Could your marriage survive a shipwreck?

From The Economist:

When the captain of a Korean tuna-fishing ship first caught sight of Maurice and Maralyn Bailey bobbing in the Pacific Ocean in June 1973, he could not work out what they were. About four months earlier, while they were trying to sail from England to New Zealand, their boat had crashed into a sperm whale. The couple was stranded in a tiny inflatable life-raft tied to a flimsy dinghy, subsisting on rainwater, turtles whose throats they had slit, birds they strangled and sharks they suffocated. Unable to stand and wearing clothes that had disintegrated, their skeletons looked ready to burst through their skin.

Miraculously, they were alive. In “Maurice and Maralyn”, Sophie Elmhirst . . . draws on her own reporting, Maralyn’s diaries, the memoirs that the two published and a trove of news clips to tell the tale of this couple’s survival—and the love story that bubbled alongside.

The pair had met a decade earlier at a car rally in Derby, England. Maurice was older and flew planes, but was lonely, awkward and felt that he had “so much to wade through before he could do anything”. Maralyn was chatty and brave and, unlike Maurice, “seemed to know instinctively how to do things”. They married, bought a home and then sold it, using the money to buy a yacht. Their dream was to become explorers.

They found their adventure. But despite the seafaring and adrenaline, in “Maurice and Maralyn” it is love itself, “a terrifying fluke”, which makes life extraordinary. Two people choose and are chosen, “and, most unlikely of all, these choices must happen at roughly the same time”, Ms Elmhirst writes.

Link to the rest at The Economist