He reared his head from the water, gasping for air and wiping the salt from his eyes. Then, after a few seconds he rolled onto his back and lay face up, staring at a few pale clouds above him, breathing heavily. When he lifted his head he attempted to focus on the shore and he realized that he had been so engrossed in his thoughts that he had forgotten to take frequent bearings. He could see the shoreline, although he was making very poor progress towards it, and try as he might he could see no blue boathouse door. He could barely make out any houses whatsoever, in fact, and as he bobbed in the slight swell which was coming from the mouth of the estuary he experienced a growing sense of panic. It seemed to him that he had gone up-river—perhaps quite far up-river—and then he realized that he was in the middle of a fast-moving tide which was washing him away from Alicia’s house.