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Stranded on Mog Mog – not exactly in my opinion… | Cultured Views Cultured Views


Mar 30

Stranded on Mog Mog – not exactly in my opinion…

Tag: Australia,Newswendy @ 10:19 pm

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!

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41 Responses to “Stranded on Mog Mog – not exactly in my opinion…”

  1. Daz says:

    Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, why are you on this planet? Did you come from a test tube? What happened to “if you have nothing nice to say, STFU”?….any parents to tell you this? I’m terribly sorry we don’t all have your twisted conformist attitude but people are different ya whinger. Most of what I could stomach reading from you is disgustingly ill informed, stupid, racist and uncaring.
    Get a life of your own & take a chill pill loser. Have you never made a mistake, relied on someone else for what turned out to be incorrect information? Obviously, social interaction has done YOU a world of disservice so how about heading to an island instead and let the remaining population breathe a sigh of relief?

  2. Wendy says:

    YOU need to get a life and stop reading the racist, uncaring, stupid stuff that I write!!!

    I think the desert is getting to you – leave Perth immediately before you become irrevocably addicted to my site forever!!! though you do need something of substance to read living in that dustbowl of a place…

    Thankyou for your challenging contribution though – it gets tiresome when EVERYONE agrees with me here :)

  3. Breen says:

    Daz you are a complete loser. I bet you have read one or two articles here and you base your narrow opinion on those. Wendy writes relentlessly about child abuse and the failings of the social services system – wheres the uncaring, stupid and racist stuff in that? what do you do about such issues yourself you moron? do you just go from site to site leaving uninfomed comments in your copious spare time or are you obviously one of those ignorant australians we all read about? stay away from stuff you cannot handle if you are so sensitive.

  4. Daz says:

    Phew, back from the matrix into qwerty land with you again. Sorry to be gone so long. You must have missed my dose of realism from this lovely dust bowl that so many poms are migrating to. Oops, now I’m sounding like your tired messiah, Wendy, with the god complex. It looks like most of your problems are stemming from being held captive by your weather preventing human interaction. Do you feel safe making eye contact with people in the street nowadays or has the place really gone to pot? I have NOW taken some time to read some more of Wendys ‘commentary’ and found a link. She ‘profits’ from any misery or misfortune of others. As a minor example, how about her rant on disabled parking spaces? Is there no trivial topic not worth some whinging by her? Try re-reading the Mogmog ‘flogging’ and spot all of the things I originally commented about. If you can’t see it take a step out of qwerty land & imagine a family willing to go through what they have AND continue to do so. Assumptions, innuendo, criticism and sour grapes seem to be the basis of most of the ‘teachings of Wendy’ when she’s not being so caring on other topics like the children. You’re right, I never should have ventured into your make believe land and the time I have spent here has just reinforced why I try to stay out. Web chat/opinion is just another way to dissociate from real interaction like mobile phones & excessive gaming. The attitudes of a lot of youth demonstrates this lack of ability to empathise and interact effectively. I generally only look at stuff I have some knowledge/interest in to see how wannabees are misrepresenting it…..unlike your leader. A commentator with such a regular gig and tackling SOME serious subjects should be more consistant with her, ahem, joking around.

    Yours truthfully, Daz of dustbowl

  5. Wendy says:

    I don’t think Daz is ignorant Breen, just has a head over which things fly very fast if you know what I mean…’whoosh, there goes a joke!’

  6. Daz says:

    Did you slip any jokes into the memorial page?

  7. Wendy says:

    This is the only comment I will bother replying to – the only joke is yourself Daz. Your attempt at cutting satire fails dismally and makes you come across as merely a very bored individual who repeatedly visits a site that offends your ‘great intelligence’…do us all a favour and go back to Facebook where you obviously have a following and pick up much of your dialogue. You have let yourself down badly mate, wit is not your thing.

