35. My Merchant Mariner World Travels (Part 8)

The transfer connection from ship to ship was immediate, and we sailed on the SS South African Pioneer from there to Las Palmas for bunkers, and then to New York and on to Québec and Montreal in Canada.  Did my usual sight-seeing of New York and also did the Bronx and Harlem that time. Harlem was at times very scary because when ashore during the day you would see gangster types, Pimps and prostitutes plying their trade. The gangster types would be selling their drugs or contributing to the numbers racket, which was done openly on the streets. One incident that really scared the shit out of a group of us downstairs in a hotel when having a coffee, was when hearing a commotion at the entrance and a Negro; they weren’t known as African American then, came storming in brandishing a gun. Thanks heavens for our new found Negro friend with us, who told us not to stare at him because he was as high as a kite and just looking at him could set him off in any direction. We were relieved when the direction he took was to stomp up the stairs of the hotel muttering as he went. The prostitutes were just as scary because they would accost you on the street by getting hold of your arm and forcible try to steer you into an alleyway or into a motel, which was why going there was safety in numbers.  Although there was all type of clubs, the one we really wanted to experience was the Cotton Club because of hearing so much about it. It seemed that an Owney Madden, a prominent bootlegger and gangster, took over the club in 1923 while imprisoned in Sing Sing and changed its name to the Cotton Club. In its hey-day black entertainers and jazz musicians of the era included Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, The Nicholas Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole. The Latin Quarter nightclub opened in its space and that’s where we went to. We didn’t know what to expect when entering because we were in the hood and the most of the men sported fedora hats, black or pin-striped suits and white or black ties. Some of the women were a bit of a concern at first though when not only introducing themselves but also joining us at our table too. But we shouldn’t have been concerned because the customers there were different than the ones encountered the afternoon. But all in all it was pretty safe during the day, fairly sketchy at night, but a must see for nightlife,

What I didn’t expect though was what was offered me by the Captain and Chief Steward. There was important company dignitaries coming for dinner and I was asked to organize the catering and service on board ship. This came all about because that was my known forte for functions aboard the ship like the crossing of the line ceremony and Christmas and New Year at sea. I was also told to go the whole hog to impress and that it was to be a buffet type smorgasbord dinner with display stands as centre pieces, which was what I also did at ship functions. So I got the Chief Steward to order in flowers, a large block of ice and I raided the ship’s larders and fridges for just got in fresh vegetable produce, fruit and other goodies for canapés.  The chef and cooks the Chief Steward roped in to do the hot food, cold meat cuts and fish that consisted of lobster, king prawns, pink salmon and lox.  I also roped in all the stewards to assist me in the making of the salads and canapés. Then I got stuck into a flower arrangement as my dad had taught me to do at Emdon’s Caterers, followed by a vegetable arrangement that I shape wove into an American Eagle, as I had done before with other shapes, and with the block of ice I chiseled shaped a ship that I filled with fruit. During the function I kept the bar as my domain because there were so many cocktail drinks picked up in my collection of them in places traveled to and I wanted them to be tried out. Seeing also how that bar was stocked with all types of booze and the paraphernalia to make those cocktails, I had a field day with customers trying them out. And to top it all off as entertainment, no other than Brook Benton hired by The Company as background music on his guitar and interludes of singing his soul and rhythm and blues numbers, man did he blow not only me but everyone else there away.

Entering the Gulf of Saint Lawrence was always a hazard in foggy conditions because of countless freighters, ferries from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland, and icebergs that drifted on the Newfoundland and Labrador currents. Those icebergs were a spectacular sight seen during the day when occasionally they did a giant somersault caused by gravity change as the bottom larger half melted. We sailed through that area at night time, and the foghorn sound changed dramatically every time we came in close range of any of those objects, which was detected by the echo variance and the sharp eyes of the lookouts, and we always held our breath until the following blasts resumed their normal haunting tone. We had navigated up the Saint Lawrence River before but on another trip, but it was still an amazing sight gazing up at Québec from a ship because it looked like a walled fortress. It’s completely walled city of grey stone towers, stoned buildings and the impressive Château Frontinac Hotel with its jade green turrets and castle like structure looked impregnable. The city was on two levels, which consisted of the Lower Town and the Upper Town, due to its formation originating through the original city having been down by the Saint Lawrence River, but when having to fortify it against the British in the 1700s and been overrun, it was moved further back and created another town.

