Here is the next part of my serial story from our Role Play group The Airship's Messdeck.
You can start from the beginning here.
Previously Max and his crew are stuck in a massive storm raging in the North Sea. They had been sent out to continue the testing of the Chirper after the engines in their old airship had failed. The Argo, an aged steam fishing trawler, is a sturdy ship but she is being battered by the merciless storm.
Enjoy Part IV.
Keep your sightglass full. your firebox trimmed and your water iced.
by Kevin Jepson
*Max and Mr Angus are at the kicking wheel, the forward windows of the wheelhouse streaming with rain and spray, the deck a welter of white foam. For several days the Argo has battled valiantly against the gale. Since the Argo's single cylinder engine doesn't have enough power to make headway against the wind and the waves the best Max and Mr Angus have been able to do is keep her bow pointed into the breaking seas. It is a constant struggle to keep the old trawler from falling off and broaching in the troughs. Not being able to maneuver has meant that the Argo is totally at the mercy of the storm, she is being dragged around in the North Sea as the storm spins.*
Max, takes advantage of a slight slackening in the wave motion to flex his hand. "Bloody hell Angus, I've never seen a storm that didn't let up for a week or more like this."
Mr Angus his eyes red rimmed from lack of sleep and the salt spray leaking through the wooden wall of the wheelhouse says "Och, Aye an it don't normally, but we ain't steaming ahead. We is just forcing ourselves into the storm. We can't run and we can't hide so it just spins us around and all."
Max peering out into the storm says, "It's moving East, so we are going to run out of sea eventually!"
"More an likely, an we can't see what's astern in all this murk."
*The wheel gives a lurch and Max quickly grabs the spokes. Taking the lead from Mr Angus he forces the Argo back onto her course.*
Well Max me lad even Iveta can't do any dead reckoning in all this. Not knowing where we are and with the flat lying shores of Denmark and Jutland to wash up on there's not a pleasant prospect for the future.
*A quick glance at the swinging compass shows that the Argo is now trying to battle waves forcing her astern to the North East. At what speed over the bottom Max has no way to tell.*
Now if we just had some way to tell how close to the shore we was... Ah Max you old fool, you got a hold full of gear that can do just that!
"Lt Baleva!" Max calls down from the wheelhouse.
*Iveta pops up the ladder from the cabin below, her face streaked with coal dust from helping to stoke the hungry firebox of the Argo's boiler.*
"If we knew the depth and some idea of what the bottom was like could you get us an estimate of whereabouts we are from the charts."
"I think so Sir."
"Very good, get Simpson to fire up the Chirper and see if he can get some depths and maybe a profile from the recording cylinder."
"Aye Aye Sir" and Iveta drops quickly out of sight down the ladder.
At least we ain't totally blind an all.