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Selling Hashish in VIETNAM. Chapter 7 - Pirates

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In any case this was hardly the time to think about diesel engines. Jim was already hog tied and I was on the verge of being tied up as well. The third pirate came up behind me and tied my hands behind my back. Then he kicked me and made me lie down on my belly and hog tied my legs just like Jim was. 

With both me and Jim lying tied up on deck and the gunman still pointing the gun at us, the third pirate made Janet and Janice cross over to the pirate boat. Meanwhile the pirate with the binoculars went down the hatch and came up with a kit bag and handed it over to his pals who were already back on their own boat along with Janice and Janet. He then crossed over to his own boat. As I said, the engine was still running. I heard the gearbox engage the propeller and the pirate boat moved off. 

Pirate raid over? 

What the fuck? 

Not a single shot fired. Hardly any physical beating or injury. No yelling or shouting. There was no question of arguing because you cannot argue with people whose language you do not know and who are holding a gun to your head. 

The girls were not treated badly. In fact the girls were treated pretty decently considering that they were being kidnapped at gunpoint. What they would do with the girls was pretty 0bvious. They would read the Bible. 

First things first. We had to untie ourselves. We started rolling towards any metallic or sharp hard protuberances on which to rub the ropes till they got cut. There are umpteen such places on a sailing boat such as the AXARA. In what seemed like eternity Jim was free. I too was almost there and Jim helped me free. 

Jim spoke for the first time. “They have taken all our food. When I went down the hatch with the pirate behind me, he made me open the bunks and everything else. So it seems our idea of hiding the girls under the bunks would not have helped anyway. He made me put all our canned food in the kit bag.” 

“What about the munny you made SELLiNG HASHiSH IN ViETNAM? Did they get it? I am sure the girls also made some munny selling their charms in camp. What happened to it? Where is it?” I asked. 

After we had sailed off from Vietnam we had never talked about munny, though I know for sure Jim must have made a pile. After all, I was the one scraping and weighing the Hashish in camp though I never saw any munny myself. 

“I had put the dollar bills in a plastic bag and dumped it under the bunks when we sailed from Ca Mau in Vietnam” Jim replied. “Janet and Janice had also given me some money in an envelope which I put into the same plastic bag with my munny. When this pirate pushed me down the hatch, he made me open everything and throw it out. The plastic bag with the munny was quite dirty looking and I purposely threw it in such a way that it fell under the bilge pump.” 

The AXARA had a manually operated bilge pump.Apparently the pirate did not take any notice of the dirty plastic bag. He just took what he thought would be of use to them and made Jim put it in the kit bag and came up on deck, took the kit bag, tied us up and left. 

So the munny was safe. 

Great! 

We were safe. 

Great! 

But they had taken the girls as well as the food. Food was not a problem. We could make landfall (=reach land) by tomorrow and survival without food for a day was no problem, but what about the girls? 

That the girls were sailing with us was a written record. There is a convention among all the sailing clubs around the world, especially yacht clubs which cater to ocean going sailing boats that whenever a vessel sails out of a club bound for any other port or country, they have to make a detailed entry in a register kept in the club. The registers were hard bound hard copy. There were no Laptops and internet at that time. They have to write name of boat; type of boat; name of master; name, gender, age and nationality of crew and passengers if any; proposed destination, and expected date of arrival at the destination. 

Before leaving Bangkok we had made these entries in the register of the Bangkok sailing club. We had written proposed destination as Singapore and expected date of arrival in Singapore 12 days later. 

It was already more than 12 days since we had left Bangkok, but nobody would panic yet because few days more than the estimate is perfectly normal for a sailing boat. After all, this was not Pan American Airways, a scheduled passenger airline most famous in those days for being punctual, a fact they bragged about in their newspaper and magazine advertisements. 

I was not sure about Jim, but I was sure that both Janice and Janet must have phoned their folks in the US and told them they were sailing to Singapore on the AXARA. 