The Lower Town with its stone houses that were huddled together and the carriage wheels that creaked in unison with the horses clip clopping along its leafy canopied cobblestones streets was exquisite when strolling through it. The Upper Town I found to be a complete different environment with every turn having an abundance of chapels, churches, cathedrals with unique histories, and everything French on its menu in bars, music and dance clubs and restaurants. The people too were a bit unusual in their strong feelings of wanting to remain French and not Canadians. Although occupied by the French and called New France until 1763 when invaded and captured by the British to become the province of Québec, they had laws that made French the official language and prohibited the use of English on street signs. They did though give Canada the emblem of the maple leave on its flag, and all over the world their famous maple syrup was consumed with a passion.

Montreal further up the Saint Lawrence River was also a city of churches, but with one though having a difference. It was a chapel known as Sailors Chapel where model ships carved by sailors were suspended from the ceiling and there were hundreds of them. What had not hundreds but thousands was where the majority of the population seem to hibernate during the bitter cold days. The Underground Montreal City was a revelation and a lifesaver to our chattering teeth and not used to rugged up cold bodies. Through observing the locals scurrying down escalators and stairways to get out of the freezing cold we followed suit and found ourselves in a subterranean universe. You could live down there, and many did because of the underground railway stations that had extensions of hotels, restaurants, movie houses, concert halls, shops of every description and even swimming facilities. The nightlife district in the city was where it all happened though, with its massed bars, clubs of all styles and restaurants that catered to your every need.  What I didn’t expect to see though when a group of us went to a strip club was an African setting set up on a stage. A dusky French dancer called Afrisqué who danced and stripped to the rhythmic beat and sound of African drums had as her props a jungle backdrop, an African straw hut, life size animal cut outs and an open fire. She was dressed in an artificial leopard outfit that consisted of a leopard mask headpiece, leopard type paws on her hands and feet, a lap-lap that covered her breast and G-stringed pubes, a spear, and a tail that was tucked into the back of her G-string. To the soft beat of drums her routine consisted of leaping from out the hut and to land by the fire, and a spotlight followed her dance movements on the darkened stage as she danced around the flickering fire. She would then periodically attack and stab at the leopard cut-out, and every time she stabbed at particular parts of its body the drums would be sounded louder, and while it continued she would then strip discard the corresponding part of her costume and place it on that part of the cut-out.

In the routine, the top lap-lap and G-string was stripped off too, but the bottom lap-lap remained. The tail was then incorporated for the most erotic purposes. It was first run around, crisscross, and in between her firm ample breast, and then the tuft of the tail was used to stimulate her nipples to stand proud. She also whetted the sensual appetite by slowly moving the tail held at both ends backwards and forwards against her vagina undercover of the lap-lap while swiveling her hips in a provocative manner, and through it all the drums had increased its tempo. The grand finale was with her on her spread haunches, and with a rotating motion while bent backwards with her head touching her heels, her procedure after inserting the beginning of the tail into her vagina under cover of the lap-lap, resulted in her snaking the tufted end around on the stage by swiveling her hips as the sound of the drums reached a crescendo. She was a real crowd pleaser, and the large crowd that she had attracted, who had been very attentive and quite during her performance, cheered her off when she danced and pranced with the tail and spear in her hands around the flickering fire and then exit into the hut. She also alternated her performances as a black panther, lioness and a tiger through the night.

We though attracted her attention when sending a message that we were from Africa, and her interest when keeping us in conversation and to extend it by a longer stay, resulted in her to buying a round of drinks. Although there was no cover charge it did cost you to buy a drink every time she performed and a beer cost five dollars. The night though turned out to be an enjoyable one for us because she had also introduced us to a few of her fellow strippers, and the following night although we only had enough money to buy one round of drinks we went back, and we also had a few presents for her for the genuine friendliness shown. When my two shipmates presented her with African artifacts and I a real complete cheetah skin that were part of a collection we decorated our cabins with, she was that ecstatic and appreciative that we were invited to her sumptuous home that overlooked the Saint Lawrence River for cocktails and dinner on her night off. Having us picked up in a limousine caused quite a stir on the ship; it was nothing though to the stirring up of our emotions for what was prepared for us that night.

