Unknown to the fact that there has been a disaster and all are dead, the captain travels by snowshoes to investigate. Rather than join his neighbors in death he must get himself, his wife, and the two boys on a long and dangerous cruise.
The spindrift spray slashed across the windows of the pilot house. The rugged boat built for such weather dove into the waves and up she rose higher and higher, then down to stop with a crash and shudder.
Captain Kelley at the wheel watched the compass heading like a hawk keeping the vessel headed into the waves, was a must. If the boat rolled off course and got hit on the side by a wave it could be the end. The heavy ice coating aloft in the rigging would not allow a quick rise.
His tired eyes peered again at the compass and then looked ahead into the darkness. How anxiously he awaited daylight and the sun to melt off the ice from the rigging.
What was he doing out here on the ocean in the winter storm? The answer to that question of course is the following interesting sea story:
The Escape from the Atomic Fallout
The rugged sea captain with his wife and two young grandsons went on a visit to his Maine hunting camp in late November and are stranded by atomic bomb fallout.
They must get from the frigid cold weather to the warmer climate further down south. The preparations and start in a boat must be made from Lubec, Maine to the east coast of North Carolina, near Cape Lookout Lighthouse.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.38(d)|
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Escape from the Atomic Fallout
By Gardner Martin Kelley
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 Capt. Gardner Martin Kelley
All rights reserved.
Escape from the Atomic Fallout
Captain G.M. kicked off his ten inch hiking shoes to settle comfortably into his favorite chair. He went about reading the Sunday newspaper. He spoke to his wife as she went about getting their supper on the table. "Listen to this. A professor says that if an atomic bomb hit New York City that all of the people would be killed as far as the Connecticut border and a lot of people would be maimed and blinded for many more surrounding miles. If the bomb missed New York City and exploded close enough that the city had to be evacuated it could be done in four hours. Four hours be damned", said G.M. "They couldn't evacuate the people of New York City in four days. Every highway would be so blocked up in the panic to get out that even wreckers could not get around. The only possible way to get the millions of people out of the city would be by ships and boats. Even then it would take much longer than that."
After the call, "Come to the table to eat" Captain G.M. was sitting looking at his two grandsons, Danny and his younger brother Jimmy. He was proud of these two youngsters. So much so that he had taken them from primary school to give them the adventure of a long ride from North Carolina to his hunting camp in Maine.
His mind was occupied with thoughts of his wife, the boys and food that he forgot for the time being about the article and visions of such a disaster.
While his wife cleared the table and washed the dishes G.M. or Gramp, as the boys called him, sat in his big chair. He had a boy on each knee. Gramp entertained them with stories until they were both sleeping. His wife Vera carried first one and then the other to their bunk beds.
G.M. was almost asleep as he planned out his route for getting a deer for camp meat the next morning. Of course the wind direction would show which way to travel. He would head into the wind in his search of the woods for the secretive creature. G.M. was not worried of not finding a deer. He taught himself to be a good hunter and he had become a licensed guide.
After several years he had retired again and moved south to enjoy a warmer climate. Now after a summer of sailing, he was enjoying his hunting camp in Maine. The building had been so tight that it was snug and warm with just the heat of the cooking stove. He opened the steel front door to look outside. It was snowing. He would have fresh snow for tracking deer in the morning.
Vera had retired for the night and G.M. turned down the lamp wick to its lowest point and joined her.
Crack! Before the sound of the rifle shot reached his ears G.M. saw the big buck drop into the foot of new snow. When he trudged through the knee deep snow to the dead animal, the whiteness of its belly fur was already stained with the blood from the wound in the neck. The eight millimeter bullet from the bolt action rifle had done its job. He looked down at the swollen neck, which indicated the rutting season. The fur a month ago or so had a pretty rusty color and had turned to a darker shade.
Well he had his camp meat and now for the work to field dress the carcass. He had told the boys, Danny eight years old and Jimmy only six that he hoped to get one close to the camp before the deer go deep into the woods to "Yard up" for the deep snow of the winter.
