The Adventure Club Afloat eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 237 pages of information about The Adventure Club Afloat.

There was little to do save to set the cruiser as much to rights inside and out as was possible and wait for high tide again.  As the water once more surrounded the boat they were pleased and encouraged to find that while the water was again coming in through the seams it filled the bilge so slowly that the pump could easily take care of it.  Perry declared proudly that they had done a “caulking job!” They went ashore before the water cut them off entirely and built the fire up again.  About four the wind died down appreciably and the sun, which had been flirting with the world ever since noon, burst forth in a sudden blaze of glory.  The mist disappeared as if by magic and exclamations of surprise burst from six throats as eager eyes looked shoreward.

There, as it seemed scarcely a half-mile distant, was the mainland; green fields, grey cliffs, white houses!  In reality the distance was well over a mile and a quarter, but so clear had the atmosphere suddenly become that the space of tumbled green water intervening looked hardly more than a swimmer’s stunt!  They cheered and would have waved their caps had they had any to wave.  A small steamer was ducking her way along near shore and they could almost see the spray tossing from the bow.  They found a nearer way to the top of the cliff and climbed to the summit and tried to decide just where they were, but even Steve was at a loss, although he was fairly certain that Englishman’s Bay was well to the north, probably as far distant as six miles.  But, since from where they gazed islands and mainland melted into each other, even Wass Island was not determinate.  But after all it didn’t much matter where they were.  In a calm sea they could reach the shore in the dingey if it became necessary, while a distress signal would undoubtedly be soon seen from the nearer head-land.  But Steve was not ready to call for aid yet, and together they made their way back to the beach and settled down philosophically to await evening and high tide.

With the prospect of release from their desert island to cheer them, waiting was not so hard.  They had some supper about six and after that the time passed fairly quickly.  At half-past eight they made their way out to the Adventurer.  The wind had died entirely down at sunset and now the sea was probably as quiet and well-behaved as it ever was just there.  About nine they began operations.  No one was too sanguine of the results, but when, having started the engine and experimentally moved the clutch into reverse to clear the sand from around the propeller, no untoward incident happened they became more encouraged.  The heaving lever was put into the windlass and, with Phil astern to watch the cable where it ran through the ring bolt, Steve operated the engine while the others took turns, two and two, at the windlass.  Gradually the manila cable tightened and strained and the screw churned hard, but the Adventurer, save for righting herself a trifle, gave no indication of moving from her sandy bed.  Steve summoned the boys who were not working the windlass to the after part of the boat in order to lighten the bow as much as possible, and they worked on.  Just when it seemed that not another inch of the cable was to be conquered there was a shout from Ossie and Han, who were panting at the lever, and the Adventurer moved!

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The Adventure Club Afloat from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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