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Full Circle

Day 9: Camp Island

Camp Island, Alaska, USA 
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Emily, the fox who can, almost, open a bottle of champagne.
Michael Palin - Full CircleTuesday morning. My head still feels as if it doesn't belong to me. Breakfast has a doomy air to it. No omelettes from Scott today, just a realistic assessment of our predicament. Visitors have been stranded here on seven separate occasions this summer. The only radio with which we can contact the outside world is in the nearby Parks and Wildlife Department hut but it is behind locked doors and Scott has no key. He is prepared to kick the door down only in the case of a 'life-threatening' emergency. Roger, our director, is not a happy man. He looks bleakly down at his filming schedule. 'Would a job-threatening emergency count?'

Later: Roger is writing a stiff letter of complaint to whoever it was that led us to believe we could be in and out of here in twenty-four hours. Otherwise a certain listlessness has set in. Vanessa (Roger's assistant) sits beside the pebbly beach, draped, like a dowager, in an anti-mosquito veil, reading Homer for her Open University course. Basil has his blow-up doll out. (She's an inflatable version of the tortured figure in Munch's The Scream and he plans to photograph her in every place we visit.) Nigel is trudging round the island, Rosie is making a home video, and I am in the woods, looking out from the picturesque, triangular, red-cedar lavatory hut at a bald eagle wheeling and turning above the lake.

Later: There is a radio which Scott can listen in to, although he cannot transmit from it. He has managed to pick up word that Kodiak city is fogbound. The only good news is that if no planes can leave Kodiak, our coastguard flight will not have left either.

The bad news is that the wine has run out.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 9
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Camp Island - Alaska
  • Book page no: 26

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