17 was an age that Brian considers one of the worst of his life.
1970 saw Brian on a boat with a bunch of older friends, headed for Northern Palm Island. After a couple of weeks, he was left on the island, alone, while the others went back to mainland Queensland to stock up on supplies.
Cyclone Ada stuck the Whitsunday Islands and wreaked havoc on the strait between Palm Island and mainland Australia. Brian was left on the island with nothing but his rifle and a spear gun tied together with a piece of goat skin, his camera wrapped in a plastic bag hidden behind a rock, a pair of shorts and the notion that his friends were dead.
After the cyclone, nothing remained of their camp. Fortunately he was able to keep a fire going.
While Brian was stuck on the island he survived by shooting three goats, and hunting leopard sharks at night.
It took three weeks before a ship passed nearby and Brian was able to let off a few rounds with the rifle to get their attention and get rescued. He arrived safely back on the mainland and when back in his home town, walked into the pub to find his 'friends' sitting at the bar. He asked them whether they'd considered looking for him. Their answer was that number one: They thought he was dead. Number two: They couldn't tell authorities for having to admit they'd left a minor behind. Number three: They couldn't afford to rent a boat.
That was that.
Brian swore as long as he lived he would NEVER step foot on an island again......
Fast forward a decade or so....
Brian moves to the Philippines; the largest collective of islands on Earth.
In my opinion, one of the best finds of Brian's career is actually the oldest. At an almost incomprehensible 5000 B.C. this earthenware bowl was discovered at the bottom of a lake in Palawan; what was allegedly an ancient camp site.
There was also evidence of cooking including these utensils that Gianne and I inspected and documented in this photo album!
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