A group that’s halved in size seems calmer – although they’re all euphoric from the sugar rush of Nick’s birthday feast.
They say that for good social cohesion in a group, 10 people is too many, and it certainly seems that way for this group. With half of them gone, the remaining five seem more positive and unified. Of course their happier state of mind could be due to the immense sugar rush they received in Nick’s birthday feast…
But also, since they’re all generally committed to staying the full 30 days, a lot of the should-I-stay-or-go tension has eased. (I say generally committed, as I still have some question marks over Nick and Saul.)
As Saul wrote: ‘The five who have left definitely represented the array of mindsets: ‘why the hell are we bothering?’ They were always steering the talking towards the difficulties, the alternatives, coaxing others out of corners to ask and face… Were they trying to gain support or were they acting out what must be such an element on such an expedition?’
But they haven’t used the burst of energy from the food delivered to the island to change any of their routines or try to find other food sources. They seem to have abandoned any concept of a serious survival challenge and are still sitting out the days, lying in the shade and writing their diaries.
The euphoria caused by the food brought for Nick’s birthday is palpable in their journals. Nick put it best: ‘A starving man and a chocolate cake need little introducing.’
While Huenu ate her entire packet of Oreos in one go, apparently the others are hoarding theirs and having one cookie a day with their ration of rice. Huenu and Maya have rationed out their rice to last until 1 May, which obviously you couldn’t do in a real survival situation (as you wouldn’t have an end date), but it’s hopefully going to see them through this endurance retreat.
I assume Saul is still fishing, but they don’t say in the journals, other than that they’ve redistributed tasks among the group. Maya mentions she’s still cooking and doing the dishes.
Rather than feeling sad that they’re reduced in numbers – and that their erstwhile fellow islanders are enjoying the kind of feasts they can only dream of – the five stayers seem happy and cheerful, and looking ahead with some trepidation but also with confidence to the remaining 11 days.