“HOLD ON!” Landon screamed as he pulled on the tiller to get them straightened out. Just as he did a wave came crashing over the bow of the boat, almost washing Jason over the port side. “I THINK WE NEED TO FIND SOME SHELTER!”
Jason waited for the small boat to finish racing down the giant swell before making his way back into the cockpit. “Yeah, your right,” he panted as he unclipped his lifejacket from the lifeline. Things were very rough and one wrong step could send you tumbling over the side of the boat in an instant. Having a lifeline when working outside the cockpit gave them a chance to stay with the boat rather than be lost among the giant waves if anything happened. “Do you think there is anything close by?”
“I’m not sure. Take the tiller, I’ll check.” Landon ducked down into the cabin to look at the nautical charts as Jason took control of the boat. He wasn’t very optimistic there was anything closer than Ingonish. From what he remembered, it was all just mountain cliffs and rocks from their current position until there. They only had about 15km to go up the coast. But, the wind was blowing extremely hard and, even with only a small storm jib up, they were heeling over to dangerous levels. They would constantly have to turn into the wind to right themselves between the giant swells crashing over the boat. One wave could capsize them if they weren’t careful. Landon scanned the charts looking for any small cove that might protect them from the weather for a few hours. His heart sank as he realized his initial thoughts were right. There was nothing. They would have to stick it out until they reached Ingonish. “There’s nothing for the next 15 kilometers,” he shouted out to the cockpit, still looking over the charts.
“Fifteen! That will take us an hour with this wind and the wave direction,” hollered Jason. “I guess there’s not much we can do now, though.”
Landon rejoined Jason out on the cockpit and looked up the coast. The sea was so confused. Waves were coming at them from a few different directions. The wind was making waves come straight down the coast from the north, the swell of the ocean was coming in from their starboard side, and the waves bouncing off the shore were sending waves back at their port side. Their little boat was rocking in all directions trying to stay upright as the wind continued to heel the boat over.
They continued to sail their way north up the coast for another 30 minutes. Then, out of the corner of his eye, Landon spotted a strong wind squall headed right at the boat. They were already heeled over quite far and he didn’t have time to react before the tremendous force of wind hit their sail. The boat heeled over just as a wave started to break right in front of them. The wave slammed into the side of the boat and pushed the boat over even more.
Landon knew that was it. They were about to capsize. “BRACE YOURSELF!” He screamed as he tried to turn the boat back into the waves. It was no use, though. The sailboat kept heeling until it started to take water into the cockpit. The boat continued to roll as another wave broke against the bottom of the boat. The mast slammed into the water and Landon was flung out of the cockpit. He managed to grab a halyard near the top of the mast before he was pulled away from the boat and tied a quick bowline to his lifejacket. Frantically looking around for Jason, he caught a glimpse of him already floating about twenty meters from the boat.
Before Landon could react to the fact that his best friend was floating away, the boat started to right itself. Landon was pulled up, out of the water from where he was tied off. He was catapulted over the top of the boat and struck his head on the mast as he went flying by. Just before he passed out, he caught one last, blurry look at Jason trying to get back to the boat.
Then, everything went black.
If you missed the other chapters, here they are;