As to myself, I had neither informed my parents in India nor my sister in Malaysia that I was going to sail from Bangkok to Singapore on a 37 footer sailing boat. Not that I didn’t think of doing so, but as people of my age (today in 2011 I am 65) in India would know, making international phone calls to and from India was extremely difficult. One had to “book” a fucking trunk call and then sit next to the bloody phone for many days till the fucking call “matured”. There was no Subscriber Trunk Dialing (STD) system on landline phones in India in those days. Everything was manual. Nobody complained because nobody knew better. That was the shit bloody technology that the bloody socialist govt. of India at that time used, to keep the masses on leash. The operator could never give any estimate as to when the fucking call might mature. And in that day and age, there was no way I was going to waste time sitting next to a fucking phone which may or may not ring in the next few hours…days…weeks…months….if ever. 

“What do we do now?” I asked Jim. Stoopid question, but we were in a different dilemma. This was more than the devil and the deep sea. We had survived the deep sea in the storm before being shipwrecked in Vietnam. We had just survived the pirate-devil since we were both alive and unharmed after the pirate encounter. But the girls were gone. We had to do something, but what?? 

We surely could not chase the pirate boat in the AXARA. There is no way a sailing boat could ever keep up with an engine powered boat. Besides, which direction do we chase them? By the time Jim and I got our hands and feet free of the ropes, the pirate boat was out of sight. It could be anywhere in the 360 degree horizon around us. It would be worse than looking for a needle in a haystack because in the case of the missing needle you at least know that it is in the haystack, but in our case we didn’t even know where the haystack was! 

Besides, even if we did manage to locate the pirate boat, what could we do? There were at least three of them which we had seen. There could be more amidships. We were only two. The pirates had at least one gun which we had seen, maybe more. We had none. What were the odds? Very poor we decided. We were outnumbered. We were out-gunned. We were out-sailed: They had engine, we had only wind. 

In the event we decided to head for Singapore. This was 1973. There were no modern communications devices such as we have in 2011. Wireless did exist but there wasn’t any on board the AXARA. Our technology was no better than Columbus, 500 years ago! There was no way to communicate our plight to anyone unless we met someone face to face or at least get to some place which had a telephone. We would report the pirate attack to the authorities in Singapore and also file our report with the US Embassy since both Janice and Janet were US citizens. 

Before we were hit by the pirates we were following a course due south along 105E longitude. We put up the mainsail and continued on the same course. If the winds kept, we could hit Singapore by tomorrow afternoon. Jim was holding the wheel while I sat on deck with paper and pen writing down all details of the pirate boat, what the pirates looked like, what all happened etc. 

I thought of all the Sherlock Holmes stories that I had read as I was growing up. Sherlock Holmes power of observation was legendary. He was a genius. Jim and I got talking. How big was the pirate boat? What was the name? What color was it? How tall were the pirates? How many? What weapons? I was writing down whatever Jim was telling me, as well as whatever I could remember myself. 

The pirate attack had lasted hardly 15 minutes. After the pirates sailed off it must have taken us maybe half an hour to free ourselves, and now, barely an hour after the attack we were sailing again. We sailed on for more than an hour, maybe two when we again saw a boat. Jim was holding the wheel. I looked at the boat through the binoculars. 

“Fuck” I said, “It looks like the same boat that attacked us” and gave the binoculars to Jim. 

Jim looked thru the binoculars and said, “Fuck, it is, but it is not moving”. 

“Eh? Not moving?” I took the binoculars from Jim and looked again. Yes it was the same pirate boat and it was not moving. 

This was very surprising. Since they had left us alive, it made sense for them to get as far from us as possible. And here they were, lying still, bang in the middle of our route to Singapore along 105 East longitude. 

Another bigger quandary: What do we do now? We were sure the girls were on board. Whether they had been raped or fucked was irrelevant. The relevant fact was that no male in his right mind would get rid of such highly fuckable women as Janice and Janet. Indeed, that is why they took them. 

I checked our position. We were headed south along 105 East Longitude and were about two-and-a-half degrees north of the equator. 

We decided to sail closer to the pirate boat for a better look. We came to within @ 80 -100 feet of the pirate boat. The engine was not running, which was even more surprising. 

It was a foolhardy thing to do. We were sailing into the very pirate boat which had attacked us and kidnapped the girls barely couple of hours ago. What else should we do? What else could we do? We couldn’t just sail past this boat when it was not moving. We had to do something even if we had to die. 

