By Barry Donnelly
Imagine yourself...adrift in a four-metre tinnie within the shark-infested waters of the Pacific Ocean—lost and probably forgotten—shark bait!
Ben Tooki, his uncle and a chum have been stuck in a typhoon off the island of Kiribati and swept out to sea. For 46 days they have been adrift with little meals or water.
There's a hurricane shapin' up; it has been gettin' to complete on all day. We listen the rumbling noise. It appears like the track of a digeridoo, one of those buzzing sound.
"What's that noise, it is getting louder?"
"It's comin' in our direction!"
The wave grows right into a immense bulge within the ocean. Lifts us like an elevator, after which starts off to roll ahead, now not breaking, yet bent on offering us to a couple form of eternity. we are 3 males, goin' to definite loss of life at the mom of all waves, 3 males in an elevator, driving a boiling mass of water. It lasts might be seconds, however it seems like a life-time, and the tinnie turns within the air, completing the other way up, and me spinning...
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Extra resources for 46 Days Adrift. A True Story
The tinnie tilts sharply, hits me hard on the side of the arm, and next minute there’s water everywhere. The tinnie starts rising like a piece of matchwood, with Taea goin’ one way, an’ Uncle goin’ in another. The wave grows into a giant bulge in the ocean, lifts us like in an elevator, and then begins to roll forward, not breaking, but bent on delivering us to some kind of eternity. It sucks back on itself suddenly, and turns us into a helter-skelter speedboat. We’re three men, goin’ to a certain death on the mother of all waves, three men in an elevator, riding a boiling mass of water.
He claimed the government lied in sending him to various ministers and departments. None were prepared to issue him a licence. His friends accused him of wasting time. Money was running out to pay for the ship in Sydney harbour. They should have gone to places like Vanuatu, or Tuvalu. The venture-partners were ringing, warning Robert he was the one to pay, that his home and belongings would be sold to meet expenses. Before leaving, Robert asked my father if he might continue with negotiations. As for me, I had a passport photo, Robert’s address in Wollongong, and the fervent hope that Robert had found a precious prize in me.
I felt as if I’d known him for years. He said he’d been married, but that his wife wouldn’t have anything to do with children; she was too wrapped up in her beautiful figure. The party seemed to end quickly, and Robert informed his host he would walk us both home. I explained it wasn’t a good idea. We only walk around in the dark with relatives, or with the man we’re married to. It would mean trouble with my father. Robert insisted it was late, and he was worried about drunks and our safety. Moreover, he wanted to meet my father.
46 Days Adrift. A True Story by Barry Donnelly