by Nivek Grub
PAGE UPDATED FEB-15-2019CLICK ON TITLE TO GO TO AMAZON
Spy Valley Run
Little Black Book
Over the Horizon
SERENITYMac was thinking about his life since his wife was killed in LA by a Mexican gang carjacking, 8 years ago. After his wife died, Mac was in a very dark place. He would sit and brood for days. This lasted for a couple of years. He quit coming up with projects to do and let himself go. His friends and children kept close during this time even though Mac was a pain in the ass to be near. His children finally encouraged him to build his dream sailboat a few years back. After the launch of the sailboat, Mac would go down to the marina to relax. That’s where he came up with the name Serenity. It really made an impact on Mac and after the first year of sailing in the south Pacific he returned a new man. Mac was back, ready to take on the world. The kids were in college now attending the University of Hong Kong. During the off school times they would spend time together at the New Zealand ranch or the house in Fiji. The time in Fiji always included time on Serenity and lots of scuba diving.
Sitting in his Hong Kong condo, he looked over the harbor. He thought about the last 10 years and his acquiring of untold wealth. (read Spy Valley Run 188.8.131.52)
This major life changing event of 10 yrs ago, evolved into a small group of people that were working on making a changes to the corruption in the U.S.. His little group had selected the worst of the worst, whether they were in Washington or on wall street. They would find a terminally ill U.S. service retiree and point them off to perform one last duty for the country. Mac remembered a line from a movie, it went something like ‘there is nothing more dangerous than a Marine with his rifle’. Something like that. These men were happy to step up one last time because this time they knew they were making a difference.
The target, whether a wall street banker or corrupt government official was offed in some dramatic fashion to make a statement. A simple note was left behind, an ace of spades from a deck of playing cards. An information packet was left behind that would point out where to find the dirt on the target. This information packet was sent to news outlets also so as to spread the word that someone was watching and taking names. The vet usually did not survive the highly guarded person. They knew their family would receive a lifetime payment for services rendered. This one last service brought hope for their loved ones and a chance for them to provide for their
families. They also saw the benefit to the country by being the surgeon that is cutting out the cancer running through the country.
The system was funded by himself and his murdered daughter’s fiancé, Nick Dallas. Bruce Yang out of Hong Kong was the organizer of the group and selected the veterans for their assignments. Bruce, Nick and Mac would get together and review the data collected by the different resources. Everyone had put names into a hat for prime candidates to be investigated. A third party was used to collect the data and documentation on the potential targets. An ever expanding data base was created. Once someone was in the data base, any information that appeared in print or on the internet was collected. Their little star chamber had been busy. To date, they had removed 12 slime bags. But as soon as their group created a vacancy in management somewhere, they were quickly replaced by equally corrupt people.
Soon, the message was getting through to those in power. Many high profile people started to greatly expand their security service and made fewer public appearances. But they kept on running into that problem of what one determined Marine could do.
Mac took another look at his financial spreadsheet. His investments had actually grown over the last 10 yrs. Even with the outflow of money for his ‘special project’, he now had more money than what he started with. It was actually getting hard to think of ways to spend the money. He wasn’t about to give the money to charities. 90% of that type of donation just went to some fat cats outrageous salary. He was happy with one little charity project he started funding. This was to provide school supplies to many of the south Pacific island groups.
His thoughts turned to the upcoming sailing season. He will do another season of cruising on his sailboat, Serenity. The weather window will be open soon for the South Pacific. This period would ensure a very low chance of a major storm. His custom sailboat was being transported by ship, it will be in Tahiti in a few days. It’s so much easier to send the boat upwind for the relaxing ride back on the trade winds. He will have his doctor friend, Julie Cross, from New Zealand on the cruise again this year. The doc liked to take 3 months off to cruise and do pro bono medical work in the islands. Mac never found the complete answer as to why the doc did this. It might have been to make up for some past mistake which she had a large guilt for, or the actual giving of ones services to those in need.
Mac never thought of her as the sister Theresa type though. A doctor on board a ship for 3 months really made his cruising easier. The locals on the outer islands were very grateful to the arrival of Serenity. Word had spread to many villages and Serenity’s fame was growing every year.
