Chapter 16: Bombers fishing trip
Before Julie left the little cottage to drive home to Aldershot, Fletch suggested that he would change her front offside wheel so that if Bomber questioned her for being late home, she could tell him that the car had a flat tyre on the way home from Guildford, and she was stuck out in the countryside not having a clue what to do until a passing motorised finally stopped and kindly changed the flat tyre for her.
He then suggested that Julie stopped in a lay-by just before reaching home and let all the air out of the tyre in the boot of her car that Fletch had changed for her, This way Bomber wouldn’t get suspicious if he happened to look into the boot of her MG.
Julie thought this would be a good idea, and after kissing him goodbye, and heading for home she followed Fletchers instructions to the letter, arriving home in the early hours of the morning.
Bomber did his best to hide his jealous grief, and just as Fletch predicted he wanted to know why she was so late home, finally suggesting that he would take the flat tyre in her car boot to the local garage in Aldershot for repair the following morning.
Julie didn’t have a clue that her husband had followed her to the cottage the previous evening, and said very little about the fictitious meeting she had with her old school friend, just in case she said the wrong thing.
She badly wanted to tell him that she had fallen in love with his best friend and she was now expecting Fletchers baby, but she just couldn’t pluck up the courage or find the right words to say to him, so she decided to wait until he returned to his RMP unit in Colchester and then write him a long letter.
Julie knew that this was the cowards way out of her situation but this was the only way she could possibly tell him, knowing that when he finally found out the truth Bill would be devastated.
Bomber sat for hours on a chair in the garden trying to piece together where he’d gone wrong, he knew that he was partly to blame for his own downfall, by sending Julie to visit Fletcher in the hospital in the first place, but he thought she could be trusted, and believed he’d married a good woman. Oh ! what a fool he’d been he thought to himself as the tears streamed down his cheeks.
Deep in thought once again, and brushing away the tears, Bomber finally decided to get rid of his opposition, He felt no guilt or remorse, for Fletcher now, only deep hatred, he had stolen away the only thing in the world that Bomber loved, and he’d violated her body, how could he have done this to his best friend ? well ! he would now take his revenge thought Bomber, jumping up from his garden chair in anger.
A week later Bomber set out in his car for the long awaited fishing trip with Fletcher, nervously placing a kiss on his wife’s cheek before climbing into his car and heading in the direction of Selsey, and the Selby Boat Club.
Fletch was waiting anxiously to meet him when Bomber arrived and parked his car in the club car park, “How are you Bomb, did you have a good trip down mate?” said Fletch as he opened the car door for Bomber. “Not bad old pal, but I had to stop at a garage half way down to put some air in the front tyres thought they were a bit low,” replied Bomber sarcastically.
“Right if you’re ready Bomber we’ll get off to the boat, I’ve loaded all the rods and fishing gear we need pal, and alerted the Coast Guard just in case, apparently there’s a storm brewing out there somewhere, but today’s the only day we’ll get the chance to go fishing together mate, anyway if we stay near to the harbour entrance we can sail back inside to safety if the weather worsens,” remarked Fletch.
Fletch had moored one of his father’s companies brand new 1973 Viking 33Foot Sports fishing boats at the very end of the marina so they could have easy access to the harbour entrance, and moor up easily if required to return to the harbour without delay.
This was the boats maiden trip to sea and Fletchers father had asked his son to put the fishing boat through its paces so he could have a good knowledge of how the fishing boat performed out at sea to pass onto the customers.
The pair cast off and sailed through the little harbour mouth. “ Climb up to the top deck Bomber !” shouted out Fletch above the sound of the boats marine engine noise, “I’ll show you how to use the controls and the radar equipment pal.”
Before long Bomber had a first class knowledge of how the controls and all the electrical equipment worked. “By the way Bomb if you need to call the coastguard for any reason your call sign is ’BLUE DOLPHIN 709’OK pal,” commented Fletch.
“Boy this is some boat Fletch!” said Bomber, but thinking all the while to himself , ‘Thanks sucker’ ! I know all there is to know about this boat to get me back into the harbour in one piece now.
“Think we’ll drop anchor here Bomber, should be some good fishing around this area, I always look out for the Gannets diving, it’s a sure sign of a mackerel shoals,” stated Fletch,
‘Clever sod’ ! thinks he’s a Mr know it all, thought Bomber, feeling more and more bitter towards Fletch by the minute.
Fletcher switched off the boats engine and lowered the boats anchor into the water. Bomber sat down on one of the swivel chairs on the lower deck of the boat and after tackling up his fishing rod, he cast it out as far as he could.
“It reminds me of when we were both out in Oman on one of our weekly fishing trips Bomber, although we had to watch our backs in case of rebel snipers, I always enjoyed that day out didn’t you pal, it always took my mind off the boredom of RAF Salalah.” Commented Fletch.
The boat had now been anchored about a mile from the harbour entrance and Fletch and Bomber had caught a full basket of mackerel and some reasonable size haddock, when the storm blew up.
“Better be going back in Bomber, don’t want to be caught out in this lot pal, stated Fletch, but by the time they had gutted the fish and cleared the deck of fishing tackle the swell was quite high, and Fletcher was struggling to pull up the anchor.
This was Bombers opportunity to push Fletcher overboard and he wasted no time in picking up a boat hook and pushing it hard into Fletchers spine, sending him hurtling overboard just as he was leaning over the starboard side to securing the anchor.
Bomber ran as fast as he could up to the top deck and started the boats main engine moving quickly away from where Fletcher had pitched into the sea. He could hear Fletchers desperate voice in the distance calling for help, but the waves by this time were very strong and the boat was pitching heavily from side to side.
He finally decided to turn the boat around and go back to the possession where he’d first pushed Fletcher into the sea, but Fletcher had now been in the freezing cold sea for at least thirty minutes, and although he was an exhalent swimmer, he was utterly exhausted trying to battle against the strong high waves of the storm.
Bomber manoeuvred the fishing boat closer to Fletcher, angrily shouting out at the top of his voice;.......
“ NOW YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL YOU BASTARD!, YOU STOLE THE ONLY WOMAN I EVER LOVED, BUT YOU’VE LOST HER FOREVER NOW! SO YOU CAN DROWNED LIKE THE RAT YOU ARE !” and with Bomber’s last words echoing in Fletchers ears he steered the boat away in the direction of the harbour. Bill switched off the boats Volvo engine about half a mile from the harbour entrance and called the Coast Guard over the fishing boats radio.
“Coast Guard this isBLUE DOLPHIN 709, SOS! Coast Guard this is BLUE DOLPHIN 709, SOS!,” called out Bomber over the fishing boats radio, receiving an instant response from the Coast Guard.
“What’s the problem BLUE DOLPHIN, have you broken down ?,” Bomber explained that his pal Fletcher had slipped on wet fish which had been lying on the deck whilst he was trying to stow away the anchor, and he had accidently fallen overboard in the heavy swell of the storm.
He also informed the Coast Guard, pretending of course to be tearful, that he’d thoroughly searched the area but found no trace of his best pall Fletcher who only a few months ago had saved his life out in Dhofar Oman.
Due to the heavy storm the Coast Guard informed Bomber to set sail for the harbour entrance immediately, and he would call out the life boat and Air Sea Rescue to search the area for Fletcher
Bomber turned the boat towards the harbour grinning all over his face with satisfaction, knowing that he’d at least solved one of his major problems, only one more to get rid of now he thought to himself.