Plain Sailing

The natural made rock structure looked magnificent in the moonlight. It was a cold October evening with numerous stars in the sky but Joe and Mary were oblivious to the temperature as they walked, hand in hand, along the edge of the sandy beach.
“How far is it to that rock Joe?”
“I think it’s a couple of miles out to sea!”
“It looks like a soldier, standing to attention, guarding the shore.”
“In daylight, I’ve often seen birds resting on it before continuing their journey into land. Oh Mary, look there’s something white on it, appears to be moving. Do you think it’s a trick of the moonlight?”
“Joe, look at the rock, no not at me, the rock. The white shape has moved further up the rock!”
“You are right my love; listen can you hear anything?”
It was difficult at first to hear any sounds except the lapping of the waves on the sand and cries of a few gulls overhead. Then the couple heard cries for help. The white shape was moving rapidly from side to side. Faintly they heard help us, we are stuck, please help. By peering hard at the rock Joe and Mary were able to make out two human shapes, when moonlight shone where they were huddled.
“I’ll ring the emergency services” said Mary “You shout that help is coming!”
Within the hour Joe, Mary and two teenage boys were drinking hot chocolate. The youngsters were wrapped in blankets but they were not injured. They explained they had been paddling in a small rubber dinghy. One dropped his oar and they realised as darkness came that they had drifted a long way from the beach. They tried paddling back in but snagged the dinghy on the rock, putting a hole in its side. Grabbing their white towel, they scrambled onto the rock and waited to be rescued.
Joe and Mary never forgot their curtailed romantic walk or their participation in the rescue of the two boys. As Joe often reminded his wife in the following years, life could only be plain sailing from then onwards.