The three of us for company had Afrisqué and two other ladies who entertained us. After cocktails we sat down to a complete French cuisine dinner that was digested with French wines, and then Cognac and Havana cigars. Following that we were ushered to a luxurious entertainment area where we three sat in deep elongated upholstered leather lounge chairs in a wide semi-circle. The three ladies after excusing themselves to powder their noses disappeared through a draped archway, and left to our own devices we consumed more cognac and wondered what else the evening had in store for us. We knew we didn’t have long to wait when first hearing music and then seeing two of them appear through the draped archway wearing stripper’s costumes. Although their dancing and performance wasn’t as risqué as Afrisqué, their bump, grinds and stripping techniques was enough to fulfill our wildest fantasies, especially because one was outfitted in a skimpy schoolgirls uniform and the other in a short sheer nurses uniform. They ended their stripping by backing onto my mates lounge chairs, reclined back against them, and removed their G-strings, which was their last bit of attire, and handed it to them. That’s when Afrisqué’s African music resounded throughout the room and she came through the archway on all fours with the cheetah skin draped around her body. Her feline dancing movements combined with seductive, provocative undulation of her body, got my shipmates, the two strippers and me excited with her performance. Although my shipmates were all eyes on Afrisqué’s sensuous performance, it didn’t stop their legs and bodies to be entwined with exploring hands everywhere. The sultry cheetah clad Afrisqué when easing down on top of me, enclosed us in the cheetah skin. It wasn’t the cheetah’s tail in her then as I followed her slow executed bump and grind routine, and my shipmates taking their cue from us resulted into a long night of continued sexual delight and pleasure.

As a child going to the movies or flipping through the National Geographic, the sight of the Mountie, as we called them, use to inspire me. There I had actually sighted The Royal Canadian Mounted Police drill team or Mountie, who were on tour, in their vivid red tunics and peaked broad brimmed hats parading with their magnificent horses, and because it impressed me immensely I was actually thrilled on seeing them for real. Seeing also large high tepees in the distance made my curiosity discover that they were actually residential homes built in the shape of a tepee and occupied by Canada’s Red Indians. Huron, Blackfoot, Cree, Crowfoot and Iroquois were all part and parcel of the Canadian scene. It was a thrill also to see them in traditional costumes and settings that again took me back to my childhood Red Indians as they paraded and danced through our streets during the New Year festivities. As I was always interested in the indigenous peoples of any country because of my early introduction to Africans and their culture, it was a bit disappointing in the meager display at a museum of Inuit and Canadian American Indians culture. However, what made up for it was when going not only on an organized tour to a festival depicting their traditional life style but also on viewing there their traditional tepees and lodges that they had constructed, and a powwow between First Nation Groups, which the Canadian Native Americans were called because they were the first people to live there.

We missed the warmth of Afrisqué’s home and their company when the Canadian cold weather really settled in; nevertheless, with the paint peeling off the ship and our inner thighs and arms looking like wrinkled prunes because of the extreme cold, we were thankful to be shipping out of Montreal. The Saint Lawrence River was slowly icing up and the ship’s bow cracked and pushed the thin ice as we made our way to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. We crossed the Atlantic Ocean and headed for Dublin in Ireland where meeting unexpected distant kin and comparing ancestors there came as a complete surprise to me. The association also with Irish people in their habitual environment in comparison to my only knowledge of them having been when in the company of Irish priest, nuns, brothers and my grandfather in South Africa, and it was enlightening and educational. I had also always wondered why my mouth at times would run over until hearing the Irish, and my quick wit and my love of jokes was another, but the initiation to Guinness was the froth on the pint.

Entering Dublin Bay from the Irish Sea to the river Liffey that bisected a superb natural setting on a wide plain overlooked by green hills and headlands was Dublin that faced the broad sweeping bay, and it was really something pleasing to the eye. The city although it looked dingy was down to earth with its Irish hospitality and bustle, and their carousing although unexpected was acceptable because I too had a love for a wee dram of whiskey. The colleens with their copper colored hair, rosy cheeks and freckles, which reminded me of my mother when younger and I saw why she would have inherited those distinctive features, although with their all Catholic upbringing like mine, didn’t deter their provocative pleasure seeking nature, and pubs, clubs and dance halls was were their frisky ardent enthusiasm overflowed. Wanting more knowledge of the Irish I first visited the Old Library that was boundless with information, but what really caught my interest was the magnificent ornate 9th century manuscript copy of the gospels in Latin of the ‘Book of Kell’s’, and further interest were also the various castles and cathedrals. The Ha’penny Bridge was another, so called because of the toll once charged for crossing it. Constructed of cast-iron across the Liffey River as a pedestrian walkway made for interesting viewing, and it also linked into a network of small streets and more pubs across the river.

