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  #11  
Old 10-18-2012
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Re: Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Phenomenal book. I will always be amazed most by the behavior of the dorado as time went on, and as his fishing tools decayed. There was definitely something other-worldly happening there.
I thought the same thing when I read the book. It was almost as if the fish sacrificed themselves so he could live. If I remember right, Callahan eluded to that.

I watched the entire video today. After he caught his first fish the video has him throwing the scraps overboard. Soon after than the shark came. Hmmmm...

After reading the book, I thought the trigger fish could have been using the shade of the life raft, the only shade in the open ocean, much like they would on the reefs, a place to hide. Not sure if dorado feed on triggers but the combination could be why they were both present almost the entire time. Callahan talked about the constant thumping of the triggers on the bottom of the raft.

But maybe the triggers were feeding on barnacles. I know triggers chew corals. His raft could have created a mini eco system. That's good.

Of course, if the raft was acting like a mini reef, sharks would come into feed also. That's bad.
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Old 10-18-2012
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Re: Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea

JM - exactly. It was very "unscientific".
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  #13  
Old 10-19-2012
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Re: Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea

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JM - exactly. It was very "unscientific".
Maybe we should run another test.
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Old 10-19-2012
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Re: Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea

I also read the book years ago and thought to myself, "This is the part where I would die." several times.

This guy was really something. To survive half as long in those conditions would make anyone proud.
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Old 10-19-2012
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Re: Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea

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There was also a book by a fellow called Dougal Robertson, "Survive the Svage Sea" about a family whose schooner is taken out by a pod of orcas. Book seems to be still available but couldn't find any video of the film other than in Spanish for some strange reason.
I read that one decades ago. One book like that was enough. It's amazing what humans are capable of when the chips are down.
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  #16  
Old 10-25-2012
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Survival At Sea

Always looking for a good book, I just picked up a copy of Survive The Savage Sea by Dougal Robertson. I've only just started it but it isn't long before the six people in the sailboat find themselves in their life raft. Callahan suspected a whale hit as the cause of his boat sinking. Robertson and crew know it was a whale, whales, in fact, as they saw a pack of killer whales and even noticed a "V" in the head of one. Robertson suspected it was from hitting the keel. He also thought the pack made the injured whale their lunch and that's why they didn't come back to feed on the crew.

Once in the life raft, sure enough, the sea life start thumping on the bottom of the raft. The author talks about dorado feeding on the fish around the raft and turtles chewing on the bottom. I doubt the turtles were feeding on the rubber or vinyl bottom.

Otherworldly explanations aside, the only logical explanation for all the attention the sea life gives to the bottom of the raft is because small fish are seeking shelter under the raft and barnacles or some other life attaching itself to the bottom of the raft. And the larger fish, and even turtles, come in to feed.

If this is a known fact, I would think life rafts would be constructed to withstand this assault. Maybe they already are. Also, that survival information and equipment should include how to best deal with this and use it to the survivor's advantage. Maybe that's already planned into the package too. I don't know.

Most of the life rafts I see today have ballasts that protrude from the bottom. That would add more surface area to the bottom and also provide additional places for small fish to hide. That makes it an even better mini reef. So in a way, these life rafts create an environment that attracts sea life and gives the survivors a food source other than the canned stores they have on hand.

Of course, in a place as barren as the middle of the ocean, once you start attracting small creatures, progressively larger and larger creatures will come in to feed. So maybe including a shark repellent in the survival package isn't a bad idea.
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Re: Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea

I have read adrift also, the one thing that stands out to me in all these types of survival stories is the importance of water. I went to a Webb Chiles seminar this fall a recurring subject was thirst. Survival books always talk of shelter then water. Don't eat if you don't have water ,it takes alot to digest. I think a Couple hand water makers should be a minimum. I read somewhere about a fish press to get water, probably not the best tasting but may keep you alive. I think that's way he ate the eyes, high water content.
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Re: Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea

I read this book. It's quite amazing. I think it's hard (impossible?) for any person who has not been in such a survival situation, to relate to the feelings of thirst, hunger, fear, desperation.

What I do recall sticking out for me, was a comment early in the book about the floor of the life raft feeling like a big water bed. I can actually picture and sense what that might feel like. And to have to make every movement, all day and all night long, on that surface, would drive me insane.
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Old 10-25-2012
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Re: Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea

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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
I thought the same thing when I read the book. It was almost as if the fish sacrificed themselves so he could live. If I remember right, Callahan eluded to that.

I watched the entire video today. After he caught his first fish the video has him throwing the scraps overboard. Soon after than the shark came. Hmmmm...

After reading the book, I thought the trigger fish could have been using the shade of the life raft, the only shade in the open ocean, much like they would on the reefs, a place to hide. Not sure if dorado feed on triggers but the combination could be why they were both present almost the entire time. Callahan talked about the constant thumping of the triggers on the bottom of the raft.

But maybe the triggers were feeding on barnacles. I know triggers chew corals. His raft could have created a mini eco system. That's good.

Of course, if the raft was acting like a mini reef, sharks would come into feed also. That's bad.
I recently came across a huge, dead leatherback floating off the coast of RI/CT. It had been dead a long time. A small ecosystem of very colorful fish where living under it. I can't say exactly what kind of fish, but they where definitely not native species. Some where quite large and did not seem bothered when we came up alongside. They seemed to be feeding off whatever was growing on the bottom of the turtle. Some of the larger fish's body and tales could easily be seen (speared?) from above as they fed.
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Re: Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea

I've been out on the water many times and baited a hook and threw it out to see if we could enjoy fish for dinner. I've never caught a thing. I've often thought that was because we weren't in fishing waters, where they are known to be, but instead, out in open water - no food source to attract them. Then I read two stories where I expected fishing to be scarce but instead the fish were all around. The mini ecosystem theory has some teeth.

As for water, I'd definitely include a hand pump R.O. type filter in the survival kit.


With that and some good fishing skills, your chance of survival increases dramatically.
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