by Angie Brown, Guest Author
Quite a few years ago now, my family planned a visit and a picnic to a small island off the coast of North Carolina, in the Atlantic Ocean. Our relative, Barney, had purchased a boat and had been exploring the waterway there. The boat was propelled by an engine with the steering wheel driver standing to control the course. It held about eight people.
After putting our life jackets on, we started out slowly. The island seemed so far away. I couldn’t believe we’d be out in the Atlantic so far. Our relatives had been to the island before and thought it would be a nice place for a picnic when we visited them. So skimming across the channel, we arrived, tied our boat to the dock and climbed a short ladder.
We seemed to be the only ones there. In my mind, it seemed that you might find Robinson Crusoe there, especially after encountering a large snake in the brush. The pavilion proved to be rather dilapidated and unsatisfactory, so we decided to have our picnic on the beach.
While we explored the beach, we noticed dark storm clouds forming. The wind began to strengthen, sending the loose sand airborne and stinging the bathers. It was obvious that a picnic on the beach was no longer feasible, so we packed up hastily and returned to our boat. We knew it would take some time to get back to the mainland.
All was going well while we journeyed back. Nearing the end of our trip, however, we saw a ferry boat just leaving the pier. As it passed our small craft, it left a large swell, sending our boat way down to the bottom of the wake. It seemed as though our boat had descended to the bottom of the ocean! But thanks to our skilled and experienced navigator, we negotiated the wake nicely and returned to calmer water. The children were elated by this brush with disaster. “That was fun,” they squealed. Not so with the adults, whose anxious faces told a different story. Once we had negotiated the swell, we noticed that the ferry boat crew was lined up at the rail watching us and ready in case they were needed. Finally, disembarking, we finished our visit with our relatives, safely on the shore.
This was one scary adventure I would not want to do again!
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