Mac also had property in New Zealand. It was a large cattle/wheat operation in the Canterbury plains. He wanted to park his money in a place that would offer plenty of security in his investment. He bought up some of the surrounding smaller ranches/farms. But unlike the mega corporations, he encouraged the previous owners to remain with the property if they wanted. It was all professionally managed and was a net increase in jobs for the area. By combining some of the smaller operations, he was able to greatly increase the efficiency of the project. Hence another gain in his portfolio.
Mac’s last refuge was a house on Denarau island, just next to Nadi, Fiji. The dock was large enough for his sailboat and protected enough for all but the largest typhoon. The house was a large modern home with all of the luxuries included. With the hot and humid weather in the islands, Mac made sure the air conditioners were over sized. Mac liked to stay informed where ever he was. So all of his homes had plenty of toys to keep him up to date with what is going on in the world. Along with the land line internet connection he had a two way satellite link, except for his Hong Kong condo. This gave him access to the net all the time. In the islands, it was common to have outages or slow data rates. He also had other forms of communication such as satellite phones and short wave radios.
Between his three homes, he only spent the good weather months in each of them. His children were old enough that he didn’t have to baby sit them and they talked very frequently when Mac was out of Hong Kong. They were very responsible and could be trusted. They always were a strong source of pride for him. Between him and his wife, they raised very capable young adults. He made sure that they knew how to keep an eye out for potential problems and how to react.
For the cruise this year, he will have along 3 Japanese college girls. The girls were in their 3rd and 4th years of study at Tokyo university (medical, marine biology, engineering). His 'crew' was found after he created a website to offer a 3 month sailboat cruise
for students that met a list of criteria, most important is the bikini test. Education and common sense intelligence were a requirement also
This was the 3rd year of his student cruise offer. The first year, it was hard to get signups. He understood the difficulty and apprehension some girl would feel about something like this. He finally came up with the idea to include a teacher from the university. Sort of a chaperone for the students. The first year cruise went off well and everyone came back happy. The teacher was able to complete some research that she wanted to do in order to complete work on her doctoral thesis. So it was a win win for everyone. Word had quickly spread when the students and teacher returned from the cruise that first year. Now he had over 100 applicants to choose from this year. Past years crew members had photos posted on his website and each student had a blog to write about the adventure. This year’s cruise promised to be great. The girls were tops in their classes so the intelligence level would be up there.
He would pick up the crew in Tahiti. They would explore the islands and atolls from Tahiti, Cook islands, Tonga islands and finally Fiji. They would fly back home from Fiji. Mac paid for all of the expenses. For the girls it was like winning a vacation lottery that also could be used in their respective fields
Serenity was well equipped for diving and even had a small R.O.V.. This was tethered to a video unit and controlled by a laptop. This allowed for specimen gathering in deeper waters. It also had a manipulator claw to pick items up for collection. For the days that were not ideal for sun tanning or diving, Serenity had one of it’s rooms equipped with exercise equipment. Due to the limited space, Mac put in a rowing machine, a stair stepper and a treadmill. Being on a sailboat usually kept one fairly fit due to the constant motion. The bodies muscles always were reacting to some movement. Other equipment on the boat was for research. Microscopes for biological studies and this year he included a radiation ionization detector. The detector could detect and identify a specific isotope. The computer controlled detector would measure the specific signature and match it to a known catalog of radioactive particles. He was happy when he found out that one of the girls wanted to research radionuclide’s in fish. Mac had always been interested in the levels of radiation in the fish and surrounding environment. The nuclear testing of 50 to 60 years ago was still having an impact in
the oceans, both the north and south Pacific. The French had done lots of testing in French Polynesia. The Northern Pacific had been flooded with high levels of radiation after the Fukushima reactors had suffered total meltdowns. This was caused by the major earthquake and tsunami’s that devastated the region in March of 2011. Mac followed any news of this incident as it would have world wide impacts, especially in the ocean. The governments and media are trying to treat it as a non-event. But the evidence strongly shows the North Pacific Ocean is dying. The average person does not even know about it, you have to really look for the information.
