Read an Excerpt
We have a plan. Our goal is to slide out into the eddy, high above the entrance to Hung Men, then "bite off" a corner of the giant entry wave at an angle. Hopefully that initial bump will turn the raft around to face the next series of waves head-on . . . from there we just hope to hang on through the giant train of waves. The key is hitting that monstrous second wave head-on. If we do, the big boat should steamroll right along.
Barry is at the oars, thus bearing ninety-nine percent of the responsibility for our safety. Loud grunts indicate he is desperately trying to row backwards, across the current, valiantly trying to position the raft dead in the center of the fast-approaching two-and-a-half story waves.
As most well-laid plans do, this one goes awry. Badly. We don't quite get enough of the initial wave to spin us around to face the wave. Instead we just get hit hard and spun sideways-depositing us in the worst possible position, heading sideways into a twenty-five-foot tall wall of waves. This is where my limited role begins. It involves throwing my weight into the front tubes just as they are hit by giant waves, desperate to keep rubber on water, endeavoring to prevent the front end of the boat from getting too much air, and flipping over backwards. I sneak a look back a couple times, just to make sure Barry's still in the boat. I glimpse him jerking on the oars, grunting like a man possessed, a look of confused desperation on his face, yelling out "high-side."
We are sucked as if by a vacuum cleaner into the giant chop on the right, which tosses the boat dangerously close to the wall. If we so much as kiss the rock, the boat will flip and we'll be thrown into thechurning maelstrom. I catch Barry's eyes and he shrugs his shoulders even as he grimaces, still struggling against the oars fruitlessly. The only thing we can do is hang on, ride it out, pray we stay upright.