Chap 12, part 7
The boat careened and went out of control. Another second or two and we were racing back out to sea. Nothing I could do with the oars was any help. The wild current held us until we were far out; a mile or so, at least.
The long narrow island was moving slowly across our bows like a giant ocean liner, crawling out to sea through the Golden Gate. I realized, of course, that the island was stationary. We were drifting, though it seemed the island was leaving us, instead. We had started for the head of the island and now were more than half way down it.
If ever I have cried out in anguish it was then. I was done, finished, washed up. I called Heaven to witness that I was whipped. I could hardly hold on to the light oars. Yet there within reach was the land - and life. And while I watched, that line of majestic palms continued to move away, with terrible deliberation. If we were to reach land at all it would have to be now.
I looked at Jimmy, laying flat again. I looked at Johnny DeAngelis. He was sick and exhausted; bewildered by the thing that had happened to me. Before very long he would be as badly off as Jimmy. I tried to move my numbed fingers and aching arms.