Alone At Sea
Dana could still feel the sting of the words Kyle had flung at her during their worst argument to date. She felt so distraught. She jumped on board their Hunter 22, fired up the engine, and set out for open waters.
She cut the engine once she was far enough away from land and raised the sails, letting the wind take her where it wanted. Unfortunately, hours later, it seemed to want to take her straight into peril. She battled the wind as hard as she could, but found herself drawn right into the heart of a raging storm. The fierceness of the storm forced her to take cover below.
Finally, the storm calmed. Dana stood staring at the mangled mess that once were the sails and replayed the last few hours in her mind. She wondered if she could have done something differently aside from not leaving the dock to start with. She concluded she had done everything right. The freakish storm blew across the ocean and into her tiny vessel without warning, disappearing just as quickly, leaving a mess in its wake. A mess she was now going to have to deal with . . . alone.
Dana gathered the sails into the boat and headed for the motor. Hitting the quick-start button on the side, her stomach knotted when it did not crank on the first try as it always had before. She tried again and the engine squealed in complaint. Four more tries, all with the same result.
She had never used the crank cord before, but readied for the task. One pull, two pulls, and three pulls – this was getting her nowhere! Suddenly, it dawned on her to check the gas levels. Empty! In the midst of looking for the spare gas, she had a sickening vision of the gas container sitting on the dock beside her cell phone.
“I left them both on the dock! No gas and no phone!”
Exasperated, Dana walked to the stern, sat down and let her feet dangle in the water below. Tears began to sting her eyes and she started to pray.
“Lord, I have gotten myself into a real predicament and I donot know what to do. Please help me.”
Gathering her strength, she found the survival kit and readied the flare gun. She felt it was her only hope at this point. She would listen for a passing plane or boat, fire off the flare, and hope someone would spot her.
She made her way to the bow, flare gun in hand, sat down and began to wait. Dana strained her ears for any signs of life. She heard nothing, not even birds. She realized she had drifted farther out to sea than what she had thought. She pushed away a fresh surge of panic and closed her eyes in prayer.
“I trust in You, Lord. Whatever happens, I know You are here with me.” Dana laid back and stared into the autumn sky, letting the Lord’s peace comfort her.
Dana awoke with a start hours later. She scrambled to her feet and scanned the horizon in all directions.
“Nice, Dana, what did you miss while you were asleep?”
She sat back down, satisfied nothing out there. Dana stared out across the calm blue waters of the Caribbean and marveled at the expanse of it. Nothing but the sea surrounded the sailboat as it drifted further away from civilization, pulled by the gentle ebbing of the tide. It was hard to believe that just a few short hours ago, she was standing on the dock with Kyle.
What had they been fighting about anyway? For the life of her, she could not remember now. The only thing she knew, was she loved him more than life itself. She began to cry, begging God to let her see him again.
Suddenly, the faint sounds of a boat engine came floating across the water. Dana jumped to her feet and began to search for the source. Finally, she saw the boat and waited until it got closer before firing the flare.
She could tell it was a neighbor’s Super Sport as the boat drew nearer. Kyle stood at the bow waving his arms in the air.
“Dana! Oh, thank God you are all right!” They pulled alongside and Kyle raced to Dana’s awaiting arms.
With all remembrances of their disagreement forgotten, they held each other tightly, each vowing never to let go again.