All aboard the boat watched the until now tranquil waters start to foam as the rush of water past the outcropping of concrete beat the water into a furious mass of seething froth.
“Ahattra Goddess of travellers protect us,” muttered an Ami on the bridge, “we need all the help we can get this is going to be hard on the boat and us, have the Ami’s below check all is securely lashed down we don’t want to lose anything in this maelstrom”. Kevin’s instructions were carried out, and then all that could found as safe a haven on or in the boat as there was.
The boat began to turn full head on into the swirling water and slowly as he could Kevin eased the boat on, buffeted from every side and swaying heavily in the water the boat began to make slow but steady headway. It was soon obvious to Kevin he would have to increase power to the engine to make it up what appeared to be a ramp of water. But he knew this very act had been his undoing every time he had attempted it in the past with his son as they ran along the riverbank.
The boat began to tremble under his feet, but the engine never faltered the propellers at the rear turning as steady as ever. Every fibre in Kevin’s body screamed, “More power to the engines”. He willed the boat on in the water then just as it seemed they were clear the boat gave a mighty lurch to the portside as the bow struck a submerged stone in the river. With the bow now threatening to turn across the river. This would be the end as the river race of water caught them it would turn the boat over in the water drowning all aboard. Few could survive this stretch of rapids but he resisted and again willed the boat back to course. Kevin felt the power of his mind turning the boat gradually it came about and with the bow of the boat back into the main drive of water it made the top of the ramp. It felt as if it jumped into the now slower running water.
Kevin could feel the sigh of relief coming from all on the boat, many ran to the sides and looked back into the inky darkness little was to be seen. Kevin himself felt as if he was going to pass out with the mental strain of keeping the boat right in the river.
In the now slower running water the boat was making good headway against what little current there was.
Harris had gone below to where the injured Ami’s were quartered so only Soste and the signal crew remained. Soste smiled at Kevin “good work Kevin I think you serve us well, are there any more such obstacles to overcome”?
The passage up the ramp of water had drained Kevin; he had willed the boat on overcoming the surge of water with his own force of will pleased now that he hadn’t increased power as he had so often tried to in the past.
“There is a first time for everything, and that was the first time I have ever managed to overcome that particular weir. But to answer your question fully yes there are a few more hazards to take yet, and I have always made it passed these with some little amount of difficulty”.
As if to make a liar of him the boat lurched in the water and keeled madly over to the starboard side throwing all askew. Kevin regained his feet and ran out the port side exit looking a little aft of the boat he could see a large tree branch floating into the gloom behind them, they had struck it unawares. Soste placed sentries with good night sight in the fore of the boat to look out for anymore-such dangers and give forewarning in advance. The boat carried on upstream sedately, “time for a battery check “Kevin mumbled to no one then headed below leaving a frightened Soste in command of the boat.
On Kevin’s return he called a meeting of Soste and Harris. “As I see it we can carry on as far as this battery will take us till it is depleted then change back to the battery we changed at the weir its got about half a charge in it that leaves us one full battery in reserve. Hopefully the sun will be full up in the sky by that time and we should be able to start to recharge some of the battery power.
There is an old river bend just up ahead that this battery will take us to it’s an offshoot of the main river and is calm so we can make our change there. But I don’t understand why we have been able to run so long on this battery”? At this point Harris reminded Kevin of the earlier conversation about relative time for Ami’s and humans and how in his present condition his perspective on time was a little different.
“Well now that you have reminded me of that I think a change of plan is called for, we pull in to the same river bend but when we have changed the batteries we will rest up. It will help the electric motor cool off and give us a bigger margin of safety on reserve power. By the time we come to changing over batteries again the first will be partially recharged from the solar recharging panel”.
Soste and Harris merely nodded in agreement as neither truly understood what Kevin had explained to them, Kevin was happy that this was the best course of action so Soste was happy with that.