Feeling marooned without a compass? Celebrate on November 6!

Does anyone remember what it was like before Scout, WAZE, and other GPS apps? With a smartphone and a good navigation app, you’re not likely to be lost but for centuries, people used the trusty compass to figure out where they were and where they were going. National Marooned without a Compass Day on November 6 commemorates those unfortunates who didn’t even have that most basic of tools to guide them.  Here are some real life examples.

Take poor Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor serving on a ship bound for Cape Horn from France more than 300 years ago. Ship captain Thomas Stradling was an inexperienced 20-something fellow who had taken over command after the previous skipper died suddenly. During a supply stopover, Selkirk, who was a superior sailor, expressed concern about the ship’s structural integrity after extra cargo was brought on board. After trying and failing to rally other crew members not to continue with the voyage, Selkirk was unceremoniously kicked off the ship—alone—on the island of Juan Fernandez, where he spent four years as a castaway.

Living in huts made of pimento trees, Selkirk eventually came across feral goats that provided him with milk, meat and clothing. His true story was the inspiration behind Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe and provided ideas for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

Another story involves British writer/adventurer Gerald Kingsland and Lucy Irvine, who voluntarily marooned themselves on an island for a year. In 1980 Kingsland took out an ad in Time Out magazine, seeking a female companion to share her life with him on a deserted island. Twenty-four-year-old Lucy Irvine accepted the offer and the two set out for Tuin Island in the Torres Strait, between Australia and Papua, New Guinea. After they returned to civilization, both wrote separate accounts of their adventure.

In 1983, Irvine published a book entitled “Castaway,” which formed the plot for a movie of the same name that was released in 2000. The film, which cost just $90 million to produce, gained $400 million in worldwide ticket sales and resulted in an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination for its star, Tom Hanks.

The moral of the story? If you get marooned without a compass, write about it when you return and you might just get famous. In the meantime, carry your smartphone and celebrate on November 6! And if you feel lost in your marketing strategy, contact Iconic Orange to help you find your way!