Thursday, July 10, 2003

Chap13, part 10

I stumbled out to the raft and launched it. I was beginning to see better. I concluded these were new model destroyers. I never had seen anything like them before. About a quarter of a mile out I saw what they were - outrigger canoes. The natives had seen me head out and now were coming in my direction. My sense were so slowed that it seemed to me they were making about 50 knots an hour.

When the boat drew near I observed that the features of the head man in the lead boat were strikingly Japanese in cast. This was not time for ceremony, so I called out:

"You Japanese?" All the men in the canoe shook their heads in unison. I relaxed. They cruised up, had a swift, appraising look at me, then flung over a line. I made it fast to the bow of the raft. I made them understand that there were two more men on the island. We headed shoreward.

The outrigger had four lithe paddlemen who certainly could make speed. For the first time I now saw a foamy bow wave under a rubber life raft. I was somewhat apprehesive at first. It seemed to me we were going too fast for safety.

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