The afternoon was still and clear. The sea so calm without even a whisper of wind. As the sun was drawing closer to the horizon the colors became otherworldly. Smudges of rose tinted clouds melted into the glassy sea. This was how I remembered the South Sea of my childhood. When the captain (dad) suggested we turn on the engines and motor for awhile I was torn. I wanted to fly over the water and become part of my dreamscape from years gone by. Reluctantly, I knew he was right and although the silence was shattered my fantasy was still intact. I left the fore decks and went below to tidy our living space as the iron jib took our almost still ship a brisk six knots.
Everyone was quietly reading or writing, or occupying themselves in some mundane fashion. Orin’s screams were the last sound a mother wants to hear while at sea. Immediately every crew was on deck and searching for the source of his terrible noise. for the first seconds or two no one realized he was no longer on the boat with us. This situation had the makings of my worst nightmare.
This was our first real “man overboard”. Only yesterday we had a comprehensive drill that included rescuing a pop-bottle child. It only took moments for the captain to turn the boat around. Because the seas were still and the sky was light the crew had no problem pointing to Orin as he drifted farther and farther away. The sails were already in and within a few minutes he was back on deck explaining how he had just reached in to dip a bucket full of water to shower in when the next thing he knew he was under the water.
Orin is a strong swimmer and a good sport and I think I was more traumatized than him. I know the Lord was blessing us and I am grateful for the prayers of safety that have been said on our behalf.