Have you heard? On her way to Blogland, New Zealand blogger Dame Katherine de Chevalle was the only survivor of a tragic plane crash. She is on an island somewhere west of the Thaiiland/Burma border. This aftenoon I showed her i-phone pictures to a couple of Burmese fishermen who had tied up at the Robert Brague Memorial Wharf.
Straight away, the older fellow - gnarled and salty - became very excited. He'd recognised the island. "Pulau Bada! Pulau Bada!" he kept yelling. We showed him an old map of the Burmese islands - there are hundreds of them - but within thirty seconds his ET-like finger indicated Pulau Bada due south of Blogland. I reckon it is probably about twenty five miles off the most southerly point of our wonderful island world and not to be confused with the Indonesian island of Pulau Banda.
We waved goodbye to the two fishermen and headed back to the social club to plan Katherine's rescue. I wondered if our new nation's naval vessel would be up to the job. It's just a large inflatable with an outboard motor. It came secondhand from a lifeboat station in the picturesque Welsh coastal village of Rhyl Regis. The Development Committee thought it would suffice for a while but there was never any expectation that it would ever voyage big distances on the open ocean.
Nevertheless, we're going to risk it. The idea of such a talented artist and expert muffin baker wasting away on an uninhabited island is too much to bear. It's getting dark now but when dawn comes and if the sea is calm enough, we'll be off to rescue Katherine....
|The old Rhyl Regis lifeboat|