Chapter 1

I looked out to the open sea. Clouds were forming one the horizon, nothing the ship couldn't handle. She's named the Grey Ghost. I am lucky to on her, and have been for years. She belongs to my father, and I live on here. My mother loved her too. I still wished she knew the kinds of adventures we had on this boat in the past.

We are headed to port, in a few hours. My father is going into the sea port for a week, while I am going to stay on the boat with Uncle Bill. He's my father's second in command. I will be when Uncle Bill will ship out on the next time he will deploy.

While my father is on land, I'll be with a whole group of kids my age. We will tour the islands for a few weeks, and I'll be their teacher. I will teach them about the reefs and the animals. I am so excited! We will have so much fun together, and I can't wait.

Tomorrow's the big day, and I can't wait to come in and meet them. We are headed to an island in Futuna. Their school is sending them with me and the Grey Ghost to build leadership skills and learn about the ocean and reefs. It sounds great actually! I'm home schooled on the ship so I don't get to hang out with people my age, but I know what I am doing.

The sun is starting to set, and I can see the port in a few miles. It's beautiful here. The boat is going slow and steady in the soft waves, perfect for sleeping in a hammock.

My thought was interrupted by a soft sound. "Beautiful. Isn't it?" I turned, and my father was standing next to me while I was on sitting on the edge of the boat.

"It's gorgeous." Then I turned towards the sunset, "I can't wait for tomorrow to get here. I'm ready to meet them, and teach them. It's going to be perfect." I looked back at him.

"I think you are, but there's still one thing," he came down and sat next to me, "I wanted to give you something, but before I do, please don't laugh."

"Okay."

"I love you so much, and I am a little nervous that you will be on your own for a little while, especially with other youngsters, but I support you and trust you."

"Dad, that's so sweet, but I'm not a little girl, and you know that, I've grown up the past fifth teen years."

"Yes you have, but you will always be my little girl, my best first mate-"he was interrupted by the sudden fake coughing of Uncle Bill, "Next to Uncle Billy,"-the coughing ceased-"and I love you very much. Just as much as your mother."

He paused for a moment. He looked away from me for a minuet of two. We lost mom when I was seven. We bought the boat-after the Black ghost sank a year before-and my father still missed her very much. It's tough for my dad too. He says every day that I look more and more like her, but it's hard on me too.

After another long moment, I hugged my father, and he hugged me back. "I love you dad, and that's never going to change."

"I know Sid. I love you too," I pulled back and looked up at him, it looked like he had tears in his eyes. Then, he fumbled around in his shirt pocket. He pulled out a little back velvet case. "Happy Birth-day Sid."

I opened it, and saw a beautiful silver necklace, and pendent. The pendent was shaped like a sea shell, and had a turquoise sea star in the center of it. I took it out of the case in awe. "It's beautiful." He took it out of my hands and opened the sea shell. It was a locket. I looked inside, and it had a watch with the time on it, and on the lid was a picture of my mom with dad. I smiled at it.

"So won't forget me." He took it again, and put it around my neck. It fit perfectly.

"Thanks dad. I'll never take it off," and with that, I stood up, and went down to my quarters. I had a long day ahead of me, and I couldn't wait.