March 6, 2017

It had been three days since the ill-fated yacht had gone down with me on board. There was one lone survivor,  me, lucky to find this deserted island in the South Pacific. I was rather unused to the warm weather of the tropic; being from Montreal, Quebec, where I did business with hockey gear companies.  Some friends had invited me  to go on a sightseeing cruise in the South Pacific on their small yacht, when the storm happened.    

It had been a fine day at sea, calm waters, clear skies, and only a slight ocean breeze. Then, it happened. A wall of solid black blotted ot the setting sun and all of a sudden, our small vessel was engulfed, the power of the waves smashing it to pieces. I floated for miles on a small piece of our boat,with all the food rations I could find, until I found this small island.

My mouth was as dry as the sand beach I was on, my legs were as weak as if they had no bone. I needed to find water and  food, and find it fast. It was pretty rough going, as I  doggedly trudged through the green plant material, hoping to find the source of it´s water. After two hours of searching with no luck, I was almost ready to give up the search, when all  of a sudden I heard it, the sound of running water.

I parted the branches of the tree I was behind, and was not disappointed by what I saw, cascading from the rocky bluffs above, a waterfall.

I decided that there was one problem- I didn’t know if the water was fresh, or salty. This problem was quickly solved by tasting the water and success, the water was fresh!

There was still enough food from the yacht to last another two days, so with that problem taken care of for now.

However I still had the big one to worry about- rescue. If I were going to be rescued, I certainly needed one thing, a raft.

I decided to use some of the local vegetation to make a raft. Looking around I noticed that there were  some logs and ing and the light quickly fading, I decided to get some sleep and get a fresh start in the mornivines that would do well for a pontoon raft, but I needed something to signal a boat. With no Ideas coming.
That night, I was thinking of my past life in Montreal, thinking of all the schooling I had been through.  All of a sudden I remembered a formula from my chemistry class that made a fluorescent dye marker that the navy used for ships in distress! The formula is very complicated, but I had noticed some rocks that contained the right mineral to make it. In order to get the mineral out of the rocks, I needed something to grind the rocks into a fine powder. There did not appear to be anything on the island that was hard enough to grind the rocks. After a quick breakfast, which was a couple of biscuits, I continued to look for things to grind the rocks up with. At one point I was almost ready to give up, when I remembered the piece of boat that I had floated on, it was solid steel, which could smash rock. I used ocean water to then make the solution liquid. To make the raft, I lashed some six foot logs across using vine, two twelve foot logs along the sides, and one long  skinny piece of bamboo in the middle for a mast. One thing I needed was some type of cloth for the mast; I decided to use the canvas bag the food had come in to catch the wind. My raft was now complete, but there was only about half of an hour of light left in the day, so I decided to leave first thing in the morning the next day.

That morning was crisp and fresh, with a cool temperature of about sixty five degrees. It was a perfect morning to launch my raft, so I did immediately. I made sure I had enough water and food on the raft with me, just in case it took longer than I expected to get spotted by a ship. Once I was far enough from shore that I could hardly see it, I released the dye marker. The deployment was perfect, the dye spread out evenly, and covered a large area of water. Now, with the dye successfully out, and with the sun and my stomach telling me it was lunchtime, I decided to have some lunch. As the day went on, one problem started to make itself very clear, this tropical sun was really starting to get to me, and I was getting dehydrated very quickly. There was plenty of water on the raft with me, so I never got dangerously dehydrated, but for a while it was uncomfortably hot for a Canadian. Finally, after a long day of walking around my small raft, evening came, and it started to cool down as the sun set. Soon it was going to be time to go to sleep, so I made a clear space  on the raft to sleep.
I slept peacefully on my raft, the waves gently rocked me to sleep. I woke up at some just before dawn to a splashing sound. At the sound of the splashing, I panicked, thinking that my raft was taking on water and that I was sinking. When I got up and looked at the floor of the raft, I was shocked, there was no leak, and I was not sinking. I needed to find out the source of the splashing noise, so I looked out at the ocean and was amazed by what I saw.

It was a ship!

At first I thought I was imagining the ship, but no, it was REAL! The ship was moving at a very high rate of speed, and the splashing noise I had heard was the sound of the waves crashing into the hull of the ship. It was just then that I realized something terrifying; the ship was heading right for me! I needed to get out of the way of the ship, but it wasn’t going to happen, I was getting hit no matter what.

The moment of impact was only two meters away. I closed my eyes, it was about to happen. There was the sound of splitting wood as the bow sliced into my raft. To avoid getting hit, I jumped off my raft into the ocean. I needed to get to the side of the ship and hold on, because being from Canada, I didn’t know how to swim. When I somehow pulled myself through the water to the side of the ship, by some miracle, someone through a rope over the side, and yelled to me to grab on. As soon as I grabbed on, I was lifted up to the deck of the ship.

Once on the deck of the ship, I was asked where I was from, and replied that I was from Montreal. After this point, I am not  really sure what happened, all I know is that I was taken down to the crew’s quarters, and I slept for a long time. Once I finally woke up, I went to the deck, where something felt off. I couldn’t figure out what it was until, I realized it was the air, we were in the north, headed for Canada! Once we finally made it back to Canada, I boarded a train to Montreal, and when I got back I had a huge welcome back party, but life returned to normal after that. After that incredible experience on the ocean, my normal life of going to work and coming home felt great. I hadn’t missed any news while gone either, we still had the same prime minister, and the hockey companies were still doing great.

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