Part 3, Chapter 9 Summary
The next morning Thomas Hudson looks at the barometer and notices that it is falling lower. The mate tells him that the squalls are going into the south. Thomas Hudson goes up on deck and scrubs the stern where the German died. He then goes up to the flying bridge and waits for dawn. The mate, Ara, and Gil hoist the dinghy aboard, then the mate pumps the bilges and checks the motors to make sure they are ready for business. Thomas Hudson is concerned that there was so much water in the boat, but the mate says there was a loose stuffing box that he has tightened a little. The anchor is hoisted and they set out.
Thomas Hudson asks if Peters ever raised Guantanamo on the radio again but learns that the radio burned. Thomas Hudson and Ara look back to see the high, piled clouds over the land—this is a sure sign of coming squalls. Thomas Hudson asks what Ara would do if he were a German and saw that sky. Ara says he would try to get inside the island chain away from the open ocean and hope to find a guide from the island.
The day is calm and beautiful despite the threat of storm. Thomas Hudson thinks of the dishonesty of the sky. It seems friendly but is intent on destroying them. A stream can be friendly and trustworthy, but the ocean will always lie to you before it pounces. The cruiser moves down the channel but sees nothing but calm. Thomas Hudson decides to head in to Anton to try to work it all out while the storm blows. A plane flies overhead and Thomas Hudson orders that they fly a big flag announcing their mission as a scientific team. The plane buzzes them then heads off. Thomas Hudson speculates that the plane could radio their position in. Soon they see the plane heading back, which confirms to Thomas Hudson that it will report them. He pilots the boat into the green keys in search of an open canal. He tells Ara to have Antonio put a feather out; by this he can track the flow of water and get his bearing. Henry spots a big fish he would like to catch. Thomas Hudson announces that he is going to anchor while the men watch the leaping fish. Thomas Hudson says he is going for gas so that they can keep moving and beat the squall.