The waves kept pounding us. Marquis was in a precarious position atop the hull, trying to secure the cooler, nothing really firm to hold on to except my leg. He slid one way, then the other. He would nearly go off one side, and we would grab him and pull him up.

I desperately kept trying to hold on to the Ziploc bag so I wouldn't lose the phones, keys, and wallets. I probably should have put the bag in my coat pocket, but it didn't occur to me. I was still in the same position, my left hand on the motor and my right hand free, like I was riding a bull. I held on to that bag as tight as I could.

"Try it again," Corey kept saying about the phone. Every time, I got the same response: no service.

Marquis kept climbing back into position on the hull, but he looked fatigued. He was in tremendous shape, but he had almost no body fat to insulate him against the cold. "You good?" we kept asking him.

"Yeah, I'm good," he said, but he seemed tired.

The waves seemed to get rougher after sunset. And a little louder. Consistent eight-footers now. They were capping.

The storm was coming in.

Nick tells his survival story to Oprah

The foregoing is excerpted from Not Without Hope by Nick Schuyler. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.


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