Competitive sailboat racing team John Sebren, 16, and his 14-year-old sister Jessie set out to sail a 41-foot ketch owned by their father’s charter company from the Dominican Republic to the Virgin Islands. The teens are smart, and in planning their adventure, they anticipate every eventuality except one—piracy. When Thomas Holt, a disgruntled former charter company employee, learns of their plans, he recruits two thugs to assist in kidnapping the kids to get even with Billy Sebren for firing him. Following in a much faster powerboat, the pirates keep their distance until the sailboat is far from shore in the middle of the Mona Passage, a sometimes treacherous current referred to by cruisers as the “Moaning Passage”. John and Jessie pull every trick to outsmart their pursuers, including sailing directly into a vicious storm in the middle of the night. In the words of one of the pirates, “These ain’t no ordinary kids.”
Cap’n Ron hails from Natchez on the bluffs of the Mississippi River and was a banker for thirty-five years. He was introduced to sailing in his twenties and dreamed of circumnavigating the globe on a sailboat. His wife Jeanne, a native of Steens, Mississippi, was a former English teacher, banker, and freelance writer with several magazine articles and short stories to her credit. In 1997, she and Cap’n Ron cast off the dock lines in Pensacola, Florida, aboard Tewsday, a 38-foot Island Packet sailboat. They cruised on Tewsday and on Vixen, a 52-foot Tayana, for four years in the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. They returned to shore in Pensacola in 2001 and now divide their time between twelve grandchildren, thier poodle Max, and writing.