PART ONE: Kipling Soggs
This is the story of Kip, who traveled the ocean aboard a sailing ship called the Ballyhoo. She was brave and she was clever, and she had many adventures, and I suppose that is all I really need to tell you. But if I stop there the story would be over, and you would miss all of the best parts. Kip’s story is what people call a sea epic, by which they mean a tale of adventure and bravery on the high seas with storms and squalls and unexpected dangers. There can be sunny days and smooth seas in a sea epic too, but they never last very long.
If you close your eyes, maybe you can picture Kip standing on deck, tall and strong, her skin bronzed by the sun—but you would have it entirely wrong. Kip may be clever and Kip may be brave, but she is also only eleven-years old.
There she is: a fair-haired girl, slight but wiry, a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. When she was born, her parents named her Kipling Soggs—Kipling Riley Jean Soggs to be exact. The name Kipling was for Rudyard who wrote a famous book. The name Riley was for her father who’s name was Riley, too. And Jean—well, that was her mother’s idea, just in case Kip needed a more ordinary name later on. She hasn’t yet, but then she is only eleven. When Kip’s grandfather proposed a sea journey from his home on Jekyll Island to Polynesia, her parents were delighted. Continue reading “The Voyage of the Ballyhoo (Part One)”