To study and prove his theories of survival at sea, the author, a French doctor, researched old stories of disaster, experimented ashore and, through an accident, was able to test his ideas for a short time. Then came the project to be a voluntary castaway under simulated shipwreck conditions, and, with a sponsor, Dr. Bombard constructed L'Heretique, found a companion and set off from Monte Carlo. This Mediterranean dress rehearsal ended in Tangler, the companion bowed out and Bombard headed for the Atlantic alone. After 65 days of isolation and immobility he made it to Barbados. This is the record of vigilance, endurance and the proof that thirst, starvation and the sea can be conquered by know-how, morale and the determination to be more obstinate than the sea; that despair is the killer; the equipment must be durable, even a ""ridiculous cockleshell"". This has a fascination in its break with old taboos (sea water is good for drinking, etc.), in man fighting fear and self and in the victory achieved. Self-conscious and embattled, but unique adventuring.