Geographical Escape 2.5: Open Water

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She was gone again at dawn. Another note- a map  with a big red X and the words  “Meet here at 1 and bring your pack.”  His body was feeling worn and sore so he rolled over and slept for a few more hours. When he awakened, he texted his wife saying that he had landed safely and he would be in meetings so he would be hard to reach. He showered, then headed for the diner and wolfed down the lumberjack special.

The route was easy to follow and ended at a lobster boat pier. Few boats were docked given the hour. The area looked deserted save for the mail boat and another vessel that was undergoing repairs. A fit guy of about 30 was working on the engine. Tom noticed that he sported a bike tattoo on his upper left arm.

“Hey, you here for the ride to Stonington?” The voice was coming from the mail boat. Tom looked over and saw a  wiry old man at the steering wheel.  “Lauren told me to be expecting you. Climb aboard but take off those dang shoes first.”

As the old man revved the boat’s engine, he waved to the man on the pier. ” Good old Mikey. Getting that old girl ready for the sail south. Spends his winters doing triathlons. Plans on heading out sometime tomorrow.” Tom couldn’t help but notice the piercing look Mike gave him as he left the shore.

He had no idea where they were headed. The old man gave him the lowdown about the journey. Fifteen miles out from the mainland lay a small island whose mountains rose hundreds of feet above the water. Few people lived there and those who visited were ones that wanted  to hike its challenging trails or bike its winding roads. “Lauren is the perfect guide for this place. Knows every nook and cranny no doubt.”

When they arrived, Lauren was at the landing. “Thanks Earl. See you soon!”, she said. “Ready?” she asked Tom.

The ride was majestic as they made their way through the twists, turns and places with names like Trial Point, Duck Harbor and Sheep Thief Gulch.  The day’s light was just beginning to dim as they arrived at a small cove. It was completely private- a lean- to was off to one side of the beach. Before them lay nothing but sand and water.

“Take off your clothes. We’re going for a swim.”

The water was icy and nearly stopped his breath. She brought him close to her and wrapped her legs around his waist. They kissed long and hard. His body was numb with the cold. They fell into the surf at the water’s edge each taking turns with their knees in the sand. Their union was long and satisfying. He felt baptized by the experience.

Soon, she lit a fire in the sand and brought down blankets from the lean-to. They joined one another again and then once more before the flames died out. They fell asleep to the sound of the roaring waves.

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