The Tale of a Fateful Trip Pt. 1: 1964 (R)

Log of the Minnow; Jonas Grumby, Cptn. Sept. 26, 1964:

Shipwrecked. What looked like a squall three days ago turned into a tropical storm. Was able to maintain some course tho instruments were useless. Hull smashed to hell on the reefs out from shore. When night comes should be able to figure out where we are, we can’t be that far from the coast. Don’t like the looks these tourists are giving me, like this is all my fault, like I’m God. The professor and that hick girl want to help, the rest just bitch. Watched my boat sink while the sun started poking through the storm. I’m too old to start over but theres no saving the Minnow.

Prof. Roy Hinkley’s journal. 9/26/64

At the risk of sounding romantic, I have been shipwrecked on what appears to be a deserted island. A fitting predicament and I’m sure my colleagues will have a good laugh at my expense once I am safely returned. Before marking me with the tempting epithet “Crusoe,” I am quick to add that I am not alone (whether or not this is a blessing or a curse remains to be seen).

I and my fellow day‑trippers are victims of a strange storm that was not, to my knowledge, forecast. It seems to have pushed us in a south‑easterly direction. Three days this storm pushed us through obscured skies, three days of desperate, wordless cringing below deck while the boat’s captain, a stout and sturdy fellow, and his first mate who, shall we say, is somewhat simple (I suspect mild mental retardation), fought the elements and not only kept us afloat, but also delivered us to this beautiful, empty beach. I suspect we will be sought and found within a day or two for it hardly seems likely we are so far off course. A shame, I almost wish I had more time to do some intensive field­work amongst the native flora and fauna. Of course, this island is probably no more deserted than Catalina; I wouldn’t be surprised to find it inhabited by some small community of commercial fishermen or wealthy vacationers.

Speaking of which, one of my fellow strandees, Mr. Thurston Howell III (yes, that one), has chosen this moment to rant at our noble captain. I close, a bit water‑logged but safe.

Log of the Minnow; Jonas Grumby, Cptn. Sept. 27, 1964:

Bad news from the stars. If my eyes are right and if I’ve learned any­thing in my life on the sea, the Minnow has gone down somewhere approx. 600 nautical miles S/SE of Hawaii which puts this island in the middle of a hell of a lot of water. If this dirt clod is charted it sure isnt on any of mine. At least we know they’re look­ing for us. I don’t know how he did it, but Gilligan saved the radio (the AM transistor not the ship radio of course) because like he says we might like to hear some music. Dim as the day I took him in but the boy makes me laugh. Anyway, on the news which we could barely pick up they mentioned an air-sea search and rescue going on since two days ago. I guess I should be thankful I ended up getting beached with a millionaire and a movie star. Then again, if Howell starts in on me about how hungry he is or how no one of his stature should have to sleep on palm fronds again, I might just have to snap him in two. The women I expect to be whiny but where does he get off? If that’s what money does to a man I thank my fat ass I’m poor. This professor, Hinkley, wants to build a signal to help the planes spot us ‑ seems he’s the only other one who’s thinking his way through this mess.

Prof. Roy Hinkley’s journal. 10/01/64

As comforted as we have all been by the daily accounts via radio of the massive ongoing search and rescue efforts being directed from the islands in our honor, it is sinking in ever so quietly the surety that we are going to be here awhile.

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