“Crap! There’s a storm building in the west,” Bill said as he steered the canoe toward a small cove on the nearby shore. “Let’s get off the lake before it hits.”
Ellen and Bill paddled furiously, but the storm moved faster than their boat.
<p>“Crap! There’s a storm building in the west,” Bill said as he steered the canoe toward a small cove on the nearby shore. “Let’s get off the lake before it hits.”</p>
<p>Ellen and Bill paddled furiously, but the storm moved faster than their boat.</p>
<p>“We’re not gonna to make it,” Ellen shouted. She glanced up at the black, billowing clouds bearing down on them, dug in, and paddled harder.</p>
<p>A flash of lightning struck a nearby island. Wind gusts threatened to overturn the boat. Their blades cut the water with frenzied strokes, but with four-foot waves crashing over the bow, the couple made little headway. One wave caught Ellen’s oar, flipping it into the drink.</p>
<p>“What do we do?” she screamed as the canoe tipped on its side, taking on water.</p>
<p>“Move toward the front. We need more weight in the bow,” Bill shouted just as a massive wave hit and rolled the boat, dumping them into the lake. Life vests kept them afloat, but their gear sank to the bottom.</p>
<p>“Are you okay?” Bill yelled over the roaring storm.</p>
<p>“Okay!” Ellen waved and grappled with the canoe, losing the battle to currents that sucked it toward a waterfall at the lake’s outlet.</p>
<p>“Forget the boat. Swim over here,” Bill shouted as he bobbed and watched Ellen swim to him. When she got close, he grabbed her vest and hooked a stringer through a D-ring, lashing them together. “Swim for shore.”</p>
<p>The storm raged, but with Mother Nature’s help, they beached and crawled under a small hemlock tree and waited out the squall. Their canoe disappeared over the dam, leaving them to survive with the items in their pockets.</p>
<p>Once the rain stopped, the couple picked their way along the shoreline to a sandy cove where they sat on the beach and took inventory.</p>
<p>Bill produced waterproof matches and his wallet. He’d left his pocketknife on the canoe’s bottom when he cut the fishing line. Consequently, it rested in the depths of the lake with their gear.</p>
<p>Ellen discarded a soppy mass of tissues from her pocket and produced plastic toothpicks, sunglasses, and a peanut butter sandwich she’d stored in her belt pouch. “That’s it. Our cell phones are lost to the deep.”</p>
<p>“We don’t have much for survival tools,...