You can read the introduction here.
Weather is a normal earthly occurrence. Something most people who are on land a lot, usually don’t give second thought to. Well on the water, it is a different situation. There are no trees, no large buildings, no barriers to slow the wind, slow the onslaught of rain, slow the brute amount of force. Daddy, Cody, Manuel (our other deckhand), and I had been watching the weather roll in from the La Porte/Bayport area. I didn’t think twice because Daddy always took care of us. The wind was strong though, it started to cool off the hot, muggy air that had plagued us that day. My hair began to whip around my face as Cody and I cleaned the back deck of fish and crabs, and then we dipped shrimp from the tanks into baskets to unload at the dock.
Daddy called to us from the cabin doorway that he was going to do a few circles at the hole (which is where the Houston Ship Channel branches into Cedar Bayou), wait for the weather to pass. “It’s a bad blow, I want that to get out of the way before we head in.” He casually grabbed a water and went back to his tall, captain’s chair, and settled in.
Laughing, I put my arms up like the classic Titanic pose as the wind pushed hard against my face. I told Cody, “Put your arms up! It’s just like Titanic!” Cody immediately hollered, “Sabrina! No! That boat sank!” I laughed harder, thinking of the absurdity of our boat sinking. Gave Cody a big, I-love-you-for-saying-something-so-silly hug and finished up unloading the shrimp. Just as the rain began to release, all three deckhands walked into the cabin and dad steered the boat into Cedar Bayou.
Lightening flashed up ahead. It was so beautiful. Purple and just.. breathtaking. I felt a twinge of fear but remembered that Daddy always took care of us. The weather wasn’t something to be feared. Dad stood at the helm and was watching the beacons, his line up, his depth meter. Everything was normal. Lightening struck ahead of us. “You should take a picture, Brina. It’s really pretty.” And just like that, I grabbed my phone from my purse on the bunk and turned back to Dad’s side. My spot. Always my spot. That little corner where the dash nestled into the starboard window. Right next to the wheel. I swiped my screen to unlock it just as the clock changed to 2:12 p.m. “I sure wish we were already at that next beacon. It would make me feel better with all this wind,” and just like that Dad was on his feet, spinning the wheel deftly to the right. I looked over my left shoulder to the back left of the cabin out the door. The boat was laying over to the left and the water was at the bulwarks. The white box (large tank that holds 700 pounds of shrimp) slid to the edge and was going over. I cried out that the box was going over as dad yelled to grab a window. Pushing me against the corner, Dad wrapped his strong arms around me as we both clung to the window sill. Just like that, my hands were the only thing touching the cabin as the boat capsized.
Water rushed in, rising to my neck. I began screaming to God. It didn’t seem real. It didn’t seem possible. This doesn’t happen in real life. If you don’t already know, I have night terrors. These have happened long before the accident. I wake up in a screaming/crying mess, reliving the terrible images of a dream gone wrong. Screaming to God to save me was the only way I could awake from them. Daddy always said I read to many Nancy Drew books when I was younger, but who knows the real reasons. They are always extremely vivid and real. I thought this was just another vivid night terror haunting my sleep. But as the water swirled around my face, the light inside the cabin began to dim as the boat filled with water, and I knew it was not.