He had to explain to them that deer had to "Yard up" in frozen over cedar swamps and lakes where their constant travels for food would keep the snow packed down. This would allow them to keep out of the reach of bob cats that were forever watching for a downed or disabled deer. Bears hibernate, so they were not a death threat to them.
He unsheathed his knife and started the chore. The sharp knife sliced through the lower throat fur to cut off the jugular. He then shifted to open up the belly to get to the innards. He thought, "How great this venison would go to fill their needs for fresh meat." He continued his chore of field dressing the big deer.
Captain G.M. Kelley along with his wife Vera and two grandsons, Danny and Jimmy, had come to the Maine hunting camp. All the way from North Carolina's Outer Banks for a week of deer hunting before the season was over. "I want to shoot my deer before the heavy snows drive them into the cedar swamps to "Yard up" for the winter", he had said to his wife Vera only yesterday.
Yarding usually happens in and around cedar swamps where there is winter feed sufficient for deer to survive on. The bigger deer standing on hind feet reaches as high as they can to the cedar branches ends. This causes an optical illusion. It looks as if strait edges were used to get a line even and straight when looking across a pond or lake that has been yarded all winter.
One snow storm had already passed and although the deer were still moving about, they would soon be moving into the deeper woods. This buck had crossed the snow covered tarred road past the camp around daylight. His belly just sweeping the snow piled high by the snow plow that had gone past the camp at four that morning.
G.M. opened the steel front door at daylight and noted the fresh track. He thought that he knew where the buck would go to find a mate or just to feed along, seeking the tasty softer blueberry bushes under the snow.
The hunter Captain hurried into his outside heavier winter clothing and knife belt. He grabbed up his rifle and ran down the plowed road and then turned into the path to the blueberry land. He worked his way through a patch of alder bushes surrounding the open ground. From beside a spruce tree he could see all the length of the "Buttercup field" to the trees bordering the swamp just beyond.
The buck looked huge as his head appeared from behind the bushes. "He must be an eight or ten pointer" thought Kelley as he watched the buck coming closer and would soon be close enough for a killing shot.
The buck saw the doe off to the right and close to where G.M. was standing in the lee of the heavily branched spruce tree. He was walking faster now and then he disappeared. The hunter's heart almost stopped. Should he have shot the smaller deer to be sure of camp meat? No! The buck had only ventured into a low spot and was now in view again, much closer. The eight millimeter rifle equipped with a two by eight scope was not necessary, but gave the meat hunter a good feeling.
He steadied the rifle on a sturdy branch of the spruce tree. He aimed at the thick neck and squeezed the trigger. He smiled contently as the deer tumbled into the snow.
Taking the buck by the hind feet he dragged the deer about ten yards to a big scrubby spruce tree. With his hatchet from its sheath he cut several lower braches and now had a spot clear of snow to field dress the deer. G.M. took off his outside heavy wool rich hunting shirt and tossed it over a limb. The belt was heavy with the sheath for the hatchet, a hunting knife and a bullet holder. He then rolled up his sleeves as far as he could before getting his hands bloody, he proceeded to clean out his kill.
Having done this many times before he knew the steps to save time. He turned the deer on its back, grasped the hind feet and spread them apart by kneeling between the deer's upturned legs. With the sharp hunting knife he started the blade through the tough hide being careful not to penetrate the inner layer. He carefully inserted two fingers inside the hide with the inner stomach tissue under his turned upward hand and as the knife sliced upwards to the rib cage he protected the paunch from getting cut.
Starting again where he had opened the hide the knife cut back to the body cavity, which was cut around and pulled outward and then tied closed with a piece of twine. This would be pulled inside the deer and emptied out with the paunch. The only blood so far was where the bullet had passed through on its way out after expanding against bone and tissue.