His sailboat, Serenity, was a design Mac had in his head for many years. The boat was 6 yrs old now and he was thinking of what to change on the next one. He had sailed most of his life. From his grade school days on sunfish and lasers and then on 30 to 40 footers when he was in his 20's and 30's. Mac liked his toys and gadgets and most boats simply did not have the space inside. Many pleasure boats are set up for entertaining guests with a large main cabin area. When the new light weight generation of ocean mega racers appeared, they deviated from the normal deep hull design to a wider flatter bottom and wide ass end. While not the best design for really rough seas, they were faster and lighter. Most had deep keels which would keep Mac out of many places he wanted to go. He had seen some of the catamarans and trimarans and might start to consider one in the future. Mac wanted comfort and safety in his design. He always liked the idea of a twin keel boat, called a bilge keel. This type of design could be run into shallow water and beached when the tide went out. This was great for doing light maintenance and avoiding haul out. It allowed for repair situations to be made when you were in a very remote area. He also wanted the size to be manageable by himself under calm to moderate conditions. To be a fair weather sailor you also had to watch the weather and be ready to duck into a safe place if needed. Serenity was 70 feet long but it actually was a 60 footer with a garage on the tail end. The aluminum double hull construction hull had 3 sealable bulkheads. This made it survivable under many conditions that would sink a normal boat. Mac did like the idea of living and wanted to do it for a long time. It was a ketch rig which allowed for easy sail handling and lots of mounting points for equipment and cameras. The single wheel station was inside a strong pilothouse which kept
him out of the elements. He wasn’t going to race the boat and saw no need for twin wheels at the rear. He just couldn’t understand why most people thought it was necessary to stand out there all day and night exposed to the wind and spray. Other equipment included twin diesels, twin gen sets, twin reverse osmosis (RO) units for water. Mac had duplication of critical components throughout the boat. There were plenty of solar panels and a large battery bank. Both 120v/240v 50/60 Hz inverters supplied power to anything he could stick inside. The garage in the ass end was his favorite. Here he had room for folding bicycles, a dive compressor and gear, a ride on sea doo along with other gadgets to make a tropical anchorage fun. His small remote control ROV could dive to 200 feet to explore via video cameras. You sat on a chair on deck and controlled the ROV with the computer.
The electronics at the nav station were also set up for hours of enjoyment. The typical boat gear had a gps, plotters, radios and radar. Mac added more radio gear where he could monitor from long wave, 100 Hz all the way to 5 GHz. One unit had a spectral display to view activity on the airwaves. He had wifi on board and a router. When he was at anchor in some places, the local marina or restaurant may have a wifi hotspot. He could usually get the signal through his hi-gain antenna then he would run it through his router and have internet available. A forward scanning sonar along with an underwater camera were mounted in the keels looking forward. With this setup underwater, and the cameras at the top of the mast, he could easily maneuver his way into atolls that most would avoid.
The really high price component was a flir (forward looking infrared radar) that allowed Mac to see thermal signatures in total darkness. This was mounted on top of the second smaller mast. The image was stabilized and he could switch between 3 types of cameras. The true flir heat camera, a hi-def color camera and a low light b+w cameras.
Like many boat owners, they would use their boats as some sort of tax write off if possible. Mac used Serenity to test his ideas for a security products line he had come up with. Many sailboats have problems when they are anchored in some remote, quite bay. Usually in some second or third world anchorage. His solution for unwanted guests was to repel them with a combination of electric shock and blinding lights. As most places frowned on guns on boats, Mac built up spud guns which could fire projectiles the size of coke
cans. Getting something like this shot near an intruders boat generally changed their minds. Of course this was useless against a serious pirate attack. You had to avoid those seas altogether, which was a shame because some of these island groups were fantastic.
Instead of a huge wide cabin where you could sit 20 guests, Mac designed it for comfortable seating for 5 or 6. To reduce maintenance even further, he only had 2 heads and showers on the boat with beds for 5 to 6 guests. There was plenty of refrigerated storage available along with a galley that would be at home in a nice house, just more compact. His fuel system was designed so that he could polish the fuel via separate tanks. This way you could clean it by passing the fuel through a series of filters to remove all the junk you get in it in some more remote areas
Mac looked at his 3d printed model of his sailboat and referred to his set of plans. He had made notes over the years of changes to be made to Serenity II.
