With Sophie sleeping comfortably, Erin decided to venture above for the first time since the battle. The deck was bathed in bright, tropical sunlight. The Mansions of Night was on a port tack heading west south-west several hundred yards behind Velocity.
Erin found Mera at the stern rail watching a lone British frigate following from halfway to the horizon.
“That’s Insuperable,” Mera said solemnly. “She was on our heels when we left Sugar Bowl Bay. We’ve put three miles on her since.”
“I’m surprised your mom doesn’t join with Velocity and attack. It’s two to one.”
“Mother thinks Triumph and Lucy B are just over the rim, or they wouldn’t risk stalking us. Lucy B has jib damage and Triumph is holed below the water line. When they’ve made repairs, they’ll likely start closing on us. They’ve more sail than our ships.”
Erin stared across the heaving sea imagining the three frigates drawing closer every day until their twenty-four pound “bruisers”, as Jennie called the British cannons, could “punch us through at thousand yards.” Nell and Darkrunner would certainly turn and attack, as they had before. But there would be no surprise this time. Just smashing long shots followed by a broadside brawl which Jenny didn’t believe the pirate ships could long stand.
“Don’t fret too much,” Mera said watching Erin’s face. “We’ve still got the best captains on the Deep Blue Sea.”
Erin tried her best to smile, but couldn’t help but worry at the odds.
[Thanks to Chris Hunt for providing reference to image: Battle of Quiberon Bay: the Day After (Richard Wright 1760)]