Nobody was on deck. Very strange. We came even closer. We were within hailing distance. Should we hail? If we did and they heard us, surely they would come up, definitely armed at least as well armed as last time if not better. That would put back us to square one – exactly the same scene couple of hours ago when they attacked us. So we decided against hailing. 

And since no one was on deck, this provided us an unbelievable opportunity to board her. 

All this logic and not hailing, was Jim’s thinking. He was a soldier. He had seen death. He had killed. I was a greenhorn in this game, but I understood the situation as well as Jim did, and we both felt the same way about doing something - anything – for the girls even if it meant death for us. We just couldn’t abandon the girls. 

Now how do we board the pirate boat? My idea was that I would stay on the AXARA. Jim would climb down silently into the water, swim the few feet to the pirate boat and climb to the deck. 

And then? 

Did I expect Jim to challenge three pirates for a hand-to-hand hassle like some Tarzan or Arnold Robocop? Ha! How stoopid! 

The pirates had at least one gun between them and at least two knives. This much we already knew. Supposing they shot Jim? What should I do? What COULD I do? 

It would be extremely cowardly of me to just sail away. The girls, if they were alive, and Jim if he survived, would never forgive me for this. 

No. This was a do or die situation and we both had to do this together. Two of us against at least three pirates had a better chance than one against three. 

We had already brought down the sails of the AXARA and dropped anchor. But the anchor was not catching. The sea was too deep and we left the anchor dangling for whatever it was worth. 

What if the AXARA drifted too far away to be able to swim to it? 

The question was theoretical. If we got killed, the AXARA did not matter. If somehow we overpowered the pirates, we would have their boat. 

So both of us got into the water, swam the few feet to the pirate boat and climbed on deck. Still nobody came up. Of course we were being as silent as we could. 

There was a cabin on the deck from which steps led down amidships. We peeped in. The rifle which the pirate had earlier pointed at us was leaned butt-down against the inner wall of the cabin. Jim quickly grabbed it. This was too easy. But what we saw amidships left me dumbstruck. 

There was a regular orgy going on. Janet and Janice were sitting on one side of the floor wearing what they were wearing when they got taken hours ago. 

They were not tied and it looked like they were not harmed. Since they were wearing exactly what they were wearing when they got taken, it looked like they had not yet been fucked. Two pirates were doing various sex acts with four women. Three of the women seemed to be from the Malay race and the fourth who was much fairer, appeared to be Chinese. 

The third pirate, who had pointed the same gun at us few hours ago, was sitting on his haunches and fiddling with the engine with his back to us. 

Jim did what he was trained to do. He had not even checked if the gun was loaded, and pointed the gun at the fucking pirates and yelled, “Don’t move”. 

Whether the pirates understood English or not, everybody understands a gun pointed at you, in any language. 

They stopped fucking and looked at us, but there was no fear in their eyes. 

Janet spoke, “forget it Jim, the gun is not loaded. Indeed it was not loaded when they boarded the AXARA. In fact, there are no bullets on board. The whole thing was a hoax and we fell for it.” 

I was incredulous. So was Jim. It just wasn’t making sense. “What the fuck is going on”? Jim yelled. 

“Lemme explain”, Janet replied. “This is Soh Mui,” she said pointing at the Chinese girl, “she speaks English”. These are not professional pirates. These are villagers from Anambas Islands. Their families are small time farmers and fishermen who fish near the shore in rowing boats. This boat belongs to a friend of theirs who uses this boat to transport all kinds of contraband stuff which includes small time piracy. This is very common in Indonesia, a country of 15,000 islands. When business is bad he does some fishing. He was not going to use the boat for some days, so these guys borrowed it. Since the owner himself is a semi-outlaw, he is not bothered what these guys do on the boat as long as they bring it back without damage. The owner has no idea what these guys are up to nor is he bothered.” 

“These three guys know these women and they were going to some isolated atoll these guys know, where they were planning to have an orgy. Piracy was hardly on their mind. Apparently this is the first time they have taken this boat. So when they moved off, they checked out the insides of the boat and found this gun, binoculars and a couple of knives among other things.” 

In a boat built for contraband peddling and small time piracy these are essential items. 

Janet cunt in you ed, “Then they saw the AXARA and they saw Janice and me. So they came. They themselves did not know that the gun was not loaded. 

