Chapter 43

 

As it turned out, preparing sails and an anchor was much more difficult than I had expected. Most of the linen I had and the sails I had taken from the wrecked ships had rotted, but I found and stitched two pieces to make a big sail. It took us a bit longer to make and fit the boat with a rudder.

On the other hand, a mast was easy enough to make and with Friday’s help it took us no time at all. Still, two months had passed while we finished all preparations and furnished the boat.

Friday knew how to navigate a boat but had never seen a mast and a sail, so I had to instruct him how to use them.
Meanwhile the twenty-seventh year of my stay on the island had come. The last three years I had spent with Friday and they were much different from the time before I met him. I knew that perhaps I wouldn’t stay much longer on this island, now that we had the canoe ready, but I still continued working in the garden and looking after my animals.

The rainy season came upon us, so we built a small dam for the boat and we covered it with leaves. These preserved it from the torrential rains and at the same time kept it hidden from human eyes.

The rainy season also gave us enough time to plan our voyage. After it finished we started storing provisions in the boat. One day I had sent Friday to the beach to get a tortoise, when he came back running. Before I had even had a chance to ask him, he cried out that there were three canoes on the beach.