He had been stranded on the island for four years. At first his priority had been food and shelter but, as soon as his survival was assured, he had turned his thoughts towards escaping. He had spent a long time selecting and felling a tree and turning it into a canoe. So far, the canoe lacked stability and showed a propensity to roll.

Every day he would scan the horizon for signs of any possible rescue but the island must have been outside the usual shipping routes. Today, however, the shining surface of the sea was marred by the presence of a small fishing boat. For several seconds he could do nothing but stare but then he sprang into life. His cooking fire burnt on the beach - a slender column of smoke pointing to its presence. He ran to the fire and, with his hands, shovelled sand upon it until it was extinguished. He then watched the boat until it disappeared from view.

Tomorrow, he would start work on the outriggers he was planning for his canoe.

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