Jesus! What was going on here!
The others dropped their ice creams (in the sea - what a bloody waste!) and split into two groups. One followed the big man onto the catamaran and started handcuffing the sailors, while the other led by Ali and Rachel went to the support boat, where they started dropping anything electrical overboard as well.
“Give us your phones, now” screamed the big man.
I don’t know about the Luna Rossa team but I was shitting my brand new boxers I can tell you that.
For a moment I wondered if I should try to send a quick text off but then they remembered me and Ali came over and frisked me. I found myself regretting it wasn’t Rachel and that cheered me up - if I could think along those lines I was staying cool enough to remain ol’ Buff.
“Sorry Buff” he said, taking my battered old BB and dropping it into those crystal blue waters. “We can’t take any chances.”
For a moment I could see it glinting under the waves then it faded away, dropping towards the sea floor.
They seem very well organised, fully equip with plenty of handcuffs and everyone with their tasks. The VHF radio was removed from the RIB, together with its engine’s spark plugs, which followed my BB down to where the water was cold, dark and still. Then all the sailors together with the support crew made to strip down to shorts and t-shirts before being shepherded onto the Sunseeker.
“We mean you no harm” said the big man. “You will be taken to an isolated beach on Sardinia, where you will be released. We just want to borrow your yacht, and we need time before anyone comes looking for it.”
Was that it? Were they just really keen AC fans who had been gagging for a sail on this high tech beauty, or was there more to their plans than that?
“Now is your last chance” said Rachel to me. “If you want to find out why we want Luna Rossa you must follow us now. Otherwise you can stay with on the Sunseeker. I should warn you it will be very dangerous: we will understand if you are scared, if you’ve had enough.”
Jeez, what to do.
I watched as Ali and the others shifted their bags into Luna Rossa’s starboard hull. So there really was more to it than I guessed, and I was thinking longingly about getting back to the hotel for a shower and clean boxers when she touched me gently on the arm.
“Please stay, Buff: we need someone willing to tell our story.”
Maybe I am a sucker for a pretty face and maybe it’s because my arm is tingling all over again at the memory of that brief contact, but I said yes, and swung my legs over the side and onto the hijacked challenger for the 34th America’s Cup.