This is the Featured Chapter

                                 Chapter 1

                             Organizing the trip  

         On a cold and dreary winter day at an automobile plant in Michigan, Jim Spade, a medium-built man with sandy colored hair, in his mid 30s, who loves boating and scuba diving, was talking to Doc Jackson, a small man with graying hair, in his early 50s, who also likes boating. They were talking about going boating somewhere when the weather warms up this coming summer. Last year they went boating and fishing for walleyes in Lake Erie a couple of times. This year they wanted to go some place different. They were talking about maybe the Bahama Islands.

         Jim had been telling Doc about how much fun he had boating in the Florida Keys and how clear the water down there was. Jim, his wife, and his two teen-age children went on a boating vacation last year down to the Florida Keys for the third year in a row. They stayed on his boat at the Faro Blanco marina at Marathon Key. They all went diving out in the ocean for queen couch and lobsters. The kids fished around the marina some when they were at the docks.

        They had boated down the west side of Florida, from Marco Island to Marathon Key and then later boated back up to Marco Island. They steered a course due south down to Marathon Key and a course of due north back up to Marco Island. They had boated through about fifty miles of open water each way and came out right on target both times, without any problems.

         As nice as the water was in the Keys, the water in the Bahamas was twice as nice and you could stay on the beaches on some of the little islands down there. There also was the casino and nightlife at Freeport and it would be a greater adventure than the Keys. Jim was sure that he could boat over to the Grand Bahama Island in his boat without any problems, but it would be unwise not to have at least one other boat to go along for safety.

         Jim and Doc started to fantasize about taking their boats over to the Bahama Islands. From West Palm Beach, it is only fifty-nine miles of Open Ocean to the Grand Bahama Island. In a boat the size of theirsí, you would lose sight of land after you were about twelve miles out from land, and you could see the island that you were going to when you were about twelve miles from it. That leaves only twenty-five miles that you could see only water in all directions. You are in the Devilís Triangle, what could possibly happen in that short of a distance? Well that was the bad side, now for the good side. The water is so clear and the white sandy beaches are as good as they come. The people are friendly; the weather is great any time of the year; what could be better?

         They had talked about it so much that they finally had convinced themselves that Jimís twenty-one foot boat and Docís twenty-three foot boat were big enough to make the trip across to the islands. They figured the amount of fuel it would take to go one way and were sure that their boats both would have enough with plenty left over to safely make it there. A good time to plan on going would be the week of Memorial Day. The vacation policy at the automobile plant where they worked, would allow them to take the Friday before their vacation week with a holiday in it, as their holiday. That would give them an extra day for the trip.

         The trip would require at least two or maybe three boats for safety. That way they would have some help if they had any trouble. They also would want to have at least three or four persons on each boat, to help drive, take care of the boat and to reduce the boat cost of the trip per person. There was also the problem of how to get that many people and the boats down to Florida. It was decided that this trip would be for guys only to make it easier on everyone. Privacy would not be possible, because of living in such close quarters on these boats.

         Jim and Doc started asking some of their fellow workers, to see if any of them were dumb enough that they would want to go along on this trip. The response they got was far greater than expected. It wasnít long before there were enough guys that wanted to go, to fill up three boats, so another boat had to be located. They were told that Jeff Miller, over in the machine shop, had a twenty-three foot boat and was interested in talking about going on this type of a trip. After talking to Jeff, they easily convinced him to join in the adventure. They now had their three boats and enough guys to have a total of four on each boat. This would have to be the maximum number of guys allowed to go because of the space on these boats. Getting vacation at the same time for twelve guys would not be the easiest thing, but with some swapping, bribing, and pleading, the task was completed. Now all they had to do was get the boats and guys down to Florida at the same time.