They pulled it off by pure bravado. We’ve been played for suckers. Anyway they have treated us pretty well since they took us. First of all they gave the kit bag back to us and said we could go ahead and eat the canned food if we wanted. They were going for a clandestine sex orgy, so when they saw us, they decided MORE THE MERRiER, and took us. The fact that we are White Anglo-Saxon Caucasian breed (race), really whetted their appetite” 

Three cheers for genetic diversity, I thought ! 

“All this time these girls have been trying to convince us how much fun it would be. Soh Mui here speaks English so we can communicate. They even said that after our orgy they would drop us on the Malaysian island of PulauTioman from where we could get a ferry to the mainland and from there we could take a bus to Singapore. Since we had kept all our money with you on the AXARA, we had no money to pay for the ferry or the bus to Singapore. These guys even gave us money for it.” 

Janet pulled out three 50 Ringgit (also known as Malaysian Dollars at that time) bills / notes from her bra and gave them to Jim. 

In 1973 the exchange rate was 2.1 Singapore Dollars==1 Malaysian Dollar (Ringgit). Today it is more than the opposite: 2.8 Malaysian Dollars (Ringgit)==1 Singapore Dollar. 

Janet cunt in you ed: “Since neither Janice nor I were vehemently opposing the orgy idea, they sort of assumed that we are OK with it. Orgy or not, our main concern was to get to Singapore which these guys had promised they would help. This money is proof of it. Since the AXARA was nowhere in sight and you both not in the picture, we had no alternative. We were heading for the atoll when the engine of this boat stalled and we are stuck here. This guy sitting near the engine is trying to do something, but doesn’t seem to be making much headway.” 

“How long have you been adrift?” I asked. 

“Half an hour, forty minutes, maybe”. 

“And they started fucking?” 

“Ya, I suppose” Janet replied. 

It made sense. They had initially set out for this very purpose. The engine died. Would they be able to make it to the dream atoll for the orgy? They doubted it. 

Therefore while the gunman pirate was trying to see if he could do anything about the engine, the udders decided to get down to business, which was fucking, which is what they were doing. 

While Janet was talking, the fuckers casually started dressing up, the men as well as the women. 

I addressed SohMui, the Chinese girl. “Tell this guy to move off. Let me have a look at the engine.” He moved off. 

I went to the engine. It was a four-cylinder Detroit Diesel. First I checked the fuel tank. There was enough Diesel. So fuel shortage could not be the problem. 

Next I pressed the starter switch. The engine cranked but did not fire. At least the battery was not dead. Another possibility ruled out. 

If there is enough Diesel and the engine was cranking, the third step was to check fuel flow. I took out one nozzle and cranked the engine again. 

The spray from the nozzle was weak. In fact there was hardly any spray. Diesel was just about oozing out, not spraying like a fine mist as it should.The injection pressure of Kirloskar diesel engines (on which I had worked) is @ 190 – 200 atmospheres. This engine would be having about the same injection pressure and the spray is so powerful that if it hits human skin, it will penetrate the skin and get into the bloodstream. This was surely not happening here. 

The standard procedure is to go backwards along the fuel line. So I opened the pump unit. But could I test it? Back in the service center of KirloskarOiL Engines Ltd. where I was trained, there was a test-bench with jigs and fixtures where each nozzle and each plunger could be tested individually and the fault pinpointed. But there was no such thing here. What to do? 

If the problem was with the plunger, then solving it on the spot would be difficult. I could look around the boat for stray pieces of metal with which I would try to fashion some Jigs & fixtures to test the plungers. But that would take time, many hours. 

I decided to check further backwards along the fuel line, which is the pipe that brings fuel from the tank to the pump unit. Between the tank and the pump unit is a fuel filter. When I opened this pipe, fuel coming out was much less than it should be. Aha! It is the filter that is clogged. Fault located. 

I disconnected the filter, opened its cap and took out the filter element. It was clogged. It should be replaced, but there was no spare. So I threw away the filter element and connected back the filter cup into fuel circuit and assembled everything back as before.If the element was the problem, this would solve it. There would be no filtering, but then there would be no impediment either. Fuel should flow. 

