Chapter 2 – The Decision
A tremendous noise erupted from the port side of the sailboat, causing Landon to sit straight from where he was taking a nap.
“What the fuck was that?” He practically screamed as he looked to his left. He was just in time to catch the last bit of a giant tail slipping back into the water, creating a wake that gently rocked the boat.
The weather was calm and they had been slowly sailing north for a few hours without making much progress. Jason had passed out in a bunk long before Landon had dozed off for a little nap of his own.
They had made really good time since they had left the Seal Island bridge and headed north along the coast of Cape Breton Island. The first day, they had made it up to Englishtown with no problems. The wind had been blowing in the perfect direction and brought them to their anchorage well ahead of schedule. Their next day had been a little bit more exciting. The swell on the ocean was much higher and seemed to make their small boat disappear between waves. The wind was strong but not anything the two boys couldn’t handle. That was the type of day they were out there for. The spray of the ocean hitting you in the face as the small boat raced through the water was exactly the excitement they were after. Although it was only a 30-kilometer leg of the trip, they had taken the whole day to get to Little River. The wind was blowing straight down the coast and they spend the day tacking back and forth up the shoreline to make ground. They ducked into a small cove for the night just as the sun was beginning to set. After a long days sail, they ended up meeting some locals on the beach and enjoyed a few beers around a fire on the beach.
They ended up setting off the next morning hung over and tired. The wind had died down substantially from the previous day, which wasn’t good for what they had planned. Landon had wanted to make the next 70-kilometer leg to Ingonish and rest there for a few days before heading off again. With only a small breeze, it didn’t seem like it was going to be possible. So, they sailed along as fast as they could with almost no wind or waves. Eventually, they both passed out due to boredom and the fact they were hung over.
“Did you see that?” Landon asked as he reached in the cabin to grab the camera hanging on the wall.
“What was it?” Responded Jason. “A whale?”
“Oh yeah. A big one too. Right beside the boat,” replied Landon. “Hopefully it comes by….”
Landon was interrupted by an enormous whale breaching just in front of the boat. It was so close, it nearly scrapped the boat as it flew out of the water.
“Hold on!” Shouted Landon as he crouched down as low as he could in the cockpit, grabbing a rail to brace himself.
The whale crashed back down with a fantastic splash. A huge wave rushed out from under the giant’s body and lifted the boat high into the air. The little 22-foot boat was launched back in the beastly wake and rocked back and forth violently as it settled back in the water.
“Holy shit!” Screamed Jason. “That was intense!”
“I think it’s the same one I saw as we were leaving the lakes,” Landon proclaimed as he tried to get the camera turned on. “I can’t believe I didn’t get that on film either. That would have been the best shot ever.”
“Well that sucks but, do you really want that to happen again?” asked Jason. He had crawled out of the cabin and was sitting on the front deck of the boat scanning the horizon. “There it is!” He shouted, pointing in the direction of the whale.
Landon turned the camera in the direction Jason had pointed but didn’t see anything. Just a small ripple on the water. “Where?” He asked, scanning the water with the camera held in front of him. “There is nothing there.”
“I’m sure I just saw it. Give it a minute, it will have to come up for air eventually.” But, after several minutes of waiting, they decided to abandon their search and continue on.
At this point, the water was eerily calm. There was not even a slight breeze, which left a very strange feeling in the air.
“Are you getting a strange feeling?” queried Landon. “I don’t like the fact that there is no wind on the ocean in the middle of the day like this. No waves either.”
“It is a little strange. I wonder why the weather didn’t forecast this?” Jason asked rhetorically. He knew the weather in Cape Breton was completely unpredictable. Any guess a meteorologist made would usually end up being either wrong or, right for about 10 minutes and then wrong.
They half drifted half sailed for the next few hours. They weren’t making much ground and had accepted the fact that they weren’t going to make it to Ingonish by nightfall. As long as it stayed calm, they could just duck into a cove for the night and head out again first thing in the morning.
Things weren’t going to be so easy, though. As they continued to slowly move up the coast, the wind began to pick up. The clouds almost seemed to move in from nowhere and everything became very dark. The waves started to get choppy and the swell picked up. It all just happened so fast. The two boys figured, with the newly found wind, they could maybe make a few more kilometers before packing it in.
That decision would be the last one the two boys would make on the boat together. A decision they wouldn’t soon forget.
Here is Chapter 1 if you missed it.
Don’t forget to follow me to catch the rest of the chapters.