    You bore me – but unlike you I can choose whether or not to bother publishing your diatribe or I can spam it…I gave you a voice, I am the all-powerful here. This is my Temple of Arrogance and you are welcome to worship whenever you like.

    You are a poor substitute for a kicking an injured puppy but you’ll do for now…yawn.

  8. Martin Wilcox says:

    Get a thesaurus from Santa did you Daz or has Australian education markedly improved since I worked there? I can actually understand some of what you have written.

  9. Wendy says:

    Ooh that’s a sharp well-aimed one Marty…

    Bit of both I suspect :)

  10. Daz says:

    Good boy fido

  11. Daz says:

    You might have to get a better dictionary for my first comeback then Marty.

  12. Martin Wilcox says:

    Daz, I have a good idea that you use a dictionary only for standing on when you pee in the toilet.
    I suggest you return to scribbling silly messages on bus stop seats with a crayon, you will find your ideal target audience that way. Find a purpose in life and do yourself a favour.

    Wendy, the blogosphere is teeming with redneck individuals like ‘Daz’ (creative name) who gleen enjoyment from posting silly childish comments on websites in the hope they will goad others into tit for tat with them. Use your discretion in this case…’Daz’ is not contributing anything here and in my experience is a complete amateur. One last request: can you please publish ‘Daz’ email address here…? I know it is not normal practice but there is a purpose for this.

  13. Wendy says:

    No probs Martin: dazant@iprimus.com.au

    Going to sign Daz up for a mountain of junk email then…?

  14. Denise says:

    Is this person for real. just what have you read here, Daz, to come to such a conclusion about Wendy? you have no idea about what she is about and Breen is right you are a loser. YOU need to take a pill! what do YOU stand for?

    Where is YOUR website so WE can see what YOU write about? bet you dont have one. You can only do comments and stupid ones at that. Take a look at the memorial page for baby Peter and other victims of child abuse than wendy has set up here and then call her stupid and uncaring. Go find something better to do with your time Daz.

  15. Daz says:

    Please try to comprehend my 1st comeback Den. I stand for not misrepresenting the truth and profiting from others miseries. I never knew having a website was sooooo important for existing….what a croc! I guess you celebrated when you hit 100 ‘friends’ on facebook too?

    Daz, of Dustbowl

  16. Denise says:

    I see someone is home from school and is playing around on daddy’s computer. All typed with one finger too I suspect.

  17. Wendy says:

    Or a pencil held in the mouth…?

  18. Nicole says:

    Please tell me daz is not representative of the average Australian these days? daz has responded to a very obviously tongue-in-cheek piece of writing with the shoes of a tap dancer! daz, you got to see your comments published, well done. I bet the loser has posted you a fake email address too Wendy.

  19. Wendy says:

    Daz could be anyone from anywhere who happens to live in the Perth region – who cares anyway. Daz is one of those people who get a kick out of seeing their words published, so I am happy to make his/her/it’s week/day/month/year…life (?) by doing so.

    I know what Martin is up to regardless of the email addy being fake or real.

  20. Martin Wilcox says:

    Wendy, with all due respect, this is a particularly vile individual who makes light of the issues of child abuse and child murder that have been highlighted so well here. Please do not give this type of miscreant a platform for mere attention seeking. You are known for your work with the most vulnerable children in our society, please do not pander to the whims of individuals like ‘Daz’ who would never lift a finger to help anyone let alone a child in need. Please do not turn this very important vehicle, your site, into a playground for imbeciles like ‘Daz’. You do not need it, believe me.

  21. Wendy says:

    Yep, you are right Martin. People like Daz are really only spam. Don’t need it. Enough said…subject closed. Have emailed you regarding a wonderful outcome for ‘M’ – it pays to follow your instincts for sure. He is now with a foster family long term – very nice people too, I am over the moon :)

  22. Jeff Taylor says:

    Hey Wendy!!!

    This would have to be the most ill informed rubbish I have read, you seem to have very little regard for the truth or researching your topics before writing your articles. If anyone would like to know the true story do not read this woman’s crap.

