The Falcon & the Viper

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Chapter 63

The Guía enjoyed working in his marina and made time from the daily chores and the infrequent trips to Africa to sail on the Med in his sleek Oyster yacht. A keen and experienced sailor, he was now looking forward to the forthcoming journey. Indeed, it would be dangerous and adrenalin was coursing through his body as he made his way into the Gibraltar Straits on the new Beneteau 55 yacht with its hidden, deadly cargo. Looking at the western face of the majestic Rock of Gibraltar towering above, one of the outposts of the accursed British infidels, he realised soon he would be in the very heart of their corrupted homeland. As the seagulls wheeled and cried overhead and the hull cut smoothly through the surge of the incoming waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Guía thought back on the preparations he had made.

The purchase of the Beneteau he was sailing had been straight forward, bought from the estate of an online gambling entrepreneur who had taken one overdose too many. The money-grabbing bimbo of the deceased bookie had asked no questions when payment in full of the asking price had been made in cash. A shady lawyer had conducted the transfer of ownership in his office in one of the back streets of Gibraltar, where the yacht had been berthed. The original identity of the company set up to buy the Beneteau had effectively been lost in a host of shell companies registered in various scattered tax havens. With the formalities completed, a yacht delivery crew had sailed her to Port Smir, on the eastern coast of Morocco.

The Guía and Jamel, a trusted worker and competent deckhand from the yard, had flown over to collect the Beneteau and sailed her back across the Med to his marina in Almeria. She had been given a full service and her name changed from High Jinks to the Saiph, which the Guía thought more appropriate, and new papers issued by the Spanish authorities. The Saiph had been refuelled, stocked with provisions, and adequate space made in the engine room for the cargo she was due to collect. He remembered well the early morning rendezvous with the Hayalet, when they had removed a large suitcase out of a small crate and hidden it in the back of the Saiph’s engine room, between the motor and service batteries of which there were many for a yacht of her size.

The Guía contemplated the passage ahead and glanced at his Garmin navigation display in front of him. The track read-out showed some fifteen hundred nautical miles from his current position to the port he was making for. He planned to sail up the Portuguese coast and straight across the Bay of Biscay, along the French coast and across the English Channel. At his current speed of seven knots, he would cover the distance in around ten days, depending on the winds and weather. He knew that he was following the route of some of the galleons of the Spanish Armada, which had set sail centuries ago from the large naval port of Cadiz that he was approaching. That attack had failed miserably and he prayed to Allah for help that this voyage would end in success.

The Saiph, with its traditional main and headsail rig was easy to sail with the help of Jamel and the Guía marvelled at her superb performance compared with his own Oyster. It was such a pity she was making her last voyage, as he would have liked to keep her for himself.

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