Marooned on an uninhabited island (episode 1)

This post is one in a series of articles that explore various survival scenarios.   Join me in the exploration of a hypothetical journey, fraught with danger as we try not just to stay alive, but to thrive Robinson Crusoe style.

The storm came out of nowhere, like a bandit in the night, robbing you of your precious antennas, essentially turning a whole array of expensive and sophisticated communication gear into paperweights.   It’s been four days, and there is no end in insight.  The bilge pumps have ceased and water is now rising in the lower decks, frying the electrical system and with it your ability to steer the ship into safe waters.   The ferocious wind and angry sea batter the vessel, as if it was out of blood, making you wonder if it’s personal.  It must be around 3 am, but at this point, sunrise seems an eternity away.  The sleep deprivation and fatigue make even simple tasks difficult.  You pour over the nautical charts trying to find your position, but after days of drifting you could be a hundred miles from the shipping lanes.  And just when you thought it could not get worse, a deafening thump, followed by a hellish screeching, shakes you to the core.  The sound is unmistakable, you instantly know the ship has hit the ground, and it is not a sandbar.  You scramble to the engine room, but by now the water is pouring in, the hull has been compromised and there is only one thing you can do.  You hustle to deploy the life raft, battling waves that sweep clear across the deck.  There is only enough time to grab your BOB and jump in the water before another monster wave crushes you and the boat against the jagged rocks of the small atoll.

The warm glow of the sun wakes you, and to your amazement, you are alive.  You are laying on a tropical beach, badly beaten and bruised but alive and part of your BOB is still tightly wrapped around your waist.   Aren’t you glad you were paying attention to “the survival podcast” and built redundancy into you BOB, even after losing one of the modules you still have gear left.  You take a moment to compose yourself and proceed to get a lay of the land.   Behind you is the Pacific ocean, in front what appears at first glance an impenetrable tropical jungle.  To one side, there is a small creek that empties into the sea and to the other an almost vertical cliff that must be at least one hundred feet tall.  You think to yourself “well, at least there is water”.

First things, first…  What tools do I have?  You walk about fifty feet and sit down by the shade of the coconut trees that line the beach.  Carefully opening the BOB and neatly arranging all of its contents on the sand, you take a complete inventory.   You murmur: Iodine tablets, first aid kit,  50 ft of paracord, bandana, ferrocerium rod, compass, sewing kit, collapsible plastic container, aluminum cup, plastic garbage bag, space blanket, small sharpening stone, a 50 round box of ammo, leatherman, yoyito fishing kit and the head of a small tomahawk.  Taking a deep breath as you look far into the horizon, the seriousness of the situation begins to sink in and after a long pause, you tell yourself:  I’ve prepared for this…  I don’t know when, but I will find my way home!

to be continued …

Are you feeling creative today? Why don’t you go ahead and fishing the story?  Leave a comment below and tell us how it ends.  If we like it, we’ll weave it in and credit you for it.

photo credit: Moorea Storm via photopin (license)