    Yes, they are good friends of mine and have known them for 15 years, he has not headed off on this voyage twice, nor has he been shipwrecked twice.

  23. Wendy says:

    Keep your knickers on Jeff – don’t you recognise a piss-take when you see one…? what on earth’s happened to Australians these days !!!

    And it was reported elsewhere he had wrecked the boat once before…

    Nice pics on your site – but you need text if you want it picked up in the search engines…

    That’s enough crap from me for now.

  24. Dan says:

    Hi Wendy – why are you insinuating that the tribal chief is a pedophile? What is wrong with you?

  25. Wendy says:

    With emphasis on the word ‘insinuating’ – it was a tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek piece for gods sake, get over yourself!

    That said, there certainly are civilisations (Yemen, Pakistan, India…) where such practices take place – old men selecting or being promised very young females for marriage. The politically correct lobby call this ‘cultural tradition’ whereas elsewhere it is simply recognised as paedophilia. It was rampant on Pitcairn Island for generations…

    ‘What’s wrong with me’…? – well, the pollen count this past week has been very high and I have a bit of hayfever as a result but fortunately nothing else (touch wood). Thanks for asking though :)

  26. robert H says:

    what a surprise when i saw the article and also heard the macker talk about the barrie family and the ship wreck.i was there at Mog mog during WWII about 1944 .on another web site they had some old Navy photos and one was of a shore party of many off my ship having a well deserved liberty here it is 65 years later and i recognized many of the shipmates .thanks for the article .i would like to know how the Barrie family are doing .
    best regards from this Yank in the USA I fought with the Aussies in Borneo 1945

  27. Wendy says:

    Welcome Robert and thanks for your comments! I have written a recent article about my childhood parish priest who served with the RAF in Burma during WW2, Father Hugh law, and he once told my parents that the smell of diesel always took him back to that time in Burma. My best friend, since we were five years old, her dad (Chuck Adams) was in the US Navy and after they settled in Sydney he joined the local American Legion and I remember well attending the marches on Remembrance Day with her and her Mum, they always marched with us Aussies on ANZAC Day too. Those US Legion guys were always impressively turned out in their suits and medals, and very proud too :)

    We Aussies have never forgotten what you ‘Yanks’ did for us during that time, you can believe it.

    No news on the Barrie’s yet, which is surprising.

  28. robert H says:

    you Aussies are a great group of folks and thanks for standing strong for what you all believe in today

  29. Jeff Taylor says:

    Hi there again,

    Just an update for you, Freddie and family(Andrew Barrie) have successfully rebuilt the boat and managed to get her back in the water and over the reef after pretty much a complete hull rebuild. They have sailed her to Palau where they are having a well earned rest in some nice accommodation with all the comforts of home!!

    They left Mog Mog about 10 days ago!

  30. Wendy says:

    Thanks for that, there has been a lot of interest in this story from many parts of the world, hope they make it back home safe and sound.

  31. robert H says:

    Thank you Wendy for the comments about your friends and Anzac Day .I hope to march in it one day ,Perhaps this coming year.We’ve good mates in Sydney to visit. It was the 7th and 9th division of Aussies that we took in to Brunei and Balakpapen .the same chaps that were called the dessert “Rats of Tobruk” Africa.The british broke through and got them out.We yanks many months later wound up taking them to the beaches in Borneo .Very sad for us as they were so heavily outnumbered.A long story .Bbo H

  32. Wendy says:

    Balakpapen is a name I remember from one of the banners under which the servicemen marched on April 25th, the ranks are sadly dwindling but I have always enjoyed the ANZAC Day marches, I grew up watching them on the tv each year :)