A large slice across the throat allowed the windpipe vein and jugular to be severed. G.M. kneeled once again between the hind legs, carefully slicing through the stomach covering while being careful not to cut into the paunch, which held the partially digested food. He opened it all the way to the rib cage and exposed the complete stomach with the bag like container and with one quick slice around the rib cage on both sides. He reached inside to the neck and by pulling back on the windpipe jugular brought the whole inside of the deer out of the carcass, leaving a clean interior, except for a little blood which was scooped out. The lining was then wiped dry with a clean rag.
Now all that was left was good meat. In the mass if innards was the heart and liver. This was cut clear and a forked stick shoved through them for carrying. Taking snow, he cleaned the blood from his hands and arms. This caused him to get cold so he rolled down his sleeves and after rubbing his arms and hands to get them warm, he put his belt and wool rich shirt back on. He took his watch to slip back on his wrist and the time was seven forty-five, just twenty minutes since the shot. It was six thirty when he had noticed the tracks where the deer had crossed. Now G.M. was ready to hoist the deer to cool and age.
He saw the sun as it eased up over the trees. There was no warmth to this cold morning. He reached into his pocket and removed a small coil of parachute cord which he looped over a large limb higher than those cut off earlier. He tied it around the antlers and lifted with one hand, then pulled on the cord with the other to get the deer off the ground. He tied the end of the cord to a sturdy lower branch to keep it there until he came back for it. Taking the hatchet he cut and sharpened a stout piece of one of the branches he had cut from the tree earlier. This piece was about eight inches long. It was used to spread open the stomach cavity to let the cold air circulate. The rest of the branches he thrust into the scrubby tree over the deer to protect and hide the deer from the crows and ravens. The innards were then dragged off a few feet to a low spot in the rocks nearby. Picking up the forked stick with the heart and liver, he headed for camp with the rifle in its sling over his shoulder.
Hi Gramp! Hi Gramp! Echoed from Danny and Jimmy as he came walking up to the door. Vera had already hooked the outer steel door back and only the glassed triple track storm and screen door was closed now, allowing a clear view of the inside of the camp. The table was set and he could see hot biscuits still steaming on a large platter in the center of it. He knew there would be a large pot of home baked kidney beans and some of them would be coming his way, as soon as he got seated at the table. The boys followed him inside kicking off the snow from their overshoes as they peeled off their jackets, caps and mittens.
"I see you got him Gramp", said Danny with his eyes sparkling and a drop of water from the melting snow running down his red cheek. "I knew he would", said Jimmy. "When are we going to bring him home?" G.M. looked at the two anxious faces of the young boys and beamed. He had a way with his grandchildren, which numbered ten, but these two had been around him all of their lives except when he had gone off on boating trips (the Captain on yachts).
Vera called, "Up to the table now before the biscuits get cold." After a hearty breakfast G.M. and the boys went outside. As the boys played in the snow he swept the walks and shoveled the driveway where the snow had drifted at one corner of the camp. The camp, he thought as he shoveled, this is some camp.
The building was built for the telephone company of a design that was to last two hundred years and would not be affected by a forest fire. There was no wood outside. The roof was built of slate.
This building was no use to the company after ten years due to changing times and policy's. G.M. had bought it for a hunting camp. He sold the old wooden camp to some fellows in New York.
There was a big ledge under the camp that was over a hundred feet through it. He knew this because the well was drilled into it that far and this ledge was the footing for the building. It was back filled with gravel. Then an eighteen inch slab of concrete poured for the floors.
The walls were eight inch cement blocks tied into four inch blocks with steel tabs to keep a four inch air space between the blocks for insulation. The attic floor, which was also the ceiling for the camp had a thick blanket of Corning insulation between the 2x8 cross timbers. The building was practically a bomb shelter with the steel doors and the double thick glass six inch square windows.
A furnace room attached to the back of the building was of the same construction, but with no ceiling insulation. The thick wall separated it from the main room until G.M. with an electric driven jack hammer punched a doorway to hang a door. This was done to tend the furnace without having to go outside and also having a back door to the camp.
