Sunday, August 23, 2009
Princess of Amathar - Chapter 27 Excerpt
When Noriandara Remontar and I finally felt we were well provisioned enough for a relatively long sea voyage, we pulled the raft down to the water and placed all of our supplies on it. Then we climbed on. There was just barely enough room for us and our things, and it was impossible for both of us to lie down and sleep at the same time. It was planned that we would take turns paddling and resting. At first we both paddled to get away from the shore, and it was only after the edge of the water was only a dim line in the distance that we settled into our rotation.
The reflected sun on the water made the air a little warmer than it had been for us on the shore. At least that is my explanation for it, not being a meteorologist myself. It was by no means uncomfortable though. Indeed, if it had been a more comfortable vessel in which we found ourselves, I would have thought this the most pleasant of vacations. The water was cool but it was difficult to see down into it more than a foot or so. Perhaps this had something to do with the salt content. When the job of rowing became overtaxing, the Princess would remove her tabard and boots, and slide over the side of the raft into the water to cool off. I did this too on occasion, though more often I would simply scoop out a basket full of water to poor over my head. There was something unwholesome about an ocean with no fish. I had little problem swimming around in the Pacific Ocean near Catalina Island on Earth despite the fact that it is the summer feeding grounds for the Great White Shark-- not that I didn't think about them. At least there, they had plenty of sea lions and fish to choose from. Here in the fishless water, if some great voracious creature decided it was hungry, it didn't have much from which to choose. The Princess and I were, not respectively, the main course and desert.
"How large do you suppose this sea to be?" I asked my companion.
"I do not believe it is much more than one hundred kentads (about two hundred miles)," she replied. "We should be across it before our food runs low."
"How can you be sure?" "I am not sure. But I have a sense for these things."