Intrigued by big brother Charles' explanation that Pine Island is a peninsula at low tide, Brian beaches his boat, clambers across and finds himself stranded, having forgotten that it is sometimes an island--a lapse that, considering the reiteration, may puzzle the reader just as much as it does Charles. Actually this is another misty morning in Maine (intending no adverse reflection on the McCloskey) and another gauzy instance of a boy becoming manly. Also another overlong exposure to boy imbibing nature, as per the slow movement of the oars: ""The drops made a row of circles on the water. The circles grew bigger and bigger as they drifted away from him. As they expanded, they became less well defined, overlapping each other, finally merging into the gray expanse of water. . ."" and so on for forty pages. The only bright touch is his red sneakers hung out as a signal.