“What do we do now?” Daughter One asked.
“We try to right the boat,” Himself answered. With that he gave the broom handle tiller to my son. “Careful of the splintered end,” he said as he swam back to the hull of the boat. My son looked at the broom handle curiously.
Himself grabbed the dagger board with his outstretched arms and pulled on it with all his weight. We watched as the sailboat began to tilt upright ever so slowly. The challenge was working against the water that had covered the sails, the wind, and the lapping of the waves which were quickly pushing the boat toward the tiny island that we had canoed to earlier in the week.
Again, and again, Himself tried to right the boat with various levels of near success. I even tried to help by applying my weight to the dagger board, but we still couldn’t get the sailboat righted. After about a dozen attempts, during which the kids continued to sing “Dad broke the boat!”, we had to give up as we were drifting closer and closer to the rocky edge of the tiny island. I was worried we would smash up against it and damage the dagger and the hull of the boat. We had already done a number on the tiller. I certainly didn’t want to add the cost of a replacement sailboat onto my bill!
“We had better just try and keep the boat from dashing to bits against this island.” I told Himself. He agreed.
“OK. I give up. We need help. How can we signal someone?” Himself said as he and I positioned ourselves so that our backs were against the hull and our feet were out in front of us ready to cushion the sailboat.
“Daddy! You blow the whistle for help, silly,” Daughter Two offered knowledgeably.
“Where’s the whistle?”
“Right here!” Daughter Two held up a plastic orange whistle attached by a spiral key chain that was looped through a hold on the gunwale at the bow.
“Blow on it then, little Miss Coast Guard. See if we can get some help here from your buddies.”
What ensued was a fight about who would blow on the whistle. No kidding. Five of us floating in the water with a capsized sailboat and these three wieners are arguing about who gets to blow the whistle. I found this childish and annoying. But, what did I expect from three kids?
“Guys! We are drifting towards the rocks! Stop being twits and blow on the whistle. Take turns. Blow it three times and then hand it over. Hurry up!” I yelled.
The kids were startled and they turned to look and saw that, indeed, we had only about thirty feet until we were on the rocks. Now they had motivation! They were going to be instrumental in saving the boat from being devastated. They blew on the whistle with focus and determination.
Meanwhile Himself and I watched as we neared the rocks. I began to softly sing.
“Juuuuuuust sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…”
“Don’t,” Himself responded.
“A tale of a fateful trip…” I ignored him.
“Oh, please, no.” He said.
“That started from Camp Acorn’s port, aboard this tiny ship,” I sang out as our feet now bumped up against the rocky shore of the island.
“Please stop,” Himself begged.
“Five passengers set sail that day for a three hour tour. A threeeeee hooooour toooooour!” I bellowed as we braced our feet on the rocks and pressed our backs into the hull with each wave.
“Mum! You’re a good singer,” my son said.
“Why thank you! I’m here all week!” I said cheerfully.
“Please! Don’t encourage her!” Himself protested.
“The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the CL would be lost. The CL would be loooooooooooooost!”
“Mum! Help is on the way!” Daughter Two cried out as the kids waved their arms in the air.
“Oh thank God! I can’t take much more of your singing,” Himself grumbled.
We looked towards camp and, sure enough, the motor boat was on it’s way to our rescue.
“Well, would you look at that!” I whistled. “It’s not the Coast Guard coming to our rescue but the Navy Seals!”
Does it get any better than that?