... and my name is Chris.”
Lee saw that Steubing was getting closer and wanted to assure him that everything was OK here. “Can you ladies excuse me for just a moment? I’d better let the Captain know that everything is all right here. He looks a little upset and I can understand how he feels. After all, this is his ship and he is responsible for everyone’s safety.”
“Sure,” Chris said, “We’ll be right here... I think I need a few moments to catch my breath.”
As Lee was going to meet with the Captain, Elaine turned to Chris, “And just what was that all about?”
“What do you mean?” Chris asked.
“You can’t swim??? What was that all about? You were the champion swimmer in college.”
“Listen,” Chris whispered, “I know that and you know that, but Lee doesn’t.”
“But, how did you know you could pull it off?”
“Simple,” Chris added. “While I may have been a champion swimmer... I also was first in my drama classes. I thought I’d never have to use that knowledge...”
“But Chris.” All the others asked... “Does he have any tattoos?”
Sitting back and looking over towards Lee, Chris simply said... “I don’t know... and I don’t think it matters... after all, he saved my life...”
All the Seagals were laughing heartily when Lee returned. “I’m glad to see you are feeling better. Oh, and yes I would love to join you for dinner... on one condition...”
“Anything... Just name it...”
The Captain has asked that I join him this evening at his table... I told him only if my friends could join us.”
The Seagals looked to each other and took only a moment to answer... “Yes, we’d love to!”
Lee thought for a moment and added, “I know your names, but I have not introduced myself... I’m Lee... Lee Crane.”
Chris, speaking for the whole group added, “We know... It’s a pleasure to meet you... Captain...”
Captain Crane stood there looking from one Seagal to the other and raised one eyebrow in curiosity...
The Seagals just laughed to themselves... This was going to be a voyage to remember....
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