Castaway horror

By Ian Beeck | posted on June 21, 2019

The Weekender Editor Ian Beeck and his partner Jo Forrest got stranded on Rottnest Island recently when the ferries were grounded for a recordbreaking three full days. Here he recounts his adventure.

IT HAD all the ingredients of a Z-grade horror movie.

Two people trapped on a deserted island with no sign of life except for small furry animals with a craving for human flesh and brains.

Everyone’s biggest fear had become a reality – the quokka apocalypse was upon us.

Well that’s what it felt like being stranded on Rottnest Island for an extra three nights due to massive swells grounding all ferry crossings.

This was actually history in the making, confirmed by Rottnest authorities, that this was the longest ferry cancellation since the Dockers won a flag.

So yeah, since time began.

This meant that venturing out at selected times to avoid the brutal weather often meant you didn’t see another living soul … except for the quokkas which had taken on an evil incarnation.

It was surreal.

A walk out to Kingston Barracks, already a hotspot for ghosts and paranormal activity, now seemed life-threatening with doors and gates clanging, lights flickering on and off, eerie whistling noises that may or may not have been screams and quokkas darting with purpose from shelter-to-shelter out of the corner of your eyes.

At one stage my companion went into an unlocked area on the other side of the barracks and as that room suddenly went from bathed in light to pitch black, I was expecting a blood-curdling scream.

The only question was, which way to run?

But these fears were later erased in the warmth and comfort of the pub and the fortification of merlot.

Finally, after trivia nights, card games and other mutually-enjoyable activities, the ferries were given the all clear and it was back to the mainland.

Back to children, work and responsible decisions where previously which merlot to quaff had been the only question of the day.

A flat tyre back at the ferry carpark, and sourcing another rare tyre make, had us reaching Albany late on Wednesday night, as opposed to our previous ETA of the preceding Sunday afternoon.

That which doesn’t break us makes us stronger so after surviving the quokka apocalypse, we are already planning our next adventure.

Brazil’s Ilha da Queimada Grande, better known as Snake Island, Chillingham Castle or the Bermuda Triangle are the current top selections.