  33. robert H says:

    thank you JeffTaylor and Wendy for the quick responses to mail and the good news that the barriee family are aboard their boat again and now on another voyage.i am sure the islanders received much benefit from Mrs barries teaching ability and the skippers knowledge on fixing so many things for the islanders .there is an excellent book written about a US Navy doctor that was stationed on the island in the war.I shall look in my log book for the author and title.I believe it may be KING DOCTOR the island chief bestowed that title on him as he did so very much for all the people there.There are many pictures and stories .best regards to all you mates.Bob and Beverly

  34. Wendy says:

    Thanks Bob for sharing that – I’m looking forward to finding out the name of the book. Sounds like it would be a fascinating read! a lot of doctors distinguished themselves during the war in the Pacific – I liked the book by Australian doctor Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop who was a POW in Changi, he did remarkable things in what were very uncivilised conditions and under great duress. Certainly an amazing generation is yours :)

  35. robert H says:

    Hello again mates from Florida temps.95F35C but evenings cool in the 25C range .I found the book title in my log book files plus two more that are true stories .the first book is KING DOCTOR OF ULITHI by MichaelPaulWess Md.and Francis B.Thorton.How he did so many things for the natives .He cured a malady that was rampent through all the natives before the Navy moved into the area .And many other cures and educating the natives.
    A Dutch PT boat sea captain friend of ours who became a POW in Japan told me of this book It is true but astounding as what the Aussie troops and Yanks went through, read “SHIP OF GHOSTS by James D Hornfischer about the crews of an Aussie cruiser and the USS Houstons crews that survived and their harrowing tenure under the hands of the Japanese prison camps in Burma.If you saw the movie “The Bridge on the River KWAI then read the TRUE story of who built it .You Aussies and some Yanks.Another book that shoul be a must for Aussie school students is what the Aussie and Yanks went through on the trek from Port Moresby over the Owen Stanley mountain range to capture the town of BUNA on the noth side of New Guinea,My war buddy was stationed in Darwin in the 128th anti aircraft group.Sorry to say he is now in a hospital here very ill .His stories of Darwin and the folks and natives are most interesting .You chaps thought the Yanks were crazy when they asked for iced tea Whats that mate they said and how do you make it? first you boil your tea then ice it ,add some sugar ,then squeeze in a lemon . mate your a bit weird to do that .and from then on in town the eating places put a card in their windows .YANKS COME ON IN “WE HAVE ICED TEA .
    Bob H

  36. Wendy says:

    Bob that sounds just fantastic! – are you speaking about the Kokoda Trail…? I will try and obtain a copy of that book by Micheal Paul Wess as I would love to write about it here. Australian children learn about the Burma Railway but typically the education authorities ‘clean it up’ so much that the kids dont really get what those men really went through, and I think kids these days can certainly cope with the details. The other issue is that nobody these days wants to highlight what the Japs did to Australians and Americans seeing as they make up so much of our tourist base today not to mention the investments they have in Australian real estate – absolute nonsense in my opinion. Fortunately we still have veterans, like yourself, who are around to tell the truth. When you ‘clean up’ a part of history you might as well erase it altogether. Darwin is a great place to visit in Australia and Australians of my mother’s generation certainly have never forgotten what the ‘Yanks’ did for us back then, also when they were stationed in Australia – we owe you guys a debt that can never be fully repaid. We do remember! Likewise after the war we also looked after those wonderful Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, the Papuan natives, who risked their lives to aid Australian and American servicemen. Some were helped to migrate to Australia and were decorated by the RSL.

    By the way – my great-grandfather was part of the ‘Good Will’ mission of the US Navy when they visited Sydney back in 1907. He was a Swedish migrant who joined the navy from Brooklyn and when he got to Sydney he met my great-grandmother on leave and never went back to the ship…went AWOL! he was not the only sailor to do that during that visit apparently. He settled in Sydney and was happy but sadly spent the rest of his life looking over his shoulder for fear of being found and court martialed.

