Whenever I launch my Laser to go sailing on my own I always have this premonition that in between slipping the boat off the dollie into the water, letting go of the boat while I run the dollie back up the beach, and then running back to catch the boat before it sails off on its own... I have this dread that it really will have sailed off on its own, out of my reach, and that as I run after it into deeper and deeper water, and then swim after it, that it will always be out of my reach and that I will never catch it and that it will be gone for ever.
At least I will be the only one to see my humiliation, though I will have to explain to my wife why I lost my boat and now need to buy a new one.
But imagine if you had spent $20 million on a quest to break a world record, invited the press, got all togged up in a bright yellow pressure suit, and then someone let go of your craft and it just went floating off out of reach. Oops.
This is what happened yesterday to Michel Fournier who is planning to fly a balloon 25 miles up into the stratosphere and then jump out of it... apparently in order to set records for highest jump, fastest and longest free fall, and the highest altitude reached by a man in a balloon. But unfortunately, according to this report from CNN, his crew kinda sorta forgot to hold on to his balloon before he climbed into it and it just went slip sliding away up into the blue beyond.
"Honey, I lost my balloon. Can I have another $20 million please?"
Actually the balloon did land about 25 miles away thereby setting a record for world's most expensive unmanned 25 mile balloon flight but there's no glory in that.