Looking at his computer, he saw he had received an email from one of his future crew members. She was coordinating all of the plans and details with the other 2 young ladies. Mac and the girls had talked many times via Skype over that last few months and everyone felt comfortable with each other. The girls had heard of Serenity from previous guests and were looking forward to meeting Mac in Tahiti. After a quick reply to her questions, he shut down the pc and got ready to go have dinner with his son and daughter. They were 21 and 19 respectively. They both made jokes about his 3 month cruises with the bikini crew. They also said it was good for Mac to get out and get along with his life. He was 60 and still had a long life ahead of him.
At dinner, Mac had a nice visit with his children. They talked about the classes they were taking and what they may want to do after school. His son was not that interested in the big busy world and really enjoyed going to the ranch in New Zealand.
Mac said, just finish off with your engineering degree. You will be amazed at how much this type of education transfers over to every day life. You can always learn more on a farm or ranch from just doing the work. You both know you don’t have to worry about money, so enjoy life and learn all you can. Open your eyes when you travel around. There are things you will see that you will never get out of a book. You both know my general warning’.
They both said, ‘yeah dad’.
‘Well I will say it again. The money gravy train stops if you fuck up with drugs and all the other no-go shit on my list’.
His daughter was also studying engineering. In her case though she was looking forward to going out and seeing things built. Both of them were very street smart and kept up on world events every day. If any civil or society problems were building, they watched the situation very carefully. They always had a small bag packed to be able to head for the airport. Cash and credit cards were in the bag along with some emergency gold coins. In a shit hit the fan scenario, they would either head for New Zealand or the house in Fiji. Of course they had a habit of checking for any messages throughout the day. Just like any young person these days, they had their smart phones and were plugged in.
Mac gave them each a big hug when they were leaving. He said, I will let you guys know how the trip is going. You keep me informed of anything that happens here also. They all hugged again and said their good byes.
The next morning, Mac called Bruce to just check in to see if there was anything he needed to be aware of with the groups activities. Of course they talked about something totally different in nature but the inference was towards the groups activities.
Bruce said, ‘I checked on my boat yesterday. It’s all ready to go fishing. Too bad your off on your cruise or you could come along. Which really meant that some old retired fuck that had been a senator for almost his entire life was going to have a rude surprise. This wrinkled old ass had lined his pockets with many back door deals. You had to pay him just to speak with him when he was a senator. The evidence had been collected. Bank accounts, foreign offshore holdings and lists of vast real estate holdings were ready to be left by the body and another copy for the media. He was going to have a bag over his head while tied to a chair. If that didn’t work out, a .22 to the back of the head would also do the job. Of course the death card would be left so as to further incite fear within the corrupt inner circle that these boys played in.
Mac said, well sorry I cant go on the trip, but you have fun. Talk to you on the sat phone later.
Mac picked up his bag, locked up the house and headed for the airport. The taxi ride to the airport was only delayed a little by the
always constant heavy traffic in Hong Kong. He arrived at the airport about an hour before the flight and checked in. It would be a 12 hour flight from Hong Kong to Pape’ete Tahiti. Mac could have gone by private jet but this flight was on a 747. This was his favorite aircraft and he liked lots of engines when flying over the ocean.
When he got off the plane and cleared customs he took a taxi to the hotel. It was early afternoon after getting settled into his room. He had to get some things ready for the girls when they arrived. He also had to check on Serenity. She had already been off loaded and was waiting at the marina. He had made arrangements for the berth prior to his leaving Hong Kong. Even though he had professional boatyard personnel supervise the offloading and setting up of Serenity, he liked to go over everything again himself. He spent the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening onboard, checking things out. Satisfied, he returned to the hotel and ordered a meal before going to bed.
Doc had arrived later that day from New Zealand. She arrived with here bags while Mac was checking out the boat. She much preferred to stay on Serenity over a hotel. It was like her second home. The next morning Mac showed up at the boat. Both Mac and the doc had their list of items to track down for the cruise.
