Toy Boats

May 28, 2008
By Angela Carlson, St. Charles, IL

The ocean was throwing around the boat as if it were a child’s bath toy. Rain began to smack the plastic seats and the occasional crack of thunder rang in our ears.

“Just another sweet summer storm” my dad proclaimed.

If only he knew.

The engines rumbled as they began to churn the water below. Dad did his usual routine of bringing up the anchor, yelling at my brother, turning and twisting various knobs, yelling at my brother some more, and taking a sip of his pink lemonade.

“Lets find some sun.” dad said confidently turning the wheel and pushing the throttle to begin idling. That’s when the most alarming of alarms sounded. The rain began to fall harder, with more haste than before. “Angela put up the plastic and hurry.” There was a slight panic in my father’s voice, and I did as I was told. As I crawled onto the side of the boat, lighting began to flash and thunder cracked louder than any car accident I had ever heard. I could no longer see more than three feet in front of me as I attempted to snap the boat cover into place.

“Dad why aren’t we moving?” My oldest brother asked.

“That alarm was for the engine. We lost power. Andrew call Sea-Tow and give them our coordinates.” At this point, dad was still only slightly panicked, but then my mom pointed out the funnel shaped object we all managed to miss in our frenzy.

“ED! It’s a waterspout!!!” Mom no longer sounded like my level headed mother. She turned into a scared little girl, just like me, my brothers, and my dad.

“Andrew where is SeaTow?”

“They aren’t coming dad! They said the risk is too high!”

I was baffled. A family of five is stuck in the ocean on a tiny boat with no engine power, no rafts, a tornado spinning towards them, and SeaTow isn’t going to come. What kind of emergency help is that? Fish began to fall from the sky. The waterspout was dangerously close.

We strapped on our life vests and waited…

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