Everybody was watching me. Not that any of them knew or even understood what I was trying to do. If I succeeded, it would make me a her0 and we would be off to our paradise island. And the orgy! Six women: Three Malay, one Chinese and two Anglo-Saxon. Five men: three Malay, one Indian and one Anglo-Saxon. WOW! 

Talk about genetic diversity! 

Just thinking about this was giving me an erection. 

Janet and Janice were nothing new. SohMui, the fair Chinese woman had very small tits and I am first and foremost a boobs man. So SohMui was not my focus. Of the three Malay women, 0ne appealed to me: Lucious boobs, very inviting lips and a welcoming ass. She would be my target. 

Right now, she was my prime motivation. I closed my eyes, thought of this woman and imagined myself squeezing her nipples, and pressed the starter button of the engine. 

It cranked, sputtered and died. An improvement over the previous attempt. In the first attempt the engine had not even sputtered. It was bland. I opened my eyes and pressed again. The engine sputtered and fired and started running. 

Everybody clapped. EUREKA ! I felt like Archimedes must have felt 2500 years ago when he ran out naked from his bathtub. I couldn’t run out like Archimedes. I was fully clothed while my audience was naked and right here. What a paradox! 

I left the engine running. SohMui started talking to the Malay men looking at me and engine. 

Then she said, “They are very thankful to you. They are asking how reliable is the engine now?” 

“It is as reliable as it was when they first took the boat, of that I am sure. Why do they ask?” I said. 

“Because on that will depend whether we cunt in you our journey to the paradise atoll or head for home”. 

“Oh, it is now quite reliable” I replied, trying to sound more confident than I actually was. This was because I was extremely keen on the orgy. It would be a lifetime experience. If I showed any doubt, then they would probably head for home. They did not have to drop us at PulauTioman because we had the AXARA and could sail for Singapore as we were doing before the encounter. 

The pirate with the binoculars looked at me and looked at the engine. His facial expression was one of doubt. I looked at SohMui. “The engine will do fine” I said, and pulled the de-compressor to kill the engine. It stopped. All eyes were on me again. 

I pressed the starter button. The engine fired and started running. No sputtering. Everybody’s face lit up. The binocular pirate came and shook my hand. All’s well. People got to work. This was my supreme moment. In Hindi, this was my “Main Hoon Na !” moment. 

The gunman pirate went to the wheel and engaged the gears. 

The boat moved. Slowly he brought it alongside the AXARA which had drifted away quite a distance while we were on the pirate boat. We threw a grappler and boarded the AXARA. Threw a line and tied the bow (==front) of the AXARA to the stern (rear) of the pirate boat. The idea was for the pirate boat to tow the AXARA. Though this would result in slower speed, but at least we could head directly to the paradise atoll without bothering about the wind direction. 

Besides, I just couldn’t wait to get to paradise. I was getting such strong erections, I thought of myself as EL-PRiM0 HOM0 ERECTUS! 

Job done, but there was still the question of at least one of us staying on the AXARA to hold the wheel. We looked at each other. Neither of us wanted to be on the AXARA. We both wanted to be with the females and begin preliminaries with the females on the pirate boat. 

I played my trump card. I said, “I better go on their boat Jim. I got to ensure the engine keeps working.” Jim was stumped. He had nothing to say. Everything depended on the engine. And everybody’s perception was that the engine depended on me. 

I thanked my ex employers: Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd. of Pune, India. Because of the knowledge and training of diesel engines I got there, I was a hero and a privileged member of the Ultimate Orgy! 

I got back on the pirate boat and yelled to Jim, “If you want, I can ask Janet or Janice or any of the others to be with you on the AXARA.” 

“Forget it” Jim replied. “My hands will be busy holding the wheel. It can be pretty tricky when you are being ocean towed. I can only talk, but apart from Janet and Janice, only the Chinese woman speaks English, and you would need her there on the pirate boat because only she speaks English and the other language, whatever it is.” 

The towing began. Jim was alone on the AXARA holding the wheel. SohMui said, “They say it will take less than an hour to reach the atoll. Maybe just half an hour.” 

This was fantastic. I would be arriving in paradise in half an hour, with a bunch of houaris to make me experience heaven. Paradise, here I cum! Main Hoon Na !

 

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