So I read Life of Pi and watched the movie version in about the course of two days (which is impressive for the book, not the movie; who takes two days to watch a movie?) and, while it’s not something I’d go around hoping to have happen, I think it would be somewhat interesting to be shipwrecked as Pi was, especially in the manner and specific circumstances he endured.
I’ve never really come close to anything super tragic in life, that I can remember. I was in a car accident once, which I wrote about here (and was shortly thereafter totally blowing up on Freshly Pressed, which, for you fellow WordPressians, you know how much of a big deal that is), and I broke my arm pretty badly when I was a teenager, which sucked and completely ruined the end of my freshman year of high school (but what can you do? I became RoboJulie 3,000 and had to spend the next few months at home with my arm in a machine) but neither of those experiences were truly life-threatening, end-of-the-world-type ordeals (though they may have seemed so at the time). So the idea of experiencing something (and surviving, hopefully) as life-changing as what Pi did (which, the jury is still out on whether it’s a true story or not; the author makes it seem like it is, but everything else I’ve heard leads me to believe it’s fiction so who knows) is not necessarily appealing but definitely intriguing.
I can’t decide firstly if I’d want to be lost to sea or simply shipwrecked on an island (think Tom Hanks in Castaway). They each obviously have their pros and cons; if you’re lost at sea, you have a higher risk of being eaten, swallowed up by a storm or simply dying of thirst.
You also have a higher chance of being found, in my opinion. If you drift long enough (227 days, in Pi’s case), eventually you will be discovered by a boat, or reach land (hopefully the shores of some place densely populated and non-cannibalistic). If you’re stuck in one place, like Tom Hanks (and Wilson), unless search parties know exactly where to be looking for you (which they didn’t in his case), you’re basically screwed. You’re screwed either way, but that’s besides the point.
Of course, your chances for survival also depend on your circumstances up to the point, and even after, your ship (or plane) crashes. Pi got lucky that his lifeboat was so well-equipped with supplies; he probably would have died of thirst long before he could even consider being eaten by Richard Parker (who, for those who haven’t read it, is NOT a cannibal-man, but a Bengal tiger).
Although, (spoiler alert), if I’d just lost my entire family to a shipwreck, and had no real chance of going back to the home and people I once knew, I probably would have hung out a little longer on the only island I happened to stumble upon (even if it was a carnivorous one). If I shipwrecked onto an island initially, I probably would have just stayed there. If someone wanted to find me, they could, but when you have a pal as great a listener as Wilson, who needs real people? I never really liked people that much anyway, though, so that could have something to do with it.