The Island Adventure Part 1: The Pledge


Breathing, against all odds

I was alive…

Unlikely though it seemed, this really was the case. Strangely, there had been no warning whatsoever – neither from the weather forecast nor from any of the marine service offices which are supposed to keep seamen like myself safe. What are these satellites for if they are no use in situations like these? How did they miss the storm of such intensity?


Anyway, this last night’s typhoon appeared out of nowhere and my tiny U.S. postal service mail vessel seemed to be its primary target. It seemed that getting a mild case of Covid, like the one my partner had gotten the week before, and self-isolating away from the ocean wouldn’t have been such an awful thing, considering the outcome… The fierceness of nature was such, that within mere seconds the relatively tranquil waters of the Pacific turned into a groping monster, turning my boat over, scattering its contents – numerous parcels and packages – all around and sending me headfirst into the unwelcoming marine depths. The lucky chap that I was though, I did manage to locate my safety vest, pull it over myself and paddle like crazy towards where I presumed I would find safety.

The Island Adventure     Part 1: The Pledge - UGears USA 1


A disappointment…


I did happen to reach some solid land, but, as it turned out, it wasn’t the shore I had been expecting to end up on. My weekly postal route takes me to one of the small islands off the coast of southern California – and I was supposed to deliver a cargo of some study materials to the island’s only school – stationery, textbooks, 30 sets of uniform for the local baseball team and 3 large boxes of some kind of wooden assembly sets for their STEM lessons – the kind I once heard are sold at Disney Parks and various souvenir stores. Not sure if the teachers or kids would ever actually have any use for those. When these were being loaded onto my boat, it did seem to occur to me that buying those was probably a total waste of school money.


When morning finally came and I looked around, to my utter dismay I discovered that I was not on the mainland or one of familiar to me inhabited islands, but on a really tiny piece of land, measuring perhaps 3 baseball fields in diameter. Everywhere around, as far as the eye could see, the huge expanse of the open ocean seemed to mock me and dampen my enthusiasm.  Unfortunately, my hopes of finding someone to help me remained just hopes. There was some shelter in the shape of dilapidated fisherman’s hut, an old barn with some supplies of tinned food and a small motorboat with an engine wouldn’t start, no matter how hard I tried. No radio, or other means of communication were available, no way to send word out as to my location.

The Island Adventure     Part 1: The Pledge - UGears USA 2


Hopes, wishes and mood swings


‘They would search for me and locate me soon,’ I told myself. Apparently, all I had to do was wait. Having eaten my humble breakfast and with nothing else to do, I strolled back to the place where the waves had dumped me the night before. I tried to locate my boat, but it was nowhere in sight. I did see one of those wooden STEM set boxes, though. I didn’t know how it had survived the storm, but there it was. Ironically, when I was so short on key supplies, the ocean gave me this? In sudden disgust, I kicked the useless box into some nearby bushes and continued my sullen tour of the nearly-barren island…

To be continued…