TRAVEL: BEAM ME DOWN, SCOTTY

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The Independent Travel
This week's random co-ordinates chosen by the computer are:

52 14' N 171 27' E

FIRST REACTION

Land ahoy! Thank goodness I weigh 20 stone and have a thick layer of blubber to preserve me from these freezing seas.

COUNTRY AND REGION

Nominally, it's the US. You are within swimming distance (about 10 miles) off the remote Aleutian Island of Amukta, part of the long chain which stretches southwest of Alaska.

NATURE OF THE TERRAIN

Right now, you are bobbing in icy waters of the sort that Titanic survivors would recognise. Amukta is black and volcanic.

ALTITUDE

Sea level.

NEAREST SETTLEMENT

Don't look for inhabitants other than sea birds. There are a few minuscule settlements of indigenous Aleut people on nearby islands. Akta island, a couple of hundred kilometres east, is the nearest.

POSSIBLE HAZARDS

Freezing to death and drowning are probable, unless you really are very fat. Except that then you will need to avoid being mistaken for a whale and harpooned by passing Aleuts in seagoing kayaks.

USEFUL LANGUAGES

Before you get cocky about your mastery of Eskimo languages, you should know that the Aleut language is different even from those.

TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER

Hard to imagine that Bill Clinton's priapic reputation matters much to these islands, but he is the president.

LIKELY WEATHER CONDITIONS

High winds, snow and raging seas are the norm here.

REASONS FOR HANGING AROUND

To try traditional fishing and hunting methods (by spear) with the

local Aleuts.

GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE

Make yourself a jacket from whale blubber and build a fire from small shrubs, moss and drift-wood to attract the attention of passing ships.

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