Exiling Congressmen to Pacific Islands

November 9th, 2009

Marshall Islands beach
An American Congressman recently spent a week alone on an island in the Marshall Islands.

Rep. Jeff Flake had himself marooned on Jabonwod, an islet in an atoll in the Marshall Islands. It was not exactly high adventure: he swam and fished, got lonely, and watched the sunsets.

My favorite aspect: he wrote numbers on crabs that passed through his campsite, till he had 126 trackable companions.

Flake was fairly well-equipped:

No food, just mask, fins and a pole-spear to obtain it. No water, only a manual desalination pump to create fresh water. No matches, only a magnifying glass. And a hammock, knife, hatchet, sunscreen, cooking pot and salt and pepper. Oh, and a satellite phone and Coast Guard beacon should I eat the wrong fish

I once spent a week alone on an uninhabited island. I brought food with me, but my island was big enough that people would not have known where I was, and I didn’t have a satellite phone; if I’d been injured, I was on my own with the bears and moose.

(Image courtesy mrlins, Flickr)

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