Tyler Brown
Stories From the Crow's Nest (2 of 10)

It was also a job that I could do tired, sick, or hung over,
so I participated in everything under the sun and stars
on the Tara May.

Tara was a beastly ship that had once stood toe to toe with three Spanish galleons off the coast of France, and by the time the seas had calmed and the guns had ceased, two of the galleons were put to rest on the ocean floor. The last one was so beat to hell that they plundered her for all she was worth and executed everybody else on board before setting it ablaze. 

Tara was an accomplice to the British Navy, however she governed herself.  A privateering packet out of London, the queen paid the members of the Tara May to perform unorthodox tasks off the European coast.  I had been on the Tara May for just a few weeks before I got my first order to go aloft.  I was a victim of her vigilante press gang that would round up young drunks on late nights at the taverns.  To tell you the truth though, I was quite grateful to be with the privateering crew rather than an ordinary seamen in the British Navy.  The captain and the officers were more laid back and discipline was less of an issue.  It was still quite present though.  I hadn’t been on board for 48 hours yet when I was flogged for the first and hopefully last time for pissing off the side of the ship.  The heads were full and nature called.  The cat-of-nine-tails ripped into my fleshy back with such force that before I knew it I had a checked shirt.  That’s nautical lingo for the checker-like cuts the whip leaves on your back.  Oozing with blood, they took me to sick bay where I laid in a hammock for a little over a day because of the blood loss.

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