Robinsons are weathering a great storm in the sailing ship. The ship runs aground on a reef, and the family learns the ship's crew has taken to a lifeboat and abandoned them. Subsequent searches for the crew yield no trace. The ship survives the night, and the family finds themselves within sight of a tropical island. The ship's cargo of livestock, dogs, guns and powder, carpentry tools, books,, and provisions have survived. The family builds a raft, lashes livestock and the most valuable supplies to it, and paddles to the island, where they set up a temporary shelter.