Airborn - Chapter 7: Sinking and Chapter 8: The Island Summary & Analysis

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This section contains 1,080 words
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Chapter 7: Sinking and Chapter 8: The Island Summary

Bruce Lunardi is already in his gear when Mr. Levy, the chief sailmaker, asks Matt to help. He gears up and joins the team making repairs on the starboard side. The gashes are easy to find and he gets to work, wondering how much hydrium they've lost. While the gas wasn't poisonous, it fills up the air space, pushing the oxygen out causing suffocation. He hears water and knows the captain is dumping still more ballast water into the sea. Long before Matt completes his side, a call to come aboard is heard. Riddihoff tells them that they've lost too much hydrium and are unable to stay aloft. He helps to assemble the passengers and hands out life jackets. All that is required is that they step over into a life raft which is not only roomy, but has a chef on board each one, and enough provisions for weeks if necessary. The ocean is very close when Matt looks out the window and sees land, uncharted on their maps. An island reveals itself in the mist and they prepare to set down. There is a beach with a site suitable to land and enough hydrium for one landing attempt. When the call comes, sixty of them jump from the ship with lines uncoiling behind them, and they secure their lines to whatever they can, holding them with all their might against the forces that worked against them. The captain himself jumps out to help secure the ship. After twenty minutes, he pronounces her tight and Matt heads back to the ship.

The captain addresses the passengers on the beach, asked to disembark to lighten the ship as much as possible while repairs are under way. Breakfast is served outside, and afterward, Matt is instructed to go and get some sleep while he can, but he is unable to sleep on land. He gets up and joins Baz and Bruce who were instructed to find water. They run into Kate and Bruce realizes that he knows her already. She tells them about the stream just a little further down the beach and while they return to the ship to tell the captain, Matt continues to walk ahead. Kate is quick to tell him that she believes that this is the island her grandfather described in his journal. Matt is skeptical, but offers to ask Mr. Grantham if he has the coordinates of the island. Then, seeing the drawing in the journal, he realizes she is right.

Chapter 7: Sinking and Chapter 8: The Island Analysis

Bruce Lunari and Matt set out with the rest of the team to make repairs and Matt is eager to show Bruce up, sure that he is the better sailmaker of the two. He soon forgets his competitive nature when the reality of the damage is assessed. The gashes are easy to find, and he goes from one to another, gluing, patching and then listening for the telltale hiss of hydrium escaping. The captain is still dumping ballast water, and Matt wonders if they are sinking. When the ship rolls, and then rights itself again, Matt losing his footing, bouncing back against the skin of the ship softly again. Bruce calls out, and Matt sees him dangling upside down in his rigging. He makes his way over and helps him to right himself, noticing at the same time what a neat and tidy job of patching he is doing. When they are called back in to hear the announcement that the Aurora is sinking, Matt feels sick. He can't bear the thought of ditching his beloved ship. He puts his fear aside and helps the passengers prepare. He makes his way to Kate and Miss Simpkins, who is clearly frightened, and reassures them that they won't sink even if they land on the ocean. He tries not tho think about the fact that he himself is unable to swim. Knowing he can't give in to his own fears, he wanders through the passengers, checking vests and reassuring the frightened ones that all will be well. He looks out a porthole and to his surprise, sees an island, and calls out 'land ahoy'. Less than thirty minutes later, they have her on the beach and secure. Matt looks up towards the Topkapi stateroom and sees the flash of Kate's camera as he returns to the ship.

Matt helps to string tarps, wishing he were helping to repair his beloved ship instead. The captain tells the passengers on the beach that all is well and the Aurora will fly again once repairs are made. With the exception of the loss of Mr. Featherstone, there were no casualties as a result of their encounter with Szpirglas which the captain assures them is cause to be grateful. The captain had quietly informed the crew that they should be on the watch for inhabitants. Serving breakfast to the passengers outside is an ordeal, and Matt is in no mood to pamper passengers. Baz teases him until he cannot help but smile. Afterward, he is told to get some sleep while he can, but he is unable to rest while the ship is on the ground. He joins Bruce and Baz in search of water to replace the ballast that was dumped before landing, and following them he suddenly feels like the younger brother, tagging along behind, wondering when Bruce and Baz had become so friendly with a tinge of jealousy. They see Kate on the beach and Bruce asks who she is, obviously attracted. Baz tells him that the competition from Matt will be fierce as Bruce announces that he thinks he knows her and walks over to introduce himself. She tells them about the stream just ahead, and they head back to the ship while Matt decides to take a walk on his own. Kate smiles when he returns, telling him she had hoped he'd came back alone, and thanks him for being such a comfort earlier on board. He becomes angry when she voices her disappointment that he isn't feeling just a bit excited or adventurous. She believes this is the island her grandfather wrote about, and although Matt believes it is improbable, he agrees to ask what their coordinates are. He catches sight of the drawing in the journal, and remembering how the island looked as they approached, he announces that they are here.

This section contains 1,080 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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