The mild weather of the summer ends and winter storms begin. Karana decides to take a small canoe and paddle to the mainland, where she hopes to meet her people. She will do this instead of waiting for a ship to return for her. Karana steers the canoe by using the location of stars as guides, but waves push her off course.
The canoe springs a leak, and Karana patches it with material from her skirt. Another leak appears, and Karana realizes that the canoe is in danger of filling with water.
She begins to paddle back to the island and is surrounded by many dolphins that leap in the water in front of her canoe. Karana is grateful for the company of the dolphins who accompany her on her way back to the island.