Chapter 173 – New Captain Emerges

I cannot look Emelia in the eye when I return and grab the bucket to bail water once again. There is no comfort in such action: life has a hierarchy, and animals, unfortunately, come beneath family. Duke, our Swiss Mountain Dog, weighed one hundred and forty pounds, and a weight we couldn’t afford to carry. I peer into the dark sky and recite a short prayer for him.

The wind and waves remain relentless; however, the change in weight makes an incredible difference. After another torturous ten minutes, the boat has stable buoyancy. The two crew and I are exhausted. Emelia comes over to me and picks up my tired, broken face and places one kiss on my lips, “You had no option.”, tears stream down her face, soaked with salt, “We are going to make this. You watch over the children.”

Emelia and I swap roles.

“We need to keep our courage; I know these waters like the back of my hand.”, said Emelia to the two crewmen.

The two men stand to attention and salute their new commander. A renewed vigour is released, and all three of them begin bailing the remaining water out of the lifeboat.

The dawn breaks the darkness with precious and beautiful light. The morning sun is a welcome sight for our sore eyes.

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