The Colour of the Sea
General ideas as to the position of the drift and direction of a land can be learned by the colour of the sea. Ordinarily, green or blue colour means the sea is deep (the deeper the darker), up to several hundred nautical miles off the mouth of a river the sea tends to be green, and as you approach the outfall the colour of the water changes to brown or alike.
If many pieces of flat top ice with fresh edges (rather rugged) are seen, it means the land is not very far. If ice is seldom observed on the water the land must be far from the drifter’s position.
The seaweeds grow usually in the water of the coasts, but sometimes they are found drifting on the ocean. If any plants, tree branches, etc. are found among such seaweeds, it shows an evidence that a land is nearby.
Lightning from one particular direction in the early hours of the morning before sunrise is usually a sign of a land at such direction.
Flying birds may be considered as nearby land although some might be flying greatly far off the shore. You cannot assume a land to be close even if insects were noted flying on the sea, for their cruising radius covers quite a distance from their home.
“Cumulus”, a round, big and thick cloud as it is formed above a humid land and moves seaward, tells from its direction of move which way is the land. Such cloud when standing low in the sky and when there is no other types of clouds around, may be a land is present nearby. When a cloud is observed staying at one spot of the sea level, it may be considered that there beneath the cloud is a land.
Reflection of Big City
A loom of a well-lit big city’s light can be seen from a distance of about 100 miles away. When a land is laying nearby, such an indication as smell slightly changing from what it has been would be noticed.
Smell of the Land
The colour of the sea, lightning, birds and cloud show roughly the direction to the land and by these thing you can decide the direction of voyage and the position of the drift.
Approaching to the Shore
Even if we could make approach to the shore to land we might not be able to land as it is possible that the boat or the raft will be blown offshore by the wind and the current. You must remember this, for such difficulties will frequently occur spoiling all your efforts for survival.
The land is heated by the sun warmer than the sea and will loose its heat quickly after the sun goes down. By this principle, the wind blows from the sea to the land in the morning, and from the land to the sea in the evening. For this reason, the sea-anchor should be drawn in the kept in the boat so as to be drifted closer to the land in the morning, and be at the sea-anchor in the evening so as not to be carried away from the shore.
Let’s hold using the oars till the boat really gets close to the land. The raft won’t move so fast with the oars, so use the oars when the raft is almost hitting the land. Even with a lifeboat, the drifters may feel tired and start struggling lead sometimes to a hopeless mind because the water current surrounding an island runs and makes it harder to landing. There are many examples of successful landing in such cases that a man who was comparatively strong swam from the boat to the land drawing a rope from the boat as he got on the land tied the rope end on a tree so all the drifters on board could pull the rope all way through until finally the boat hit the land.
Don’t excited even when the land is found! You must not forget all the cautions for landing! Do not expect the land to be your everything. The land may be one of soil only except the salty water around, may be it is impossible to land due to a high tide. It is much difficult to run successfully through a heavy surf. Unless otherwise compelled to for some vital reason, do not try to land in the night.
If you can see any sign of life on the land, first call for help by using all kinds of communications and signals which you have available.
You must be very careful about reefs surrounding the island if it is in the tropics. The coral reefs have breaks in their rings where no surf breaking is seen.
If the sunlight is dazzling making it hard to find a break in the reef, just be patient and wait till it becomes visible. The best timing for success is when the sun stays above the head or on the back of you.