What a Shipwreck Taught Me about Retirement: Part II


(If you haven’t read Part I)

Where did the men of the Grafton look to find materials to build? Obviously, the answer was in their new world, things natural to the island and the wreckage of their ship, much of it still submerged in icy water.

So they found copper to line their stove, crushed sea shells to mix with clay for mortar, an island grass to provide vitamin C and prevent scurvy. The crew was able to make their own soap and beer, the latter by boiling the root of a native plant.

And the sailors realized they needed something other than work to lift their spirits so they used pages from an old ship’s log book to make playing cards and whittled a chess set from the ship’s wood.

One day, when historians write about this pandemic, they will talk of resources: online shopping, streamed movies, Zoom meetings and a rediscovery of the out-of-doors. In addition to these, I found bits of stories just waiting to be made into books.

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