Naked and Marooned: One Man. One Island.
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What do you do after you walk the Amazon?
Ed Stafford—adventurer extraordinaire and Guinness World Record holder for walking the length of the Amazon River—likes a challenge. Casting about for an adventure that would top the extraordinary feat he recounts in Walking the Amazon, Stafford decides to maroon himself on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific. His mission: to survive for sixty days equipped with nothing—no food, water, or even clothing—except the video cameras he would use to document his time. Detailing Stafford’s jaw-dropping sojourn on the island of Olourua, Naked and Marooned is a tale of unparalleled adventure and of one man’s will to push himself to the outer limits—and survive.
vertical lines to indicate that this was day two. My half-eaten coconut was covered in tiny black ants. I powered on the Spot tracking device and pressed the ‘All OK’ button. The communication seemed inadequate. I wanted to write a long letter about how I’d fared on night one. I wanted to sit down and have a good natter with the production crew about how surprised I’d been by my own periods of near-panic, at how apprehensive I felt, about how real and unpleasant this all seemed. But I was on
still attached to my fingertip, yanked it free of the sand and instinctively pressed my thumb through the shell on its back into its head. The pincers relaxed their grip. I carried the crab in one hand and looked along the beach that revealed a short row of similar holes with small sand mounds beside them. I ran to the next and my knees sunk into the sand as, like a ravenous JCB, I excavated the primitive burrow system. After twenty seconds there was a hole the size of a space hopper but no crab.
myself positive and light-hearted and humorous. This had to be an adventure to be embraced. I reminded myself it was not life or death. If I didn’t catch a goat I was still going to be alive at the end. I had thirty-one days to go and I needed to stay on top mentally. Tomorrow was halfway – a milestone. It was a good time to take stock. ‘Even if the bow doesn’t work, Ed, everything that you do is learning. Today I used bad cordage to make good workable (if somewhat ugly) cordage. There are
myself with the fact that the first strips of jerky were drying well and tasted fantastic and crisp. I had done well and should relax − the legs would be cooked just fine, too. Breakfast, as if I need to say it, was the second rack of ribs. I had to admit that it was a bit gamey and I worried that the legs might be, too. I was enjoying gorging myself on goat meat and my body was absorbing absolutely everything. I felt amazing but, strangely, I was doing smaller poos than I had on coconut
I’d let myself drop my guard now that I’d reached the end of the road. Was there any rush to get out of bed? No − none whatsoever. I shut my eyes and decided to have a final lie-in. My experience had always had a soundtrack, and the last morning had a new song that I not played myself before. The melancholy tones of ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ vibrated through my heart and my eyes opened once more to a sense of sad admission to the thorn of the rose. It had been hard for me, of course, but now