Treasure Island - pirate for a day
Nick Smith | 11 June 2012
Here at Flipside we don’t just watch the best movies. We like to go behind the scenes and find out what's really going on. So when we got the chance to sail a ‘tall ship’ – just like the one in Treasure Island – it was an adventure too good to miss.
In the movie, Long John Silver – Eddie Izzard – utters those immortal words ‘when the time is right we’re going to take this ship and the treasure on that island.’ One of the crew chips in with ‘hoist the mainsail!’ But how do you take a wooden ship to an island? And just what’s involved in hoisting the mainsail?
In Treasure Island – the DVD comes out today – it all looks so easy. Well, it would do. For one thing the crew are nice and warm in the Caribbean. But, the reality, as I stepped on board the sailing brig Stavros in wet and rainy Southampton, was a whole world of pain.
One of the volunteers helping out that day – a guy with the very un-pirate like name of Paul – tells me it’s all about climbing. But that’s okay because it’s good for my ‘personal development’ to do nasty things like scramble up rope ladders into ‘the tops.’ This is something no sane person would ever do. But, well, this is Flipside. Check out the video.
So is being on the Stavros anything like the Hispaniola that the real Jim Hawkins sailed in? ‘Absolutely,’ says Second Officer Ben Wheatley, who tells me that while the movie producers might have taken a few liberties with Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale, the sailors from yesteryear would immediately recognise everything going on in the Stavros. ‘They’d have used the same arrangements of ropes, used the same commands and tied the same knots,’ he tells me.
Today in Southampton, it’s unlikely I’ll be drawn into the world of piracy, or even discover a treasure map. But just as in the movie Jim embarks on an action adventure that will change his life forever, you can do the same.
The serious side of the Stavros is all about taking teenagers on life-changing voyages around the world with the Tall Ships Youth Trust. You’ll learn how to become part of a team, see the world and get a fantastic Treasure Island adventure under your belt. Find out more at the tallships site
Treasure Island is available on Blu-ray & DVD from 11 June, courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment