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Naked and Afraid: Playing With Fire in Dominica

Naked And Afraid

Naked and Afraid: Playing With Fire in Dominica

Move one step at a time


By Ashley Thompson


Welcome to Dominica, 715 miles North East of Venezuela in hurricane ally. It boasts razor sharp rocks, treacherous cliffs, and scarce resources. Our participants are: Corinne, a 32 year old dietician from California with a PSR of 6.1 and a pot. And, Chris, a 38 year old commercial fisherman and former Marine from New Jersey with a PSR of 7.1 and a knife. Together we have an emotional woman/master weaver and a mucho machismo man who is sloppy with the bow drill, both trying to avoid sea urchins, bull sharks and man o’ war jellyfish.


Dear sir, if wind is such an issue that you refuse to listen to your partner regarding reinforcing your shelter, then why did you chose an area out in the open? Dear lady, don’t complain about his confidence then also complain about him asking you for help with the tandem bow drill when you’ve gone more than 10 days without fire.


Aaaand, with only 8 days left Corinne has tapped out… “I know I can survive, I don’t need to prove it to anybody” she says through tears. I’m surprised she didn’t get dehydrated after crying so much. Chris is left alone to survive the remainder of the 21 days so his objective is to get fire. HE DOES! EAT THAT, CORINNE! Better yet, watch Chris eat this big ol’ crab he boiled in the pot you left behind.


In order to reach his extraction point Chris will need to transport burning embers over 2 miles to another beach and build a signal fire to contact rescuers. His makeshift bamboo handle and embers in the pot seem to work well, but he’ll have to keep the fire going during his trek. Quick question: why can’t he use his bag as a pot holder? Are there rules against using the bag? Because the flames are shooting out of the bamboo shoot and that does not look comfortable to hold. Nevertheless, Chris makes it to the beach and his signal fire is strong. But the boat can’t make it to the beach so he now has to swim through the choppy water and sharks to save himself.


By the end of the ordeal Corinne lost 12 pounds and a PSR down to 4.9 for tapping out, Chris dropped 21 pounds with a new PSR of 7.9. In my opinion he deserved to be raised a fair bit more for surviving alone and thriving.


Photos courtesy of Discovery

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