As if we needed even more proof that the parents in Stoneybrook have no sense, here comes this book.
Dawn found out from Mallory that the community center offered sailing lessons and decided to sign up. So did Claudia, even though her family supposedly goes sailing every summer. They get to race against each other at the end of the session and somehow tie. Claudia isn't too happy and suggests a rematch. Since Jeff is coming for a visit, Dawn wants to take him on her boat. Claudia originally asks Mallory to go with her, but their family is going out of town, so she winds up taking Becca. Haley then hears and wants to go, and since they want even teams, Dawn agrees to take itty bitty Jamie with her.
The day before the race, Dawn is working out when Logan calls. He asks her to pass along a message to Mary Anne that he has to cancel their date because his parents rushed Hunter to the hospital. Jeff and her mom call, she gets distracted, and goes back to exercising instead of calling Mary Anne at her sitting job. Mary Anne comes home all pissed off, calls Logan, and tears into him before finding out what happened. It leads to a huge fight with Mary Anne telling Dawn that she never wants to see her again.
Cut to the day of the race. Dawn takes along a bunch of healthy snacks and bottled water, and Claudia brings Coke and junk food. Everything goes well until a storm hits. Dawn's boat starts to sink, so they have to toss all their supplies into Claudia's boat and swim to her. They finally reach an island but realize it wasn't the right island they meant to hit. When their boat washes away, they're all on their own.
Stacey is with her dad in New York City when she gets the news. Instead of letting her go back and help with the search and rescue, he refuses to change any of his plans. He makes her go out to dinners at fancy restaurants and go to Broadway shows. She sneaks out early Monday morning and leaves him a letter. Stacey is out searching with the Pikes when they find the remains of Dawn's boat. Her dad sends her a letter at the end to tell her that he and her mom will work harder to put her needs first and that he now understands how hard being a divorced kid is, thanks to her letter.
Jessi can't get in touch with her parents because they were on a trip together, so she calls her aunt Cecilia. Cecilia immediately rushes to town and blames the whole thing on Jessi. She takes over the house and becomes a huge pain. After they rescue the kids, Becca tells Cecilia that her parents gave her permission to go on the trip and she kind of smiles or something.
Kristy has yet another big game coming up between the Krushers and Bashers. She keeps worrying about what to do because most of her team is out on the beach and helping with search and rescue. After finally working up the courage to call Bart and cancel, he basically accuses her of being a wuss and says that she's only canceling because she doesn't want to disappoint her team by losing again, which causes her to hang up on him. He later calls and apologizes after watching the search on TV and realizing what she's going through.
Mallory really doesn't get much of a story. Her parents cut their trip short when they hear the news, and Mr. Pike takes a boat out to search pretty often. They find some wreckage from one of the boats but can't search anymore because another bad storm comes up. One of the triplets does get the idea to search some of the smaller islands along the coast though.
Mary Anne uses this as an excuse to cry a lot because her sister is the one missing and even though everyone else is super close, she makes it all about her. She and Logan have a second fight when he doesn't forgive her and because he still feels bad that she thought he stood her up. They eventually make up before they find everyone.
Claudia hasn't been having a great time lately. Her parents got on her case about her horrible grades again, they almost made her quit the BSC, and she really wanted to win the race. While on the island, she comes up with an idea for making a water catcher out of the boat tarp and some sticks. They catch enough water to help them stay hydrated, and she realizes that she isn't really as dumb as she always thought.
Dawn pretty much falls apart while on the island. Jamie gets extremely sick with a high fever, and she just doesn't know what to do. Claudia and Jeff are the ones who keep everything together. Jeff figures out a way to catch fresh fish, they ration the supplies, and even find a way for everyone to sleep comfortably. In the end, Dawn decides that she might not be as strong as she always thought.
The kids survive on fresh fish, some fruit, a few peanut butter (organic of course) sandwiches, and candy bars. Haley, Becca, and Jeff make a huge HELP sign on the beach that does nothing. They eventually find a broken mirror and use that to signal for help. A search plane sees them and sends they help. They get to go on a big ass ship before going back to Stoneybrook, where a doctor makes them all go to the hospital. They all recover pretty well, and the mayor gives them all medals for doing basically nothing.
*Mr. McGill is such an ass in this one! Stacey gets the news, and he's basically like, "well that sucks. Now let's get a move on. We've got a show to see!" He literally takes her to some fancy restaurant and show less than an hour after she gets the news.
*I also like that he puts some of the blame on her mom too. Yes, because she's the one who made Stacey stay in NYC while everyone thought her best friend was dead.
*Um yeah, so Jessi, who isn't allowed to sit after dark for anyone but her own family, is somehow responsible enough to take care of Squirt and Becca for an entire weekend when her parents go out of town.
*Claudia almost loses the first race because she wore baggy pants, a tank top, and a button up shirt, and most of her clothes got in her way.
*The newspaper runs a story about them and has a picture of Mary Anne and Dawn hugging and the whole BSC together. There's literally no pictures of any of the other kids. It really irritates me because as soon as Mary Anne hears there's a story in the paper, she wants to know if they printed a picture of her. She comes across as really selfish in this book.
*My book has two pictures reversed. Instead of showing Jamie running into the arms of Dawn and the whole group, it shows the group facing one way and Jamie actually running up behind them.
*What kind of community center lets teenage (young teenage) girls take sailboats out on their own? Even the smallest of lakes I visited as a kid required some kind of deposit and an adult. Apparently in Stoneybrook, as soon as you complete one class, you're good to go.
*Claudia and Dawn both talk about how the weather will be good for the weekend. Not only does a massive storm roll in while they're out on the water, but it rains all weekend both on the island and in Stoneybrook. How did no one see this coming?
*Dawn and Claudia are such great sitters that they can basically touch Jamie's face and instantly know that he's running a fever of at least 101 to 103. I call BS on that.
*Becca breaks down at one point when Dawn insinuates that they'll be on the island for another night. It was probably the most realistic scene in the book.