Chapter Ten

The day had nearly arrived.

Despite constant objections and attempts of persuasion, the appropriate modifications had been made to Joma’s boat. It had become clear that he would leave regardless and those closest to him were better off ensuring he was adequately prepared and safe, rather than put the journey in jeopardy out of stubbornness,

The boat was almost unrecognisable. Protruding arms had been added for stability while every spare area had been turned to storage.

Of course, his Mother had ensured a substantial food supply – fish in brine, dry bread, water as well as preserved fruits and vegetables occupied his stores. She had educated him about the need to find fresh food where possible to lengthen his provisions and to keep him healthy.

“We’ve done a tremendous job with the boat Joma. You’ve learnt a lot about boat building. Your application and dedication is impressive,” spoke Mariusz while admiring the craft.

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” Joma replied shyly, waving off the compliment.

“I mean it Joma. You’ve picked up skills and techniques quickly. I’m proud of you,” said the older man placing an arm on Joma’s shoulder.

“Thanks Mariusz,” Joma blushed.

The boy had been complimented in the past. His Mother was regularly applauding his efforts in the kitchen while Manny and the other fisherman spoke highly of his ability on the seas.

Despite the praise, he had difficulty believing what they were saying was truth. He thought, perhaps they were simply being nice or trying to fill me with confidence or simply gain sway because I’m the chief’s son.

Or maybe the simplest explanation was most likely – they were telling the truth.

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