Extreme Irish hospitality was also extended to us when after many of those pubs and drinks, we awoke one morning in rooms of a hotel owner who had made our acquaintance and taken a liking to us. After a most welcome Irish coffee and when taking a stroll outside, I was amazed to see that we were in a country village. Patrick O’Connor or Paddy as he was called, told us that we were that inebriated that instead of taking us back to the ship he had brought us by car to his place to sleep it off. While gazing at the diverse scenery, which encompassed green hills, rolling pastures, rivers and lakes, I was suddenly struck by the most weird feeling that I had seen all that and been there before, and instinctively also knew that if I turned around and looked to the top of the hotel roof I would see a shamrock. And that’s when déjù vu set in when remembering that it had been part of one of my dreams. Sure enough there it was, a large shamrock emblem with the name Green Shamrock Hotel underlining it. It didn’t end there, in conversation, Patrick O’Connor’s great-grandfather had come from Tipperary in the province of Munster in Ireland, and according to him there had not only been Irish chieftains in his ancestry but also that the O’Connor’s had originated from an Irish King, which made me think that he had kissed the Blarney Stone. My grandfather George O’Connor though who often spoke to me about his Irish ancestry and had also told me about his family in Tipperary and their relationship to Irish chieftains, had made me think at that time that he was kissing the wine bottle too much.

Sailing from there back into the Irish Sea we headed towards the North Channel up to the mouth of the River Lagan, which flowed into the Irish Sea, where Belfast was set in a saucer of green hills. Sighted first were rows of redbrick terraces competing with massive cranes that dominated the skyline of the shipyards; however, what still reigned supreme was the abundance of pubs. Although still in Ireland, the atmosphere wasn’t the same, and we soon found that it was due to another dominant factor in the form of the English Protestants. Not wanting to get involved with the politics of the Protestants and Irish Catholics who seemed always at loggerheads in all spheres of their living to what was experienced; I rather sought tranquility in the many cathedrals and castles that also abounded there.

We then crossed the Irish Sea on our way to Liverpool in England. We were looking forward to the serenity of that country for a bit of peace and quiet after the hectic times had in the western part of the world that we had sailed from, and we hoped that in the northern part of the world there would be fewer incidents. One unexpected incident though did occur on our ship before reaching our destination. It was common knowledge, by those who had sailed previously on her, that whenever voyages on that ship neared the United Kingdom, the captain, officers on watch and able seaman that steered the ship at night would observe a figure in work overalls walk the ship. It would make its way from the anchor chain locker to amidships along the deck, disappear aft, reappear and make its way back again, and searching and questioning on various trips had never brought any results to that mystery. Crew members on that trip when coming off the ghost watch, which was the midnight to four watches, asked me the next day about seeing me wandering to and fro in my dark cabin that early in the morning. They were under the impression that I was searching for something, but when they called out I ignored them and then blended with the darkness. Puzzled, intrigued and further inquiries led me to wait for the bewitching hour to see if anything would eventuate again as I had never walked in my sleep. Lying in the darkness with just the dim bunk light on I first smelt the sweet smell of a presence and then perceived a distinct figure of a man in overalls enter the cabin. Beckoning to me he turned and I followed. The apparition led me all the way to the anchor chain locker and pointed down at its interior. An immediate thought came to mind that he had died and somehow his remains were entombed down there. Unbeknown to me an officer on the ghost watch who had seen one figure go aft and two return to the fore of the ship came to investigate, but all he found was me with a bizarre explanation. Needless to say inquiries and further investigation by shipbuilding authorities did discover that a shipbuilder had gone missing while the ship was been built, and on removing the steel panels between the hull and interior they found his skeletal remains wedged right at the bottom. The ghost watch never saw any ghost after that, and again I was used to deliver a message.

