We’re headed off now, onward on our big adventure. The boat rocks and creeks as we get farther and farther out, probably due to the waves crashing and slamming on all sides. Leah and I left the Miami port three hours ago but already it seems like another world out here. We listen calmly, nothing but the ongoing shouting of the sea. I decide to go down to our quarters and lie down for a bit, the rocking of the boat has got to me and I’m starting to feel a little sick. As I lay thinking of the days to come, I realize I still have over two and a half days of this constant seasickness, but I’ll think positively and keep remembering the reward of spending the next two months in the Dominican Republic with my best friend. The rocking is almost mesmerizing as I close my eyes and try to take a nap. Suddenly I shoot straight up in bed, as I feel my lunch making its way up. I stumble up the stairs falling every time a big wave hits the side of the boat. I unlock the hatch and the door flies right open. I’m able to stumble over to the railing and spew my guts out all into the dark ocean. Leah started laughing when I walked out.
“Better save your energy for later, I’m gonna need you to take over when I get tired” She yelled over to me. I pick myself up off the railing and hold onto it tight.
“Just give me a chance to lay down and sleep off this sickness a bit.” I shout back over to her. She gives me a thumbs up, and I head back down into our quarters. I fall straight into bed and go right to sleep.
My body smacks hard onto the wood floor as I rolled out of bed. The boat wasn’t just rocking through the waves, it was now smashing and breaking its way through. But what really had me spooked was the roaring of the waves, I had never heard such a loud sound from the ocean before. I put my raincoat and rain pants on as fast as I could without falling too many times. I then realize I haven’t heard anything from Leah in a while, and I start to hurry just a bit more. I unlock the hatch and get out as fast as I can, just to see Leah having the time of her life crashing through the waves.
“Wooo, get over here Rylee! Hold on tight and don’t let go.” She shouts over to me, full of excitement. I inch my way over to her not wanting to slip. I get to thinking how everyone was right about this being one of the worst times of the year to go out to sea. But we did it anyways. I’m so distracted by how little we seem out here, and that I doubt anyone could survive long in these mysterious waters.
“Look over there, what’s that in the water? I think there’s something there!” Leah demands. I couldn’t believe it at first but there really was something there. Not just something, but someone.
“Come take the wheel Ry, just steer us lightly over there and I’ll toss the life saver to him!” I take the wheel and heave my body to the left, like Leah taught me on our practice nights out at sea.
“Hey mister, grab this life saver and hold on tight.” Leah shouts over to the dark figure out at sea. He seems to hear her and looks up as soon as it hits the water. She pulls him in. The water pushes him in all directions as Leah uses all her strength to get him on board. He’s cold and wet as he emerges on deck. His skin looks so warm though, with such a rich caramel brown color. It gets me thinking, what if he was trying to escape to Florida and his boat crashed on the way with all this rough sea. My mind wanders with answers of wanting to know who this is and how he got out here in the first place. Leah helps him into the Quarters to go dry off and get warm. As she comes back out minutes later, she continues to tell me how his name’s Andy he was on a work boat going back to the Dominican Republic when they got hit with this bad weather.
“I don’t see any reason we shouldn’t help him out and bring him with us, it’s only and couple days now. I mean we can’t really just leave him in the water.” I explain to Leah. She agrees.
“We don’t even know anything about him though.” She protests.
“I know, but if worst comes to worst, we team up and toss him over.” I joke around with her.