Notecard: Fatherhood

The dynamite blew up when the ketch was about 100 yards from the kayak. The explosion was loud, and the Minakovs’ pursuers paused. Maybe, Oleg thought, the men feared that they’d encountered an ocean minefield. Even at six, he knew about underwater bombs.

Valeri cut south, into the wind, hoping that the Soviet sailboat would be incapable of following. Waves crashed against the kayak. Valeri and Oleg could see the ketch’s sails—the Soviets were giving chase. Valeri needed speed, so he opened the engine’s throttle and did what he could to lighten the kayak’s load. He threw overboard a pump for draining seawater. He also tossed the jug of drinking water. It was an outrageous move. Surely he knew that he and Oleg could die out on the ocean without any fresh water. But Valeri’s fear of being caught was greater than his fear of fatal dehydration.

- from The Voyagers by Bill Donahue via The Atavist

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