The idea of being stranded on a remote island sounds romantic. Especially if you were stranded with someone pretty like Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island. I always enjoyed looking at her when I was a teenager watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island. Some men liked Ginger, but for me it was Mary Ann. When I was a little kid I watched the movie Swiss Family Robinson and it really captured my imagination. As a child my family also had Golden Books one of which was Robinson Crusoe. I must have read the book dozens of times. Fantasizing about living on an island brought many a good thought.
I remember watching an episode on Sixty Minutes about a man on his honeymoon who took his bride to the Maldives, a group of about one thousand tiny islands in the Indian Ocean. It was supposed to be pleasure in the sand and sun. The Danish couple had an argument, and he killed his bride. The Maldives is a land where very little violent crime occurs, and consequently the government was not sure exactly how to punish the man from Holland. For his punishment he was banished to a remote tiny island. Only catch and a good one for the Dutchman, there were were about five girls on the island with him. They cooked for him and he lived with them. When Sixty Minutes interviewed him on the remote island he was quite content. As a matter of fact when Sixty Minutesreturned a few years later, the marooned man was still quite content and expressed no desire to return to civilization. That is probably the only time I have heard where someone was actually happy to be stranded. In reality, being a castaway would be anything but fun.
My research regarding famous castaways told of some sailors being stranded for decades in the South Pacific. There were a number of stories involving lost ships in the South Indian Ocean whose survivors spent years on such islands as the remote Crozet Islands. I choose to place a spot on the game board of Treasure Trove in the Indian Ocean and called it Castaway Island. There is actually no such island there, only stories told of lost fishermen washed ashore who struggled to survive. Many ships did find islands that had had castaways, but most perished prior to being rescued. I now realize thanks to the Internet that there is a tiny island called Castaway Island, part of Fiji, a tourist destination in the South Pacific.
Some of my favorite movies as a kid were Journey to the Center of the Earth(1959) and Mysterious Island(1961). The problem was I often had to wait years before a TV station would air one of the movies. This was long before VCR’s much less Netflix. Both movies captured my imagination. I may not know the dialogue verbatim but I can just about tell you what the next scene will be. A few years ago I enjoyed watching the original Journey to the Center of the Earth with James Mason. It was also just a few years ago that I saw the remake at thre theater. The remake was not bad, but I still like the original.
This past weekend I ventured to the theater to watch the remake of Mysterious Island. My wife and I really enjoyed it. The Rock did a good job. I’m glad Hollywood wants to revisit this classic tales of adventure. I’m not sure why movies get more unbelievable rather than more plausible, but that seems to be the pattern now. It was still good entertainment.
On my original version of the board game Treasure Trove I had a “Mysterious Island,”‘ because it is such an interesting name. I placed it near Indonesia. Most of the other Islands, if not all, that I did choose to place on the game board in reality exist. For example, there really is a Buccaneer Archipelago, a Dragon Island, a Crocodile Island, a Shark Island, and so forth. The two that are stretched a bit are Castaway Island, which I placed in the Indian Ocean, and Skull Island that I placed near Indonesia. There is not actually a Skull Island but there are islands near Borneo where people do place the skulls of their ancestors inside caves for burial. There were a group of French sailors sranded as castaways on an isalnd in the South Indian Ocean in the 17th century for many months.
Treasure Trove is a game of collecting treasure, but it is fun to think of all the exotic places on this globe that would be fascinating to visit, especially if there were treasure there. Treasure Trove is a quest for fabled wealth but it is also an adventure. I think it is something kids enjoy experiencing in the process of play. I choose not to place Mysterious Island on the final version of Treasure Trove because I did not think many people had heard of the Jules Verne novel Mysterious Island, much less the movie made in 1961. Now that a remake of Mysterious Island has been made, I wish I had left it on the game board.
I will always enjoy adventure movies to exotic and remote destinations, especially if there is an element of treasure involved.