To start at the beginning, use this link: Link to chapter 1
Allen and the mermaids swam north during the night. They found a small island after a few hours of swimming, and stopped there to sleep and recharge. There was little flat space to lay down among the tangle of mangrove roots, so they didn’t rest for long. When the sun rose, they stayed for a while longer to let the solar panels charge their batteries. They each drank some of the water from the water bottles provided by Susan, then took turns pumping the filter to re-fill some of the bottles. They found that it took about 20 minutes of pumping to fill one bottle. When they felt that the batteries were charged enough, they started swimming north again. Under the water they passed through a wonderland of brightly colored fish and strangely shaped corals. They encountered more small islands, places where the reef had grown to the surface of the water and mangroves had taken root at low tide. Most of the islands were little more than one or two mangrove trees, but some were larger. Eventually they came to the island Susan had pointed out on the map. It was a narrow horseshoe-shaped spit of land with a lagoon and some small islets in the center. Enough sand had accumulated in some locations so that there was room for the mermaids to get out of the water. They all agreed that it looked like a good place to wait for their rescuers. Allen organized them into shifts so that there were always two mermaids on watch. Based on the bits of trash and a few burned spots in the sand, people did visit the island from time to time, and they didn’t want to be surprised by a fisherman or one of Carlos’s searchers. They spread out their solar panels, took turns pumping the water filter, and settled in to wait for help.