Most of us have seen enough episodes of reality shows like ‘Shipwreck’ to know that life on a deserted island is not all that it might seem. Any show we have seen that has involved living off the land, battling the elements, existing in close range with your fellow strandees always loses it’s gloss once the food runs out, the fire refuses to light and the insects start biting big time.
We also know that any island in the Pacific Ocean that has people living on it, no matter how small, is not entirely isolated and has regular visits by large ships with supplies. They also have phones, get mail delivered and maintain radio contact with mainland Australia. They have to when you get idiots like the Barrie family from Western Australia getting stranded for the second time in a year by running their boat ashore on a reef. Andrew Barrie has for two years running loaded his boat up with his wife and two young daughters, sailed off into the wild blue yonder, and ended up shipwrecked due to his appalling navigation skills. This year they have managed to get themselves stuck on a tiny atoll called Mog Mog which last saw action when it played host to a lot of US sailors during WWII. Nobody else would really want to go there but Mr Barrie has no doubt seen a golden opportunity to play Gilligans Island with his poor family.
The two girls, ten and twelve, were originally taken out of school for two years so that they could travel around on Dads haphazardly driven boat. Mum is a teacher so apparently that’s okay – who needs the social interaction of school when you can be stuck on a radioactive atoll with Mum, Dad and a bunch of natives for company…? six months is the time it will supposedly take Dad to fix his boat, I’d say it will be two before he runs it ashore again. But what an education those two girls will get in the meantime: how to dig a hole for the toilet, how to scoop the meat out of a turtles cavity, how to survive exotic insect bites and not develop tropical ulcers, how to keep an eye out for a tsunami while dodging the eye of the local tribal chief.
I’d say you can bet the whole six months will be captured on camera and will show up on our tv screens – everyone has a camcorder on hand when one is shipwrecked these days. The family will spend an idyllic six months eating turtles, crabs, assorted rodents and vermin cooked on an open fire while the tribal chief plays his guitar at night – eyeing up the two little girls as his next wives no doubt (think Pitcairn Island….) – while Dad tinkers with his boat. The fact that ships regularly call at the tiny port with supplies and can actually take this family back to the mainland and all it’s safety and comforts is neither here nor there – that would not make for good television would it…?
And before you go talking about the benefits of the ‘university of life’ for these girls just bear in mind that they are stuck not on the island of Fiji or the Blue Lagoon – but a dry, arid heap of sand that loses much of it’s landmass when the tide is high. It sounds like anything but an island paradise to me and by the time those six months are up I’d say the wife and kids will be ready to sell Dad to the nearest tribe for a raft and some oars. This man is a menace behind the rudder, two shipwrecks in two years??? I have one bit of advice for his wife though…sell the bloody boat when you get home!Copyright © 2007-2014 Cultured Views. All rights reserved.