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"Mom," Bruce began, "we left for your anniversary trip on the fifteenth of July. After three days of glorious weather and site seeing, we lost all power on the boat. Our radio was dead, the engine would not power on. Dad decided the best thing to do was just float and see where the tide would take us. He figured that we would be missed as soon as the boat didn't return and that a search party would be sent out after us. I think what he didn't consider is that we had chartered the boat for a month and that still left twenty eight days before we would be missed.
“We set out fishing lines and figured we could eat from the ocean. It worked for a short while, but then we ran out of water. Dad and I tried to catch water from the condensation; we even tried to boil sea water, but it just wasn't enough. By the tenth day adrift we were completely desperate, no water, no food, no more matches and then the storm hit.
“The skies darkened to a black like I have never seen. The seas became enraged and tossed us from side to side. When the waves were higher than us, Dad said we should all take shelter in the cabin. Adriana went all the way to the front of boat and hunkered down in the beds under the bow. You and Dad somehow or another managed to get into the bunks near the back of the cabins and secure yourselves in. I lay down in the area under the table and held on for dear life.
“That storm seemed to take days to clear. When the winds and sea finally abated I got up and opened the hatch to see what kind of damage we had sustained. The deck of the boat looked like a hurricane had blown through. There was seaweed, fish and other debris from the ocean strewn across the bow. I had expected all of you to join me on deck, but that was not to be the case.
“I went back into the cabin, first looking for Adriana. I found her curled up near the bow of the ship. I thought she was sleeping, but she was dead. She had been weak and dehydrated prior to the storm and I guess her body just couldn’t handle all the abuse of rolling around.
“When I found you and Dad I half-expected you to be dead because you had been as weak as Adriana; but what I discovered couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Dad had wrapped himself around you so his body took the brunt of the tumbling. He was gone, but you were still breathing even though you were unconscious.
“I went back up on deck and found that the storm had left great deposits of water. I managed to get a small fire going on the stove in the cabin and cooked one of the fish that was on the deck. I tried to get you to eat, but you wouldn’t wake up. I managed to get some water into you and over the next several days I repeated this activity. Your eyes began to flutter one morning and you woke up. At that time you know what was going on.
“I spotted land the next day and we took cushions for floatation devices and managed to get to shore. When we landed you were again unconscious. I built us this shelter and have done a little exploring during the day. But now that you are awake I can take long trips and see what else there is here.”
“What day is it?” Nicole asked, “And where is your father?”
“Mom, did you not just hear me tell you where he was?”
“No, I heard you say we all went for a boat ride and now we are on an island.”
Bruce put his head in his hands and wanted to weep; but he knew this was not the time to get emotional. He slowly repeated the story again from start to finish. When he was done Nicole said, “So your Dad and sister are gone?”
“Yes, Mom, they are.”
“And we are on an island somewhere?”
“Yes, Mom, we are.”
“When is the search party coming?” Nicole asked.
Bruce shook his head and replied, “I’m not sure if there is going to be a search party. I have no idea what date it is; where we are or if we could even be spotted.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“Find us a way home!”