Visitors at Night, Episode 49, Odysseys in Paradise

Rich awoke before Yuri and prepared coffee. He sat in the cockpit and waited for the coffee aroma to waken Yuri. It gave Rich time to reflect about his passenger. He was expecting a hard-boiled Russian ideologue, not a poet. “Likely, he feels the same about me.”

Rich looked out over the calm waters of his starboard side. Something, he saw something just above the water no more than 100 yards. “Periscope,” Rich murmured. Rich acted nonchalantly. He thought, “if it is them, they must not see Yuri.”

Rich turned his head away from the periscope. “Yuri! Yuri!”

“Yes!” Yuri called back from the cabin, “what is it?”

“Stay below,” Rich said. “There is a periscope starboard. Don’t even look out the porthole.”

“What are you going to do?” Yuri said.

“Launch depth charges, what do you think I’m going to do?” Rich said sarcastically. “Just stay below.”

“Do you know who they are?” Yuri said.

“I have no way of knowing,” Rich said.

“If it is the Soviets and they were sure I was aboard they would have surfaced by now,” Yuri said.

“How long will they spy on us?” Rich said.

“They are patient,” Yuri said. “The moment they think I’m aboard they will strike swiftly.”

For the next six hours, they spoke little. Rich lost sight of the periscope.

“I think it is gone,” Rich said.

“They have just changed position,” Yuri said.

Twenty minutes later Rich called out, “There it is, port.”

Darkness descended.

“I can’t see anything,” Rich said.

“They are there,” Yuri said.

“They may try something when they figure we are asleep,” Yuri said.

“Than, I will not sleep,” Rich said.

The night drug on. Rich resisted sleep, but found himself drifting off for a few minutes at a time. He listened carefully to the pulsating rhythm of the waves. Any deviation alerted him and he bolted upright and watchful.

A sound pierced the natural lapping of waves—a splash, two, three, four and they continued. Rich quietly reached for the handheld search light. He listened intently and estimated from where the splashing came. He flashed the light on. Four camouflaged men paddled a rubber raft toward The Odyssey.

Rich grabbed the AK 47 from below the bench. He slid back the lever and fired three rounds into the air. The men immediately dove over the side of their raft. Rich switched the running lights off and The Odyssey sailed away.

“What was that?” Yuri whispered loudly from below.

“Four men in a raft,” Rich whispered.

“The Spetsnaz,” Yuri said.

“What!” Rich whispered.

“Frogmen,” Yuri said. “a special Navy unit. We are lucky to be alive.”

Rich nor Yuri slept the rest of the night.

Rich slept for an hour in the early morning while Yuri peered through the portholes keeping watch. Yuri prepared coffee and they both had a cup before Rich returned to the helm.

He heard a surge of water, Nearly 100 yards starboard the sea rose and from it a dark gray metal sea-monster – a Soviet submarine.

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