One day we came upon trash. First the water glistened with patches of oil. Coming up soon after was the domestic and industrial waste: mainly plastic refuse in a variety of forms and colours, but also pieces of lumber, beer cans, wine bottles, tatters of cloth, bits of rope and, surrounding it all, yellow foam. We advanced into it. I looked to see if there was anything that might be of use to us. I picked out an empty corked wine bottle. The lifeboat bumped into a refrigerator that had lost its motor. It floated with its door to the sky. I reached out, grabbed the handle and lifted the door open. A smell leapt out so pungent and disgusting that it seemed to colour the air. Hand to my mouth, I looked in. There were stains, dark juices, a quantity of completely rotten vegetables, milk so curdled and infected it was a greenish jelly, and the quartered remains of a dead animal in such an advanced state of black putrefaction that I couldn't identify it. Judging by its size I think that it was lamb. In the closed, humid confines of the refrigerator, the smell had had the time to develop, to ferment, to grow bitter and angry. It assaulted my senses with a pent-up rage that made my head reel, my stomach churn and my legs wobble. Luckily, the sea quickly filled the horrid hole and the thing sank beneath the surface. The space left vacant by the departed refrigerator was filled by other trash. We left the trash behind. For a long time, when the wind came from that direction, I could still smell it. It took the sea a day to wash off the oily smears from the sides of the lifeboat. I put a message in the bottle: "Japanese-owned cargo ship Tsimtsum, flying Panamanian flag, sank July 2nd, 1977, in Pacific, four days out of Manila. Am in lifeboat. Pi Patel my name. Have some food, some water, but Bengal tiger a serious problem. Please advise family in Winnipeg, Canada. Any help very much appreciated. Thank you." I corked the bottle and covered the cork with a piece of plastic. I tied the plastic to the neck of the bottle with nylon string, knotting it tightly. I launched the bottle into the water.