Ellesmere Port, which was inland from Liverpool, where the Shropshire Union Canal met the refinery lined River Mercy at the head of the Manchester Ship Canal, had scores of barges scattered throughout the canal that went through the same staircase of locks that our ship had to traverse to get there. It wasn’t only those locks that got our and other ships to other inland towns or cities all over the world, and when passing through them to eventually sail through the countryside’s of unbelievable splendor to get to our destination, it was almost similar as on a touring double-decked bus when taking in the sights. On the other hand, when on a ship doing the same thing and you were taking in the view either aloft in the crow’s nest on the highest point of the ship or even from the poop deck with no sea turbulence but a glass smooth river running with the ship, it was like looking down on the world passing by. Ellesmere Port did not seem to have the Flying Angel when going ashore so we opted for a dockside pub to wile the night away. It was surprising that the pub was not crowded on a Friday night; nonetheless, the congenial atmosphere of open-hearth fire, piano sing a longs and inner warmth assisted by whiskey soon got us in the mood of things. Two young women who were there put on a song called ‘Seaman stop your roaming’ on the jukebox and then smilingly looked at us. After that they put on a rock ‘n roll number that they danced to together but were not getting the gist of the steps properly. Through me watching the program of American Bandstand in America with all the new dance steps that were televised, I had added them to my dancing collection by observing and practicing. Seeing me smilingly observing them and smiling back in return, I approached them so as to advise them on where they were going wrong. After explaining the rectification of the dance steps that wasn’t still done properly, I offered to instruct them. Jennifer was younger than she looked under her make up when close up, but eager to learn although with a bit of stumbling, holding on and my guidance, we were soon rock ‘n rolling to the encouragement and clapping of the patrons. Dancing and chatting brought the information that she lived in Chester and at times frequented the pub because her friend lived nearby, and that she bussed it to and from her home because of the distance.  She also informed me on offering to see her home that the last bus was due in thirty minutes and that she would be back the following evening. My intention on knowing that the ship would be in the Liverpool and Ellesmere area for a few more days was to further our acquaintance on a friendly relationship so as to have someone else besides my shipmates to associate with. On getting back to the ship though we found that our cargo had been delayed, and with all the crew on board we sailed back that night to Liverpool to load extra cargo there. No shore leave was permitted for we had to return to Ellesmere when loaded, which took until the late hours of Saturday night, and because there was no hooked up ship to shore telephone lines to phone the pub or my having her address, I didn’t bother any further.

That didn’t make her not bother, for going ashore the Sunday afternoon to the pub to grab a bight and drink; there she was sitting in an eating alcove with a big grin on her face. She had tracked the ships movements in the daily newspaper, knew when the ship would be back, and had hoped that I would be coming ashore to the pub so that we could go to her friend’s home. When offering to buy her lunch, she though offered to make us lunch when going there. What she didn’t tell me was that her friend had left for a convenient days outing, and after an English standard meal of bangers and mash and eggs and peas we settled down to watch television. Her youthfulness showed without the heavy makeup, but she was attractive with dark hair, short in stature, well-proportioned and with an unpretentious shyness. She wasn’t a chatterbox but did ask unceasing questions concerning the where and what about me, and when filling her in with minor but amusing details she would go off with infectious girlish laughter. Because of also displaying a modest behaviour with her clothing made me think that she was a breath of feminine niceness in comparison to the other women that had been my lot when in other seaports, which caused my thoughts to also backtrack to my wife Joan. She portrayed her in stature, colouring, shyness and modesty, except for Joan’s beauty. Those thoughts gave me a cosy feeling, so putting my arms around her and drawing her closer I cuddled her, whereby she cuddled closer and kissed me. Returning her kiss made me feel guilty for the first time because when with other women that sort of kiss never came into play. It was kept strictly for Joan whose kisses gave me palpitations and a yearning that thrilled and lead to tenderness, desire, bodily pleasure, sensual delight and passion. With the other women it was just unbridled lust, especially as I also adored, cherished and revered Joan, but the long absence through sea voyages and sexual distractions made it impossible for me to remain celibate and faithful. The way that I saw it was that she was my spouse, soul mate, partner, friend and better half although we were equals. Nevertheless, knowing the situation and circumstances that she was enduring for both our sakes made me realize that she too must be experiencing loneliness, longing and yearning that could result in an indiscretion on her part too, and that if she did, I would have to be man enough to accept that she also had sexual appetites. Thoughts of Joan quelled all other inclinations that the kiss could have eventuated into, and it gave rather a feeling of bliss that was related in my actions of just cuddling while watching the television show with no further romancing overtones towards Jennifer, which I was glad had been accepted.

With her having to work the next day, and it also a beautiful spring evening, we strolled the usual fifteen minutes bus drive back to Chester. She hadn’t spoken much about herself at her friends place but she was making up for it then, and in a nutshell she was an only child and still living with her resolute parents who would not allow her to have a steady boyfriend. When reminding her that my sea life wouldn’t also allow that, her cheeky retort was that what her parents didn’t know wouldn’t allow them to chastise her about, and that she would be quite happy to have me as secretive boyfriend whenever I was in port. Her youthfulness and immaturity though made me determine that we would only be friends because of her delightful innocence, buoyant attitude and friendliness that would make her an idle ashore companion. Our intentions on the way to her home though were construed differently by an English Bobby who moved us twice along. The first was when she stopped to phone her parents from a telephone booth after playfully squeezing me in with her, and while talking to them she kissed me to spite them. The second time we were told to move along by the same policeman was when she lead me into a side alleyway near her home to kiss me goodbye, and the kiss was as if her life depended on it seeing that we were sailing the Monday evening. Not wanting to lose her as a friend and companion if returning to that part of the world made my usual honest nature take a back step by not telling her of my married status, although my whole intention was to tell her through a letter before we sailed and leave it to providence.

