Journaling as a survival tool for hardships and manhunts with Dr. Huw Lewis-Jones

For many seafarers, therefore, keeping a log or writing journal was not just a case of navigational necessity – to work out where they were, and where they were headed – but a way of locating themselves emotionally in a world turned upside down. A journal could combat loneliness, fear, frustration, even mutiny. For William Bligh of the Bounty, cast adrift in an open boat, keeping an accurate logbook was important testimony. As he navigated his way to safety through little-known Australian reefs, he took care to describe the men who had abandoned him; his pencil notes of the marks on their skin might identify them in a future manhunt. And despite all the hardships he suffered, he also took time to describe the new shores they touched on. Always exploring, he was an immense mariner and a deft artist, not the the sea-monster Hollywood films might suggest. A small journal helped to keep Bligh and his companions alive.

The Sea Journal: Seafarers’ Sketchbooks, by Huw Lewis-Jones. Pg 13

One doesn’t need to travel in a Spanish galleon around the Galapagos islands to reap the benefits of keeping a journal.

Documenting life publicly is the modern trend, but I suspect documenting our lives privately is an underrated survival tool.


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