Piscine Molitor Patel

09 Oct 2006

I'm sitting at the back of rescue boat three.

We're stranded on a sandbar.

To the sides I can see rescue boats one and two, on the same sandbar.

Behind us is the distant shape of the Bluewater Express - the boat we're meant to be riding peacefully into Mersing.

In front of me is a crewmember, hauling on boat two to push us forwards, while another leans on the motor to raise the propeller clear of the sand. At the front of the boat the two Canadians sit there grinning, strapped into their harnesses like paratroopers ready for insertion.

In the distance the sun is setting. We left Panuba at 11am.

And for the last three hours, I've been reading a book about being stranded at sea.