Note: This is the seventh of fifteen parts. Click here to read from the beginning.
I missed the action.
On our third day here, I was across the island doing yoga while an attempted “rescue” was taking place.
It was a day with heavy cloud cover and a smattering of rain here and there. The winds were high, but none of it was alarming. It seemed like a stormy, tropical day.
As I neared the end of the path, coming back from the east side of the island, I saw a gathering of adults and children, a flustered Molly, and a large, full water bottle attached to a rope about 20-feet long.
“Mom,” Molly said, “You missed it!”
When she mentioned that a helicopter had come, I thought I had missed my chance at a ride the pilots had said they would try to make happen for us. Instead, turns out, these pilot friends had come and hovered over the shore to drop a message in a bottle.
Molly showed me the communication:
On the outside of the note, which was taped to the side of the water bottle, it said, “Molly, open this and read it.” (Just in case that didn’t occur to her.)
On the inside it said something like, “Molly, there is a storm on its way in the next few days with predicted winds of about 50 mph. You and your mom might want to consider heading back to shore today. If you want to go back, I can arrange to have a boat come for you. Just give me a thumbs up signal, and I’ll make that happen.”
Molly gave the pilot the thumbs down, and he flew away.
We did, however, consider the warning because 50-mile-per-hour winds would not be fun on this tiny, primitive place. There were some other islanders here, Marshallese folks, and they had cell phones and called friends to check the weather report. We learned from them there was no storm in the weather reports, and by 2 p.m., the sun was out.
What a great story, though.
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