    Florida is on our list of places to visit en-route back to Sydney in a year or two. It looks wonderful and has Disney World…:)

  37. Damien says:

    It’s actually quite easy to get to Mogmog atoll: you get a small plane in Yap island, fly half an hour towards Ulithi atol, land on Falalop island and sail 13 kms by boat to get to Mogmog. The supply ship calls there occasionnaly and there is small resort on Falalop island with Internet connections.
    So if you want to sell your stories on “how you have been stranded on a remote island” with nothing on sight, I should advise people to choose another one. For instance Souwarrow atoll in the northen Cook islands.

    The pedophilic episode which happens on Pitcairn island is a rather common phenomenon which happens on very remote islands in the Polynesian group. But Mogmog belongs to Micronesia and does not have the same cultural habits.

  38. Laura says:

    I’ve met people from Mogmog and they are wonderful people. It’s so easy to judge a culture when you are thousands of miles away. We can all make assumptions, but you know what they say about assuming.

    Come visit Yap and the outer islands and you will see the people here have their own way of life, but are very familiar with the outside world and are very educated.

  39. Jenny Barrie says:

    Hi there,

    Just came across this in a quiet moment, had a laugh and thought I might put some things to bed Wendy.

    When you say we were shipwrecked twice in 2 years, you are incorrect. We nudged a rock that was not on our charts, (which is quite common), and slightly bent one rudder. We beached the boat next morning, straightened it, and continued after lunch. Hardly a shipwreck methinks.

    You blame my menace of a husband who cannot navigate hence getting us into these scrapes. Two points here,….we were caught in an unforecast typhoon that eventally washed us onto a metallic remains of a WW11 jetty, so navigation had nothing to do with it. And it may surprise you to know that women can sail and navigate too! I sailed, and navigated on this trip as much as Andrew did, and when it came to the decision to stay on the island, it was made carefully by both of us. Women in our house are taught to think for themselves. All opinions are valued.

    Next, Juanito the chief is an educated and devoted family man who has been married to his beloved Ellie since they were 20. His morals are impeccable and he is a thorough gentleman, who would never lay a finger on our girls. I am deeply offended on his behalf.

    The island has no internet. It is not made of sand. The water does not come up the island and tide has no impact on the island. It loses no ‘landmass’ You can use a mobile phone…..sometimes. Coverage is extremely patchy. The supply ships came twice in the 5 months we were there. Food became very scarce. The locals helped us and we were very grateful. We tried very hard to contribute in as many ways as possible to the community. Andrew rebuilt all their traditional fishing boats among many other things.

    As far as nav skills go, we have sailed from Perth, thru Indo, up to Palau, over to Micronesia, back to Palau, thru Philippines, and around Borneo. Possibly further than most??

    The boat is now in Borneo and we are in Perth. Have we sold Gilligan….no..in fact the boat is in Borneo so that we can use it as a base for the next few years while the girls are in high school. We all love sailing…in fact we are going back to the boat next week, for a month, so please don’t think that the girls in this family are so weak as to blindly follow our fearless leader. Rather we are a family who counts themselves as being incredibly lucky to have experienced and continue to experience the sailing world. Did we make any money from the book?? Not enough to fix the boat.


    Jenny Barrie

  40. CV says:

    Hi Jenny,

    thanks for getting in touch – I wrote all this with tongue planted firmly in cheek, no offence was ever intended and I do apologise if the opposite has been the case. My own children are seasoned travellers and I applaud you for taking them out into the world and giving them a view of life beyond the borders of home and school…life skills come from experience I find. School must seem a little mundane to them no…? I know that the sea can be addictive once you’ve tasted the adventures it has to offer and your family certainly have known some!
    Maybe find a good screenwriter and take the book a bit further…you never know, there could be a new boat on the horizon:)

    All the best.

  41. Selvakumar says:

    Jenny and Barrie,

    Walked into Changi Sailing club the other other day and had the chance to meet you. The following day I came back to the club and had another chance to talk to you. I am now looking for the book with your adventure. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure. Wish I could talk to you more. Have a thousand and one questions about your journey.

    kumar, Singapore, jan 2013

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