Some kids are obsessed with space, others dinosaurs. My brother, Jimmy, was obsessed with pirates. His idea of a pirate was the cartoon kind, where they spend days searching for buried treasure, talking to parrots and fighting evil pirates until one of them is knocked overboard but miraculously unhurt.
You couldn’t imagine his excitement when he learned that pirates were still around today. I don’t know where he heard that, but I was sure it was a different type of pirate to what he was thinking of. The kind who browse the website Pirate Cove and download movies. My explanation didn’t stop him. Jimmy went straight to my dad’s boat and climbed aboard, dragging me along with him.
“Argh, me mateys, there’s treasure to be finding and I don’t want to waste another minute blabbing,” he yelled.
“But Captain, the anchor winch isn’t ready,” I said, more than happy to annoy him.
“Well, where can I get anchor winch installations, First Mate Sam? I don’t care if you have to swim all the way to Antarctica. I want it done!”
I looked around the yard and sighed. Leaping off the boat, I headed into the garage and spent a minute pretending to find an anchor winch. When I came back, it seemed Jimmy wasn’t bored yet.
“Hurry up and get that winch on, you scallywag,” he said, now holding a stick that he was waving around like a sword.
“But Captain,” I said, pretending to install the winch. “We still don’t have a working outboard motor.”
“Pirates don’t need outboard motors, Sam,” Jimmy whined. “Let’s just go already. We’re not going to get to the treasure in time.”
I shook my head. “Modern pirates need them. We’re going to need outboard motor servicing. Melbourne has a few ports we could get it fixed at.”
The disappointment in his face at my obvious reluctance broke something within me. I climbed onboard the boat and smiled. “We’ll just have to row until we get to port. Then we’ll be away at full speed.”