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SOS Island | Day 1 | Cast Away

Monday 7th October 2013

Episode 1 - Shelter Shock

Behind-The-Scenes Diary

My last night in the air-conditioned hotel, I went to bed early for the first time this week, gotta charge my batteries ready for what’s to come. Here’s my final video from “civilisation”: 

We were stripped of all our possessions save the shirts on our backs, a change of clothes, a Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and a Samsung NX Camera. We were taken to the harbour and put on a big old speedboat for the two mile journey from Fajardo to the secret location of SOS Island!


The good news is that the island is beautiful, several acres big and fringed with beaches. The bad news is that we have NOTHING. Not even a knife, lighter or toothbrush between the 8 of us.

This was the scene seconds after we arrived on the island, waiting for the go-ahead to start the live broadcast:

And then we walked on ‘set’ for the first time! Once the broadcast was over, the crew left the island SO FAST YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE.

It was like they had cakes in the oven or something.

Or maybe they just really wanted to get back to their air-conditioned homes and hotel rooms before the biting insects descended at dusk.

So first up, we built our shelters OUT OF NOTHING. Happily I had arranged beforehand to team up with Mert – you’ll see why that was a good move if you watch the above video. We found some short strings left by production, and Mert and I fixed the apex with out belts.

Then Liron, Mert and I got working on a FIRE! You know, scare some of the insects away!!

No lighter, no flint… crikey.

We tried with a fire-bow for AGES, but without a knife, we just couldn’t make it work.

Then Mert had an idea. Batteries.

I had a spare battery for my big light. I bit through a USB cable, striped the ends, wired it to the battery and made it spark over a cotton-and tissue tuft (the cotton came from one of Brittney’s tampons – this is survival baby, you do what you gotta do!).

And before we knew it, WE HAD FIRE!!!

Kudos to Liron and Mert for this, it really was a team effort.

Then I thought I’d bust my way into a coconut, just to see if I could.

A good start for #TeamGraham! 

So now it’s UP TO YOU. Please head over to, register and VOTE FOR ME. I’m up against people with HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FOLLOWERS – I need ALL the help I can get. Once registered, you can vote EVERY DAY – moreso if you complete the (fairly easy) online games. So please, click below and help your favourite ginger travelling monkey win a Monkey Island of his very own.

Behind-The-Scenes Pics!

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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