My foresight though didn’t allow for a set of circumstances that would change the whole aspect. The ship because of its long eventful voyage had developed major engine trouble, and we were going nowhere until full maintenance had been carried out to receive a sea worthy certificate. Managing to get a message through to Jenny via the girlfriend, we would meet some evenings at Chester railway station through me traveling by train there from Liverpool. From there we would spend that time on the outskirts of the city where she wasn’t known and it couldn’t be reported back to her parents, and our mutual friendship really blossomed. Because Ellesmere Port was just almost down the river road from Liverpool and that I had taken a liking to the pub there and its friendly patron and customers, I would the other evenings frequent it. It was at one of those that her friend also happened to be there because of working and living nearby, and in our chat the conversation dwelt on Jenny. Thinking that maybe she would fill me in a bit more about Jenny through my inquiries didn’t eventuate to what I expected. What I rather learned was that she saw Jenny, as her parents did, as to young to have a boyfriend, and also that I would be far better off having someone who was older and had sexual experience if that what I was about with Jenny for. My joking question of if wanting a woman like that maybe she would oblige caused her not to be lazy in coming on to me, which I simply ignored.

The Friday night saw Jenny and I spend the night at the pub with her friend in tow, and Jenny also sprung a surprise on me by having conned her parents in telling them that she was spending the weekend with her friend who was ill. To me her friend was really ill, actually sick in the head when suggesting that I stay over at her place and that the three of us could share the same bed. Be that as it may, we didn’t, for Jenny and I refused the offer and rather preferred saying goodnight outside her friend’s bed-sitter where we made arrangements to have lunch in town the next day without the friend around. I had slipped ashore the following morning after breakfast to pay her a surprise visit and to tell her that the captain was spending time with relatives over the weekend, which gave me time off too, but that we would be sailing the Monday. She tried to put on a brave face due to the leaving news, although her holding, clutching and kissing belied that, on the other hand she was ecstatic about me having all that time off. I wasn’t filled in with all the details when returning later; however, after telling her friend that just the two of us were going out for lunch because she wanted some time with me alone, her friend had left in a huff and gone to her friends in Liverpool.

My favourite English meal of fish and chips, which only they knew how to fry, that I had purchased in town and brought back was our lunch instead of eating out. With a heavy thick fog enclosing the port and going anywhere nigh impossible, we settled down in front of the gas fire and sipped on Red Heart rum, which I still had stocks of on board from the West Indies, with a chaser of blackcurrant cordial the way they drunk it in Cheshire, which was the county that Chester was in. On our own and left to our own devices we must have sipped a bit too much of our sense numbing and body warming drink concoction because it induced a comfortable sensual feeling that made us both frivolous in our behaviour. It became a teasing tussle when she tried to unbutton my shirt with me warding her off and the same occurred when doing it to her too; nonetheless, when discovering that I was very ticklish she succeeded in her second attempt. Her wanting to do that became obvious why, for when down in front of the fire and relaxing after that laughing exertion. she put her hand inside my shirt to squeeze and fondle my chest. My first thought was to deter her, but second thoughts made me contemplate her questions of the previous night and it seemed a small token to pay if it gave her some sort of sensual delight. She had wanted to know why she always had to kiss me first, why I hadn’t even made a pass at her, and why she didn’t evoke any sexual response from me while she got aroused by just kissing me, which flabbergasted me by her many other questions too. Although having felt a twinge of guilt for not confessing my marital status then and there, my palming her off with cowardly truths about her parents’ concerns, the uncertainty of always coming back to Ellesmere, my respect and appreciation of her company, and that I didn’t want to start something we couldn’t finish whereby she would get hurt and we both would be sorry afterwards, seemed to have appeased her. Maybe she had only listened to what she wanted too after that mouthful from me or that the rum had made her feel amorous, for while smiling cheekily at me as if to say if you won’t I will, she not only swung her leg over me so that she was pressed hard up against me but also began to kiss me passionately.  She seemed hell bent either to encourage me into some sort of response or her libido was responding to her self-induced arousement, because while kissing me with her eyes closed she was also massaging my chest and rubbing her body against mine. I again thought if that gave her sexual satisfaction and maybe gratification too, then maybe her sexual desires would ebb, but there was no lessening of her desires though as further adjustments moved her body on top of mine. When she next grabbed my hand to knead her breast I gently but firmly moved her off and admonished her. She was flushed and sulky when going to the bathroom, on the other hand, my resolute not to have any sexual connotations towards her because of only wanting us to be friends seemed to be on track.

