Finding yourself in the middle of nowhere is a dispiriting experience. Add to this the embarrassment of being an astronaut reduced to the level of pre-stone-age man and you begin to understand how I felt. Thankfully there was no one to witness my embarrassment but, on the other hand, neither was there a soul I could turn to for help.
I watched my craft, which from the perspective of the shore seemed to be rather more stable than it had appeared twenty minutes previously when I had thought that it was going to sink beneath the waves.
Great. Spaceman Crusoe reporting for duty.
As I say, twenty minutes earlier, the situation hadn’t seemed so stable. Old man Wyss had an easier time of it – he had a family for slave labour. But I suppose he had to worry about his dependents relying on him to make everything better. I’d also been lucky in that I’d been able to grab a few items before I jumped ship. My grand prize was an antique – a real, genuine book, made from compressed fibrous material. I’d been worried that it was going to get wet, but snug inside my bag, double wrapped in some spare clothes with some other odds and ends I’d managed to save, it had made it to the shore safe and sound. I wouldn’t be this overjoyed about any book, but this was the classic ‘Survival’. Who knew, maybe I’d live long enough to be rescued.