The book is about 6 kids that boarded the ship “the Phoenix” as part of a program called CNC
The book is about 6 kids that boarded the ship “the Phoenix” as part of a program called CNC, “Chartering a New Course”. This program is specially designed for trouble kids to learn different skills. It has a duration of one month on the sea with no internet and no TV. On board of the phoenix they met the captain Mr. Cascaddan and the first mate Mr. Rafford. On July 11, the phoenix left the harbor of Guam with the captain, the first mate and the six crew members on board. The kids were Charla Swann, Luke Haggarty, Will and Lyssa Greenfield, J.J Lane and Ian Sikorsky. Each of them were send by their parents to be part of this program for different reasons.
Charla is a top athlete that is constantly pressured by her parents who wants her to be part of the Olympic Games to win her scholarship. Her father send het to CNC program when on one morning she could not move from a burnout. Luke was caught with a gun in his school locker. He believes that he was framed by who he believed to be his friend “Reese” who had the keys of his locker. Luke was had to choose between going to jail or join the program. His parent’s thinks that he is part of a gang and that, the best thing is for him to be away for a time.
Lyssa and Will Greenfield are siblings who constantly fight with each other. After a big fight where both ended in a hospital and officer told the parents that if they don’t do something they will kill each other. J.J. is the son of a movie star who owns a lot a money and is always absent and busy. J.J. is spoiled and is neglected by his father. He once drove his father car though the door of a art gallery. Ian is the youngest of the group and is sent to be part of the program to socialize. He watches too much television. His favorite channel is discovery channel.
Before they left the harbor, the captain told them that they were his crew and that he didn’t care who they were. The Phoenix is a six feet boat. There was practically no place to stand as the cockpit and the main cabin took most of the space. The sleeping cabins were located at the forward part of the ship and the gallery and cargo were in the middle. There was only a thin path of the deck to walk that surrounded the vessel.
Mr. Radford is to their surprise also the ship’s cook. The kids were learned how to lower and raise the sails, how to clean the deck, how to handle with the ropes and many other things. They received guidelines on different subjects related to Science like on how to distinguish school fishes, about waive heights, whale watching, and water temperatures and how to list their location by using a GPS. They had to keep logs on their encounters on board.
On the fourth day on the sea they got bad news. They were informed that a tropical storm was heading their way. While they were in the storm J.J. got the brilliant idea to raise the sails to beat the storm. Luke tried to stop him but got in fight with J.J. who accidently pressed a button which made the main sail raise automatically. The power was gone. The captain tried to lower the sails manually but he got hit by the mast when an enormous wave sweeps him from the deck into the foaming ocean. The captain disappeared in the ocean.
Mr. Rafford was furious and decided to return but at that moment the engine stopped working. The engine room was under water. They were in serious problems. There was no way to communicate the radio antenna was gone. Mr. Rafford ordered them to pump water and to clear the foresail. While Charla and Lyssa were pumping water out of the engine room the others were throwing everything luggage, drawers, books, pans into the sea. They threw even frozen food as there was no electricity. They pumped the whole day but the water kept coming in. Mr. Rafford told them to get some sleep.
The next morning, they noticed that Mr. Rafford had abandon the ship and left them alone. He took the wooden dinghy and part of the food. The kids were disappointed and angry. J.J. thinks that it is all part of the CNC to see how they react under pressure. None of the other kids believed him. They decided to continue pumping to gain more time. Lyssa dried and resembled the engine to make it work. She remembered what the captain said about ventilating the motor to start it. She ordered Will and Luke to wave quickly with a towel to ventilate the engine. She then pressed the start button and the engine started but stopped after a few minutes. They made another attempt but this time, the wind snatched the towel of Will’s hand and spread over the entire engine hatch at the exact moment when Lyssa was pressing the start button. There was a big explosion and fire everywhere.
Luke, Will, Charla and Ian ended together in the ocean. They had no idea where Lyssa and J.J. were. Luke found a piece of the top cabin which they used as a raft. It could only carry three of them. One of them had to hang from the side of the raft in the water. They called it the shark bait position. Each of them took the shark bait position by taking turns every few hours. They drifted for days on the ocean without food and water. Ian had a rubber head which they used to collect water from the rain when it finally rained. Ian had a lot still energy and entertained the other with stories of dolphins, sharks and survival which he learned from discovery channel.
Will drank some see water out of desperation. Charla and Ian were sleeping while Luke was hanging from the raft. He had no much strength left. He thinks he saw some dolphins but wasn’t sure if they were real or he was hallucinating. At the end all four of them ended on an island. Luke was the first one to get up and saw the hat filled with water. He drank out of it and then poured a little on their lips. All of them woke up. Luke believes that they were saved by the Dolphins who drifted them towards the island. One thing is for sure is that they were happy to be alive.