She had been for some time in the bathroom, and when hearing the shower being turned on I thought maybe that would have cooled her passion. She had other ideas though. She walked into the bed-sitter dripping wet while toweling and came to stand in front of the gas fire. The beads of water glistened as it rolled down her naked back, continued down her rounded buttocks with some to drip onto the carpet and others to continue down her legs. With mouth agape I watched as she slightly spread her legs and bent forward to dry her legs, which I was viewing from the floor upwards, and turning around to heat and dry the back of her body brought her firm breast and slightly tufted pubes into my focus. Unsmiling and without a word she continued to dry herself, and not wanting to encourage anything made me just lay there and watch in silence so as to give no indication that she was slowly succeeding with her seductive tempting display of trying to seduce me. She must have realized that she was gaining control because after smilingly placing her one foot on my crotch, she methodically and meticulously dried her vagina, which blew all my self-control out of the window. Making like a statue hadn’t work for me for she had pressed the right buttons, and when sitting astride me to shake and sprinkle the wetness of her hair over the two of us, I had to laughingly agree that she had succeeded with her endeavours. After dabbing the wetness off her she did the same to me after removing my shirt, and then she knelt in between my legs to dry her hair. They say idle hands make idle work, but what her hands were doing wasn’t idle because she had begun to unfasten my trousers. She must have planned that entire agenda while in the bathroom, and she had also begun to play rough by first pushing me forcibly onto my back, and then by standing up and grabbing the end of my trousers she pulled it off. Then I had battle on my hands for she wanted to remove my boxer shorts too because she was au natural. I was ever sorry then that she had discovered my weakest point, because the tickling that had begun again made her succeeded in her endeavours again. Her lips that were then running a race all over me with kisses, and her inquisitive hands and exploring fingers constant stimulation that had brought a gathering feeling had to be explained to get her to cease. Much to her delight it didn’t stop me though from then doing the same to her, and her former questions of why, was swiftly dissipated when it made her squirm with what she called unendurable pleasure, but it didn’t see her though wanting me to cease until reaching a fulfillment.

The expression of sheer delight and satisfaction showed on her countenance, and knowing that it would suffice although completely aroused by then myself, I let her be. What I had also taken into consideration was on her telling me that her girlfriend would only be returning on the Sunday, which I knew would be ample time for me to also have a pleasurable outcome, so with her lulled because of her subdued passion, I brought the mattress in from the bedroom to lay in front of the fire where we fell asleep.  Not having in our friendly conversations talked about anything related to having sex, as I only wanted our relationship to be platonic, it never crossed my mind if she was a virgin or not, even though what her friend had said. What occurred though when waking up that evening while she lay cuddled in my arms changed the whole ball game when she softly whispered that she loved me, and then went on to say that she wanted to experience having sex and if becoming pregnant she would have a remembrance of me. That was when I thought it was really about time to confess that I was married so as to nullify that request, but even that didn’t deter her emotional and passionate unwavering desires, which although of my dislike of condoms I sure wished for a dozen then.

It had been a long time in between virgins for me, and I really didn’t want it to be a hit and run affair with her of maybe suffering the consequences after, and I advised her on those facts as another means of restraint. But her hurt and sad reply that I wouldn’t have thought twice about it had it been her friend who wasn’t a virgin swayed me. I also thought that with her being young and inexperienced in sexual matters she wouldn’t discern coitus interruptus by me faking climaxing so that at least her second request wouldn’t achieve fruition. All of that had made me feel rather famished, and seeing that we couldn’t live on lovemaking and fresh air only, and with the fog lifted, we went out for another English meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and with the inner man fortified the outer man was ready. Because we both were more at ease in our own minds then for what we separately thought our forthcoming outcomes would be, we imbibed our Cheshire cocktails, bedded down for the night in front of the fireplace, snuggled together while playfully intimate, and our fondling stimulation that evoked further pleasurable excitement caused her to be as ready as she would ever be. There was no excuse for me then, and while keeping her ablaze she kept me smouldering. We both fell asleep spent and sexually satisfied; however, her attempt for continuation the following morning fell on deaf ears because I was stuffed, so I made the excuse of wanting to go to the village store to purchase the morning papers and a few odds and ends for lunch. Going on my own and walking around to resuscitate my flagging body not only got me invigorated again but also to really see what the Ellesmere Port was all about, for our moving to and fro on the Mercy River and her companionship had deterred that. There was nothing in comparison seen there though to what I saw on getting back. I didn’t expect my greeting to be that enticing and provocative because of her wearing only a lace blouse and a smile. On the other hand, not knowing what the future held for her or of my return to that part of the world caused her to be sad and teary for the rest of the day. And when I promised to correspond as a compromise and it still didn’t appease her, I conceded to fulfill her desire of just one more time before leaving late afternoon.