Preparing For The Snow
The day by now was fairly mild, not frigid as earlier. With the wind from the northeast G.M. expected more snow would be coming. "Let me shoot the twenty two some more Gramp", said Danny. "Me too", echoed Jimmy. This was an occurrence that always happened, if Danny did it then Jimmy must also. "You're a regular mocking bird Jimmy, but that's O.K. you can shoot too."
Gramp said, "Danny, go tell Gram to get the box of twenty two's from on top of the gun cabinet." Gramp reached inside the furnace room to get the single shot twenty two from where he had hung it on the wall.
The target shooting went on for the next half hour as the boys took turns shooting at an old roadside sign. After a few shots G.M. would walk through the snow to the target (the boys always followed in his wake). He put twigs in the new holes and showed the boys which ones they had shot. After several trips they had made quite a path through the snow that would stay until the next snow filled it in.
"Come on" said Vera from the doorway. "I want the water cans filled and some extra, for it looks like we will get some more snow." There was no water connected to the camp yet. The well had just been drilled. All the water had to be carried from a spring deep in the woods under the hill. The water seeped out of the ground into a small catch basin built by some farmer or settler years long ago.
All that remains of the place is a square of rocks that was evidently the cellar foundation of the place. There are a few apple trees where in the fall the bears and deer get the apples that fall from them.
They had made several trips to the spring. The boys carried a two gallon pail between them on a stick and Gramp carried two. The water supply was enough for several days. When we were done Vera had dinner ready. "Come on you pirates, get washed up for dinner", said Gramp. The boys crowded to the sink as he poured hot water into the wash dish from the steaming tea kettle on the stove. He added cold water from the pail on the sink sideboard.
The deer heart and liver was soaking the blood out in a pan on the sideboard. For this meal there was Maine clam chowder with dumplings and both boys came back for seconds. The brisk air had given them both a good appetite. After a fill of chowder Vera produced a large pie made from blueberries. She had picked the berries just across from the camp a few months earlier and preserved them in sealed jars.
The clams had come from a clam digger. He shucked out the clams that he dug. He peddled them to make more money than he would have by selling them in the shell to the buyer in the Boston market.
The weather continued to look bad so G.M. dressed for outside travel. He left off his heavy outside shirt as he would be plenty warm lugging the buck deer. He back tracked to where it hung and lowered it onto his shoulders. The carcass was quite stiff now and easier to carry than when he was warm and limp. The big buck was still a heavy burden. He had to stop twice for a rest.
Excerpted from Escape from the Atomic Fallout by Gardner Martin Kelley. Copyright © 2013 Capt. Gardner Martin Kelley. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Escape from the Atomic Fallout.................... 1
Chapter 2 - Deer Hunting.................... 5
Chapter 3 - The Camp.................... 15
Chapter 4 - Preparing For The Snow.................... 20
Chapter 5 - Winter Storm.................... 26
Chapter 6 - Investigating the Town for Life.................... 36
Chapter 7 - Atomic Fallout.................... 50
Chapter 8 - DOWN EASTER".................... 85
Chapter 9 - Afloat.................... 124
Chapter 10 - Christmas Day.................... 141
Chapter 11 - Our Sea Voyage Begins.................... 179
Chapter 12 - "LIZZIE MAE".................... 187
Chapter 13 - Underwood's Wharf.................... 201
Chapter 14 - The Beach Out.................... 206
Chapter 15 - Tenants Harbor.................... 251
Chapter 16 - Boon Island.................... 270
Chapter 17 - The Storm.................... 285
Chapter 18 - Portsmouth, New Hampshire.................... 318
Chapter 19 - Point Judith, Rhode Island.................... 348
Chapter 20 - Admiral Badguyski's Invasion.................... 365
Chapter 21 - Connecticut River.................... 374
Chapter 22 - New Moon Tonight.................... 395
Chapter 23 - Adventure Goes On.................... 426
Chapter 24 - The "SPRAY".................... 473
Chapter 25 - Cape Hatteras.................... 555