When Steve got back to the party, Candy and Kevin weren’t around. He wanted to apologize for Cari’s behavior. But then he saw them standing by the railing alone, so he figures they wanted to stay alone and didn’t go over to them. He’d apologize tomorrow.
“Hey, Stephanie,” Darrel said. “I think Candy and Kevin are having more fun than we are. Let’s go over and look at the water, too.”
“But they aren’t looking at the water,” Stephanie said. “They’re kiss …”
“I know,” Darrel told her.
“Oh,” said Stephanie. “You’re right. Let’s go look at the water.”
Soon everyone was “looking at the water.” Cari was in the cabin sleeping, so Steve decided to go in. As far as he was concerned, the party didn’t turn out so well.
But the next day, the fog had come in thick. You couldn’t see three feet in front of you. The, at about six o’clock, the wind started blowing and the sea got pretty choppy. By nine o’clock all the clouds had blown back and it started drizzling.
It was four o’clock in the morning when that fateful storm started. The boat pitch back and forth. Water started sloshing overboard. All the men were out taking down the sail and Darrel was lowering the anchor. The storm got worse by the minute. Once when the ship tilted to one side, Lance slid down the slippery deck almost into the black water and Kevin just managed to grab him by the hair to pull him back on the ship.
The girls were all in Stephanie’s cabin. “I just hope we don’t sink,” Kris said.
“Kris, don’t talk like that,” Candy said in a scared voice.
“What if we do have to abandon ship?” Cathy asked.
“Just hope we don’t have to,” Stephanie told her.
“Does this have any lifeboats?” Kris asked Stephanie.
“It had better,” said Candy. “I don’t swim that well.”
“We have three of those inflatable lifeboats,” Stephanie told them. “So don’t worry.”
Cathy looked at Cari, who was just staring at the wall but not saying anything.
“What’s the matter, Car?” Cathy asked her. “Are you seasick?”
“No,” Cari said. “But I’ve got one heck of a hangover.” Then she flopped back on the bed and groaned. The girls all laughed nervously.
Back outside the boys were still fighting the rain and win and trying to pull the sails in. Brent was untying one of the ropes. He had it wrapped tightly around his hand when a big wave broke over the bow of the ship. Brent was lucky he was holding that rope because the wave knocked him up in the air and near the edge of the ship. Darrel saw him there. If he tried to save Brent he might get washed overboard. But Brent was one of his best friends. He had to save him.
The rope had cut into Brent’s hand and it was torn and bleeding. Darrel dragged him him to where he would be safe. But when Darrel stood up to go and help Steve, the cross boom of a sail swung over and hit him in the back, knocking him overboard.
Now it was Brent’s turn to save Darrel’s life. He grabbed a rope and slid down the deck to the edge. He saw Darrel fighting the merciless seas and threw the rope to him. When Darrel grabbed it, Brent tried to drag him in, but the pain in his hand wouldn’t let him. “Help,” he called. “Someone help me.” Steve and Lance ran over as quickly as they could and dragged Darrel in just before he would have drowned.
The boys decided to go in the cabin and tell the girls to get ready to abandon ship. Just as they got to the door, the main mast broke and fell where they had been just seconds before.
“We’ve got some bad news,” Darrel told the girls. “The ship is breaking up. We’re gonna have to abandon her.”
“Oh no,” Stephanie said. “We can’t leave, we’ll die out there.”
“We have to leave as soon as it stops blowing so hard,” Kevin said.
Everyone helped get ready for the time to leave the boat. Steve and Lance inflated two lifeboats and tied them together. Kevin and Brent helped the girls get food, water, Blankets and other supplies, and Darrel was trying to call in for help. But the radio was dead.
Now came the worst part, waiting. The storm was going just as strong as ever and everyone was just sitting and waiting for the time to go overboard. Everyone was silent.
Finally, Kris broke the silence. “Oh God,” she said. “Why does this have to happen to us?”
“I guess we just have a lot of luck,” Brent said.
“Yeah,” Cari said. “All bad.”
“Darrel,” Stephanie cried. “Hold me. I’m scared.” So Darrel took Stephanie in his arms and let her cry on his shoulder.
“Don’t cry, sweetheart,” he said, trying to comfort her. “It’ll be all right.”
“I know,” Stephanie said, drying her tears. “I’m just scared.”
At that moment everyone could finally admit that they were really scared, and they all cried together.
To be continued …