Fe, Esperanza Y Caridad

The Esperanza lay in her berth in the old, picturesque fishing port of Fornells. Situated on the wild and rugged north coast of Menorca. A beautiful sand coloured rocky island rising out of the crystal blue Mediterranean.

The Esperanza was a beautiful boat painted white and blue, rocking gently with ropes and cables knocking against her tall white mast. No one had been seen on or near the boat for a generation or more. Some of the oldest residents in town remembered a fisherman called Jose who could be seen painting and maintaining the boat for many years. He had not been seen in recent times and the Esperanza just lay in her berth year after year waiting patiently while boats came and went around her.

One morning just before dawn Jose returned to his boat, only the earliest risers would have caught a glimpse of the old man walking towards the quay. If anyone had still been alive from the day, he arrived they would surely have recognised him. Not one day older, slim, a deep dark tan, long grey hair and a straggly goatee beard. His clothes were simple. A tattered old orange tee-shirt, faded denim jeans and sandals.

Jose sailed his boat out of the harbour with the sea as calm as a pond and just the gentlest of breezes drifting across the bay. With the beautiful white sails unfurled Jose’s little white boat could be seen silhouetted on the horizon as the sun rose that morning. That day though and the following night a terrible storm blew, the like of which had not seen for such a long time. Some lives were lost and boats sunk but many more were saved. There were tales of people being plucked from the water. Ships and boats being guided to safety at the height of the storm by the strangest of craft, a small white sailing vessel that should have perished in the first minutes of the tempest.

As the sun rose the next morning a small white boat its sails damaged and awash with water sailed into Bonifacio on the island of Corsica. An old man sat wet and disheveled at the tiller, seeking shelter after the storm. No one saw him arrive but occasionally he can be seen at the harbour tending to his beautiful boat. Jose’s brothers were also at sea that night in their boats the Fe and Caridad. All three men and their boats are safe in quiet harbour’s in the Mediterranean waiting patiently There was a fourth brother rarely comes ashore. He prowls the seas searching out the unwary or unlucky, his boat? The Muerte.

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