The second we my boots touched soil again back at camp camp I wasted no time ordering tubing to cut from the engines of the five spare vessels and all of the petrol to be syphoned from them into the remaining three boats. After about ten minutes we had everything squared away so I sent Murphy out to set the rest of the inflatables adrift. As he came back we were securing the two new dinghies next to our guests’ vessel and covering them over with branches and leaves. Once we secured Murphy’s dinghy we settled in for sunrise. We knew the settlers to the east would be out looking for their boats, but being so close I was betting they would look farther afield.
It was an impatient wait, that last day at the lake. We didn’t cook anything but I did send Tyk out to fish for a few hours in the vessel our guests had “lent” us. The tension was palpable. I wanted to be out of there the second dusk fell but it felt like it would never come. Experience won out in the end though and as darkness began to fall we were loaded up and ready to leave the lake behind us. We tied our guests just enough to give ourselves an hour’s head start and pushed off with everyone loaded into their dinghies. The engines roared as we sped west. We never did get that bear.
To be continued…
© Stephen Fahey