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Chapter 58
I pulled out the survival manual. Its pages were still wet. Iturned them carefully. The manual was written by a BritishRoyal Navy commander. It contained a wealth of practicalinformation on surviving at sea after a shipwreck. It includedsurvival tips such as:
? Always read instructions carefully.
? Do not drink urine. Or sea water. Or bird blood.
? Do not eat jellyfish. Or fish that are armed with spikes. Orthat have parrot-like beaks. Or that puff up like balloons.
? Pressing the eyes of fish will paralyze them.
? The body can be a hero in battle. If a castaway is injured,beware of well-meaning but ill-founded medical treatment.
Ignorance is the worst doctor, while rest and sleep are the bestnurses.
? Put up your feet at least five minutes every hour.
? Unnecessary exertion should be avoided. But an idle mindtends to sink, so the mind should be kept occupied withwhatever light distraction may suggest itself. Playing card games,Twenty Questions and I Spy With My Little Eye are excellentforms of simple recreation. Community singing is anothersure-fire way to lift the spirits. Yarn spinning is also highlyrecommended.
? Green water is shallower than blue water.
? Beware of far-off clouds that look like mountains. Look forgreen. Ultimately, a foot is the only good judge of land.
? Do not go swimming. It wastes energy. Besides, a survivalcraft may drift faster than you can swim. Not to mention thedanger of sea life. If you are hot, wet your clothes instead.
? Do not urinate in your clothes. The momentary warmth isnot worth the nappy rash.
? Shelter yourself. Exposure can kill faster than thirst orhunger.
? So long as no excessive water is lost through perspiration,the body can survive up to fourteen days without water. If youfeel thirsty, suck a button.
? Turtles are an easy catch and make for excellent meals.
Their blood is a good, nutritious, salt-free drink; their flesh istasty and filling; their fat has many uses; and the castaway willfind turtle eggs a real treat. Mind the beak and the claws.
? Don't let your morale flag. Be daunted, but not defeated.
Remember: the spirit, above all else, counts. If you have thewill to live, you will. Good luck!
There were also a few highly cryptic lines distilling the artand science of navigation. I learned that the horizon, as seenfrom a height of five feet on a calm day, was two and a halfmiles away.
The injunction not to drink urine was quite unnecessary. Noone called "Pis............
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