BAYKO BARON

ISLA ISABELLE

An ancient physics lesson

Isla Isabelle - Sir Arnold Grasp's latest purchase, once known as Snake Island, now renamed in honour of his daughter. Built in a failed attempt to create a second 'Moustique' the hotel is now 'Casa Grasp' with enough accommodation to house Sir Arnold's entire entourage. 

Up at the pool the Grasp Bunnies practice their passes

 Vesper Dream, late for practice as always

While some of the keener members of Team Grasp and the Triplettes (Lady Lavinia's Ladies) use the end of the runway for  a drag race

Up above Binky Twinge holds the Spad rigid as the Graspettes practice their latest show-stopper - looks like Fiachra has put on a few pounds!

Used for anti-submarine patrols during the war, the tiny islet boasts its own landing strip. Sir Arnold arrives and pauses to brief the press - brought with him in his own Lear Jet for the purpose - naturally Desdemona Molewrench gets priority

 Unsurprisingly he has not bought the island just to give his people a little privacy or sunshine - there is unfinished business here, on his wife and daughter's behalf.

It seems that James, 9th Lord Chinless, having inherited an estate impoverished by the Civil War and finding that the restored Charles II could not also restore the family fortunes, came West to seek his fortune - and found it as 'Calico Jack Chinless', buccaneer, pirate, member of the Brethren of the Coast and especial enemy of Catholic Spain.

And it was off Snake Island that Calico Jack and his brig, the 'Saucy Gladys Trusspott', came up with the Spanish galleon, 'SS Santissima' fully laden with her annual tribute

Outgunned, outnumbered and with speed his only advantage , Calico decided to attack - smart lad! His plan was simple - race in, fire a quick broadside at a range where his little 12's might do some good, then grapple and board in the hope that harsh language and sharp objects would do the rest! Simple!

Aboard the Santissima, Admiral Ximenes (Caballero of the Droopy Sheep, Coronel of the Order of St Jim) also had a plan. Having recently up-gunned from 24 and 32 pounders to 48's on both decks he only needed the Saucy Gladys to come close enough to reduce her to a memory.

Obligingly the Saucy Gladys came sweeping in, sails emptying as she swung to fire her pop-guns

Almost simultaneously the Santissima let fly with everything she had - and promptly gave an impressive demonstration of the newly discovered Newtonian physics ('to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction'). As eighty tons of bronze and timber jumped explosively back the big ship's centre of gravity shifted off her centre-line.

Heeling violently she promptly shipped several tons of sea through her open off-side ports making it instantly impossible for her gunners to redress her trim against a sloping deck. Top heavy to begin with the rest was just... gravity.

Cheated of his plunder, a stunned but grateful Calico Jack took what was left of the Saucy Gladys and went looking for a dry dock. Some years later, a millionaire several times over, he went home and restored the family estates.

But was never quite respectable. It wasn't the piracy, that was just.... business - it was the wife, a commoner called Ethel Puttle.  Good God! Had the man no understanding of noblesse oblige?

So, with ancestry and ownership on his side, Sir Arnold has had his own submersible, the Saucy G, searching for the last three weeks. Ironically success turned up just a hundred yards from Casa Grasp. Using a shark cage and a team of bottom-walkers - the old methods are best for this kind of work - they have raised a trophy. It's unmistakeably Spanish, cast in San Serif in 1680 and a massive 48 pounder. Proof enough to make it worth slinging shark nets between the buoys and start some serious trea... marine archeaology.

Four weeks on, Sir Arnold and his acolytes turn out in full fig for the final photo-shoot. With Ricky 'Dickey' Closeup doing the exclusive TV documentary everything's already paid for and the publicity will be international and priceless. Just as well, since the chaps from the Turks and Caicos Treasury Dept. are already standing by.

 

 

 

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