She pointed the boat in a certain direction and playfully commanded Bronson to
do her bidding as the captain of the boat. Amazed that she found humor in their
dire state, Bronson laughed as she joyfully mocked him at the helm. However, one
time, she pointed to the horizon and yelled, “Land!”
Bronson looked to where she pointed and his smile turned to horror as he walked
to the wheel and removed her from her lofty perch.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart, but that’s not land. It’s another storm and it’s approaching
“A storm? Oh dear God! Steer toward the island, Bron-son, I don’t want to go
through that again,” she said as she gladly returned control to her husband.
“There is no island, Catherine!” he stated firmly. "We can’t outrun this storm. We
have no sails and we have no engines. It’s coming in too fast. Go down below and
strap yourself in!”
“No, not this time! I will stay here with you,” she stated as she started to buckle
herself in on deck.
“Please, Cathy, I don’t have time to argue. The waves will break your tether and I
don’t want to lose you. Please do as I ask. If it goes bad, I will come and get you.
Our rescue boat is stocked and ready should the old girl not be able to stand up
to this storm.”
Catherine complied because she knew he had a lot on his mind and she did not
want to be another problem.
The storm came upon them quickly and felt like a head-on collision. It hit the boat
broadside, nearly capsizing the huge vessel. The boat survived the first salvo, but
surely weakened further. Bronson struggled to turn against the might of the
sudden storm's surges.
The storm did not have the voracity of the previous one, but without the controls
or sails in place, it worried him greatly.
The rudder had no hydraulic system, which made steer-ing very taxing to Bronson
despite his strength. He could not direct the boat into the swells. The waves
crashed against its side, causing it to change direction on a dime. For the first
time, Bronson had serious thoughts of giving up the battle. Struggle as he might,
he could not gather control. The waves poured over the deck and the rain stung
his face relentlessly. In the valley of the swells, he noticed the boat list to the right.
He tied the wheel, hoping the newly repaired rudder held against the mighty
pressures of the undersea forces pushing against it.
Bronson dangerously unhooked his tether and walked across the deck, but a
wave caught him in the back and sent him flailing over the rail. Holding on for dear
life, he thought about his helpless wife in the lower deck’s chamber and gathered
enough strength to pull himself back on board. His injured arm gave way, but his
other arm held strong.
The violently rocking boat tossed Catherine around below deck, but her tether
held her firmly in her seat. The boat took on a lot of water again, now in danger of
sinking. The storm subsided as quickly as it came about. The seas slowly returned
to normal after an hour of taking a beating. The boat listed badly to the right, and
about to sink into the abyss.
Bronson went below to check on Catherine. She’d avoided the larger objects
jettisoned toward her, but a laptop computer slammed against her head, rendering
her unconscious. Wet and bleeding slightly, he gathered her up in his arms,
carried her to the waiting lifeboat, and gently placed her on a small mattress in the
large rescue craft that floated on its own, tethered to the sinking boat. He found
some dry blankets and lovingly placed them over his wife. He returned many times
to the cabin to gather last-minute supplies for their new journey on a decidedly
smaller craft. The yacht took on more water, beyond repair.
It stayed afloat long enough for him to gather things too important not to take.
Catherine’s plastic-encased photo albums made their way onto the boat. Finally,
he had everything he needed. He released the Sea-Doo from his lifeboat because
it had sustained irreversible damage. It sank immediately. He cut the rope from his
majestic boat, and they floated away.
Catherine did not witness the sorrowful event of seeing their wonderful boat
silently sink below the water’s surface. He bid farewell to his friend of forty-eight
years and actually believed that it treaded water just long enough to supply him
with sufficient time to gather as much as he could in order to continue his fight for
Bronson and Catherine Preminger, an elderly couple who loves
sailing the seas in their huge yacht, are planning a suicide
voyage to sink their beloved boat because of Catherine’s memory-
destroying terminal illness. However, their romantic plans to die
together at sea are thwarted when their daughter, Brooke,
announces they are to become grandparents.
Catherine wants to see her grandchild’s face while her mind is still
able to remember important things. She wants another wonderful
memory to take with her to the deep. The couple sails to Bermuda
instead with the intention of returning in time for the birth.
However, two storms destroy their boat and they drift to a strange
and unknown island where mysterious things start happening to
They endure unimaginable hardships trying to survive, but these
hardships are not the only peril they are forced to suffer. They
have an unknown and unseen enemy lurking about, trying to
eliminate them from the island.
Can the couple withstand and meet the challenges presented to
them? Better yet, can it be that they have found the Fountain of
Youth halfway between Bermuda and Florida?
Reviews will be posted as they are received.
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|An Isle for the Ages
Gary D. Henry