Back in the year 1984, on the picture-poster tropical island of Rarotonga, I literally fell into whaling history when I tumbled into a grave. A great tree had been felled by a recent hurricane, exposing a gravestone that had been hidden for more than one and a half centuries. It was the memorial to a young whaling wife, who had sailed with her husband on the New Bedford ship Harrison in the year 1845. And so my fascination with maritime history was triggered ... resulting in 18 books (so far). The latest -- number nineteen -- is a biography of a truly extraordinary man, Tupaia, star navigator and creator of amazing art.
Harold Pederson’s discovery ships are in trouble. Specializing in exploring remote estuaries and photographing endangered wildlife in South East Asia and the western Pacific, his fleet ventures into waters that are rife with pirates.
When Jerry Giacomo is hired by Pederson to make his ships look bullet-proof, he finds that the situation is even more precarious than expected. The Jihadist breakaway group Abu Sayyaf is operating in the South China Sea, and their brutality is notorious, with filmed beheadings as well as outrageous ransom demands. Because of the threat the terrorists present, Storm Swept, with all the Bacchantes on board, is requisitioned by the British navy, to take part in an exercise up a remote river in Borneo, where the pirates have their lair.
At the same time, Helen Pederson is trapped in a remote village in Mexico, being blackmailed by her first husband. When she mnages to confide her dilemma to Jerry and Skye, the Bacchantes are forced to face yet another great challenge. The paternity of the girls has been brought into question yet again.
And the answer could be fatal.