Her seemingly girlish request of wanting it to be especially memorable so as to be able to think about it for sexual gratification when I wasn’t there, didn’t get me to have to rack my brain to satisfy her for that request. Now I didn’t also have to be an authority on Kama Sutra to know the variety of sex positions that I had one in mind for her.  With her been that sexually inexperienced, I could see that she had no idea what was going to occur when lying on my back and getting her to sit astride and facing me. However, she soon knew when drawing her closer to me and she ardently participated with lust and passion. But would you guess it that at that moment the front door opened and her girlfriend who had arrived earlier than expected was halfway into the room before we both saw each other. She had stopped dead in her tracks and her mouth was agape with astonishment, and with nowhere to go because the bed-sitter was a kitchen, living cum bedroom, she slowly back peddled towards the bathroom. Her eyes though never left us, and it was focused with a sensual look on her face as she watched our uncontrollable impetus. Because of Jenny’s enraptured senses and unopened eyes and with her back towards the door, made her unaware of her friend’s presence. There was no way I was going to stop either, neither did it seemed that her friend had any intention of not stopping watching also. Not telling Jenny anything about her friend’s arrival while we laughingly disentangled ourselves, she then headed for the bathroom. Silence prevailed for a moment followed by whispering, outrageous laughter and more whispering. While Jennifer was showering, her friend who must have showered before her came out clad in a towel only, and I had visions of her drying off in front of the fireplace, but I gave thanks that she was dried off already and had only come out to fetch a fresh change of clothing.

I had thought the goodbyes would be teary; Jenny’s assumption though of a continuous ongoing relationship in any form on my presumed return had restrained her emotions somewhat much to my relief. But on board the ship that night while at sea, I did a bit of soul searching concerning the women around the world who had come into my life. Although there were a few females that I had come on to through lust, and there were numerous others who had seduced me, there were also others that I had looked for companionship through loneliness, and others who became my bosom buddies. There was never a second time around for those whom I had affairs with though, even if some of it were hit and run affairs, but that was due to the circumstances of traveling around the world to different destinations at irregular times. At other times when voyage continuity to the same destination was on sailing orders, the temptation to visit remembered accustomed haunts, which would have been easy to pick up where I had left off, was somewhat suppressed by the same old same old with no new exciting diversions. The saying that a seaman has a woman in every port and is not worth his salt if he hasn’t, doesn’t mean for sex only.

We then headed southwards into the Bristol Channel to Cardiff in Wales. A castle in its city centre like Edinburgh had was Cardiff Castle, but I couldn’t for the life of me work out the reason why the low walls that surrounded it had sculpted wolves, bears and lions in crawling positions all over it, except that maybe it was to scare off former invaders. What was understandable though were the many badly damaged bombed sites of World War 2, which either stood as derelict buildings or cleared vacant lots. Having a love of rugby union, of which I had watched the Springboks, All Blacks, Wallabies and England play against each other, and my other love of singing, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined watching the Welsh national team of Wales playing, nor the Welsh Male Choir in full voice as a personal experience. What was also an unusual experience was on hearing their weird language spoken that sounded to me like babbling double Dutch, where as in Scotland there were certain words in their language that was similar to Dutch and could be understood. After many return voyages to the United Kingdom, which included all of the above cities and numerous other inland cities and towns reached by river locks, my perspective of that country took in a vast amount of experiences relating to historical, geographical and personal aspects that was distinctively British. Standing stone circles, chalk figures, Roman villas and baths. Abbeys, monasteries, cathedrals and palaces. Picturesque villages, hamlets and terraced houses. Mills and mines. Sherwood Forest, glens and moors. Locks and canals. Weirs, marshes and moats. Wembley Stadium, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspurs, Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool soccer teams watched at matches played. Mersey beat, dance clubs, cosy pubs, sing a long at pubs, warm beer and fish and chips. Red double-decked buses, London taxis and the tube. Docklands, smog, the Flying Angel and permissive women.

Image

‘The Cotton Club’. Harlem. New York.
Check out ‘The Hood Gangsters’ at the back of the club. Ship crew with Gals and Moi front and right

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