Our intrepid travellers aboard the Uranie rounded Cape Horn in such good weather that they could not believe their luck. As they headed north Rose commented to Jacques Arago that they were now so close to home she felt they were already there! Then disaster struck. Uranie hit a rock that was hidden well below the surface of the sea. Her hull was holed and, with all hands manning the pumps and a lot of skill, Louis managed to run her aground on a beach. They were all alive, but for how long? Marooned on a tiny island in the remote Falklands, with over one hundred mouths to feed, their prospects looked very grim indeed.
But in 2012 things are looking much more positive. The first complete version of my new manuscript, To See the World: a voyage of discovery aboard l’Uranie has now gone off to the publisher. I feel a bit like the castaways, waiting for rescue. At least I am not wet, cold and hungry, as they were. while camped on the beach in tents.
On thing that allows me to wait for news in relative comfort is my work in schools and libraries. Not only does that keep a roof over my head, it is also interesting – especially when students I have spoken to send me their stories to comment on. This week I have read ten very good, and very different, stories based on hunting for Black Jack Anderson’s lost treasure. And i have sent back comments and suggestions in the hope that at least some of these will be helpful to the students who like writing stories and are keen to improve. Thanks guys. I really enjoyed reading your stories and wish you good luck with your writing in the future.