Ged buys a small boat and fixes it up, since he knows all about shipbuilding (thanks to Pechvarry). He sails northwest across the sea, retracing the route he flew as a falcon in Chapter 7. He wants to find the shadow, and especially wants to find it over the water, since he feels that water is associated with life.
Unfortunately, Ged first runs into rain and some other weather that's not so great for hunting shadows. Fed up with this hunt, Ged yells out to summon his shadow (8.10) – and, what do you know, his shadow shows up. Why didn't Ged summon money – or at least a snack?
Since Ged is the one chasing, the shadow starts to run away, even though the weather is worse for shadow-hunting. They run so far and fast that Ged isn't quite sure where they are anymore.
The shadow tries to lose Ged in some fog and Ged crashes his boat. (Sound familiar?)
Ged nearly drowns (and somehow avoids another coma), but gets tossed up on a small deserted island that turns out to be not so deserted after all.
There are two old castaways here in a small hut, and they're terrified of Ged. But he's a pretty good guest since all he wants is to stay warm and breathe air rather than water.
Ged wonders if these two people are some royal children from Karg who have been exiled (since their rival wouldn't want to spill royal blood – which is how people thought before TV was invented).
Then we get this: "But the truth of this guess he did not learn until, years later, the quest of the Ring of Erreth-Akbe led him to the Kargad Lands, and to the Tombs of Atuan" (8.41). This kind of seems like a tease to get you to read the next book in the series.
One of these castaways gives Ged a broken ring as a present. In return, Ged turns their well into sweet water.
Ged makes himself a new boat out of scraps of driftwood and magic (which is our new band name), and he goes sailing south after the shadow.
(And now he realizes that the shadow pulled the same fog trick on him that he pulled on the Kargad warriors when he was a boy in Chapter 1, which explains why that sounded so familiar.)
While Ged is exploring an island, the shadow appears in his boat and Ged tries to grab it. The shadow escapes but Ged comes to a realization: "He knew now, and the knowledge was hard, that his task had never been to undo what he had done, but to finish what he had begun" (8.59).
We're not sure what that means, but we're excited to find out.
Ged sails to a nearby island where he finds a village and can finally rest.