Mac got his banking done and provisioning for the boat. He had enough cash and food basics to last many months. He especially liked his hamburgers and steaks so he had an ample supply of those in his freezer. A lot of the fresher produce will be picked up along the way. To prepare for the times when he couldn’t get it, his freezer was also stocked with lots of frozen vegetables. They had a bread machine on board to fill that need and he expects to catch enough fresh fish to fill that area of the meal plan. There was lots of rice to go in the rice cooker. All of the dry commodities were in smaller sealed containers that had been nitrogen or co2 packaged. The doc brought all of the medical supplies up to date. She was prepared for almost any situation. In the past, she worked with a surgery unit and she had a supply of surgical items as well. For the more exotic items, she had medicines and antidotes to treat all of the normal maladies but also to cover stone fish poison to sea snake venom. The sea snake has a very small mouth and will try to leave you alone. If by chance you get bitten you will need the antidote quickly. A final check of all systems and supplies were complete and on serenity, two days before the girls arrive.
Mac contacts his kids via the sat phone and reported everything is good to go. He told them to watch the radar and check for messages often. Mac had been teaching them their whole lives on situational awareness and options in reactions. They were very sharp on keeping an eye out for trouble.
Mac went to meet the girls after they cleared immigration and customs. He had on his favorite red flower Hawaiian shirt and slacks. He knew from the past two years that the girls would be happy to be in Tahiti, but they also were nervous and hesitant at the first face to face meeting. Mac tried to make the girls feel comfortable and they found a place to sit down in the terminal. Mac explained clearly to the girls how he has made the arrangements over the past few years with his guests. If there were any questions or concerns he will make sure that he has answered everything before they even consider leaving on Serenity. Mac gave each girl a local prepaid cell phone and calling card so they can easily call home. Next he gives them a list of numbers for the hotel, shopping stores, hospital, police, etc. He hands each of them a prepaid credit cash card for local shopping and a list of suggested items for the boat. He asks that they try to coordinate a couple of outfits so they can take some group pictures. Mac showed them a portfolio of pictures of the past few years and a map showing them the places he has been to in the past.
Finally, he hands them a prepaid return airline ticket that can be used from any of the larger islands on their trip. This was in case they want to go back to Tokyo. He asks them if they have any questions or concerns.
One girl, Misaki asks, ‘will we go to the boat tonight’?
Mac said, ‘no. You girls can stay at a hotel for a few days to get settled and do some shopping and site seeing. You can use the plane ticket anytime you want. I want you to enjoy yourselves.
Another girl asks, ‘why are you doing so much’.
Mac said, ‘our talking on the internet was one thing. Now that you’re here, you need to re-evaluate what you see. Once were out in the islands, I hope you can have fun but also learn and study something in your areas of interest’.
Mac continued, ‘as I explained on our chats online. I am not expecting anything from you girls, you know what I mean. I have enough money to last me a couple of lifetimes. I am not going to be
anyone’s sugar daddy. At my stage in life, I appreciate, attractive, intelligent company. So if your fine with everything, we can take the courtesy bus over to your hotel and get you checked in. Then we could get something to eat if you want. I am sure your all tired from the long plane ride’.
Another girl, Niki asked, ‘what kind of food and supplies will you have on the boat’.
Mac said, ‘were outfitted for almost any normal western or Asian dish’.
He opened the picture book again to the rear and showed them an extensive list of the dry and canned goods on Serenity. The next page showed the list of medical supplies onboard. The girls studied the list carefully, pointing to a few food items and talking in Japanese, nodding to each other.
Hyroku, the third girl asked Mac, ‘I’m sorry, we were speaking in Japanese, is that ok’?
Mac said, ‘its fine among you girls for general chatting. But on Serenity, when were out to sea or even diving around the boat, its really a good idea to only speak English. Its much safer that way and it will avoid accidents. For example, your snorkeling and I yell out shark, you really should know what I am saying’.
They all said, ‘yes, clear communications is very important’.
Mac said, ‘ok, ready for the hotel’?
The girls said, yeah, they would like to shower and have some dinner.
Mac noted that they all only had small carry on bags, no heavy suitcases. Light travelers, that was a good sign of clear thinking.
The shuttle bus took them to a nice 5 star hotel and Mac helped them get checked in. They all wanted to share 1 room, they would feel better with that. The hotel quickly made some changes and found a room that would be suitable. The girls went up to their room to shower and get cleaned up.
Mac said he would wait over by the restaurant, pointing.
30 minutes later the girls arrived in a change of clothes. Mac stood up to great them. They headed off to dinner. During dinner they asked questions about life on the boat, routines and such.
Mac explained that during passages between islands it was best to have meals that were prepared before they left and then to heat them up. A little boring but it made it easier by not having to
cook fresh meals on the bouncy ocean. Once they were at some anchorage, snorkeling and scuba diving could be done at anytime, with only one rule. You must have a partner in case of trouble.
Mac said that one of the things he was very interested in learning was any possible radiation levels in the fish they would catch. He had purchased some test equipment and was eager to try it out.
He reminded them that the French had done atomic testing in the South Pacific. Also, he was interested to find out if any of the Fukushima radiation had made it down here.
Mac said, ‘from the information I have found on the internet, it has not. It shouldn’t be in the southern hemisphere for 20 to 40 years’.
The girls talked about how it was a taboo subject to discuss the nuclear accident back home. The government had shut down any open news or discussion on the subject. The average person knows very little about it and goes on with their daily lives. Others, that have a strong scientific background are very worried about it. They have seen radiation counts from around the country before the government shut the information down. The girls said that from news on the internet that there is no way to stop the fissioning process that is still occurring under the crippled reactors.
Hyroku was studying in that field, she said that this is what she wanted to study. She also thought it would be good to study plankton and the other items at that end of the food chain.
After dinner, Mac told the girls to call him at any time. Tomorrow they could see the boat or go shopping/site seeing, what ever they wanted.
Mac said goodnight and to let him know what they wanted to do tomorrow morning.
They said there good byes and Mac saw them back to the registration desk to leave them for the evening.
Mac took a taxi back to the marina. He thought the meeting had gone well and was looking forward to a nice 3 month sail with some attractive, bright girls.
Mac saw the doc back at the boat and told her about the new crew and that they asked good questions. I think we have three bright girls again this year.
The next morning, Mac received a call and the girls wanted to see the boat first and then take a tour around the island.
Mac said ‘no problem’ and gave them the address so they could tell the taxi driver.
15 minutes later the taxi pulled up and Mac met them at the entrance to the dock. They weren’t carrying their bags, just purses. Mac led them to the boat and introduced them to the doc. He showed them around the boat and answered any questions.
When they were done they walked out to the bus station nearby and found a tour bus schedule to their liking. They spent the rest of the afternoon riding the bus around to different tourist locations.
Mac knew they all could swim well and they all had a little scuba experience. When they got back to the marina, Mac took them over to a dive shop to get items that would fit them properly. Even though he had lots of equipment on the boat, a mask needs to fit correctly to be enjoyable. Niki and Hyroku had brought their own mask as they had to have a prescription lens to see clearly underwater. Mac said that was very good planning on their part. After they finished shopping at the dive shop, Mac said, ‘why don’t you girls wander the shopping malls while I take the dive equipment back to the boat. He pointed to a shop he had used before where they could pick out some matching outfits for pictures. He had shown them the photo album the night before so they had an idea what to look for. The girls thought that would be fun and a nice souvenir picture from their adventure. Mac added that he wanted them to wear shoes on the boat. A stubbed or cut foot would be unwelcome. Also, in the out islands, the natives did not think thong bikinis were appropriate and that you should wear some loose top over your swimsuit. The girls headed off down the street talking about ideas.
After shopping, they called Mac to see if they could come by the boat to show him their outfits they chose. He had given them the pass key for the marina gate so he didn’t have to go meet them. Mac was not disappointed, and the girls were happy to show off the matching outfits. Matching tennis shoes, bikinis, shorts and tops. They also picked up matching sunglasses and hats. Mac reached into a cabinet and pulled out caps and t-shirts with the boat name embroidered upon them. The girls pulled on the shirts and hats and looked at themselves approvingly.