The Story of Castaway Bay
There’s a small island in the Caribbean called Castaway…Don’t bother to look for it…You won’t find it on a map. This tiny, inconsequential isle is named for the many explorers and seafarers who found themselves stranded on its isolated beaches. The wrecked, abandoned ships they once sailed now dot the island’s shores. Those who captained these vessels are long gone, and today the island’s only inhabitants are the exotic animals that swim its crystal blue waters, cavort in the lush canopy of its trees, and soar through its beautiful skies.
Castaway was also the home of a thrill-seeking, adventure-loving turtle named Gordon (Gordy to his friends.) When he wasn’t shell surfing through the barrels and tubes of Castaway’s spectacular waves, he could be found on the beach strolling through the graveyard of deserted boats and ships.
They reminded him that there was a great, big, amazing world out there waiting to be explored. You see…Gordy was restless. He felt trapped and stranded on the tiny island, just like those old, neglected vessels. At night, when the animals would gather around the beach bonfire, Gordy would display artifacts discovered within the hulls of the crashed crafts. He would regale the animals with stories of the exciting, far-off lands from which the ships had traveled.
On a particularly quiet Wednesday in paradise, the animals got together and held a meeting. They were determined to see Gordy fulfill his dream, to help him see the world. So, they organized a boat-building party! Salvaging as many useable old ship pieces as possible, a vessel was crafted for the loveable turtle to sail. They called it "HOPE,” as they felt it best described Gordy’s desire for new discoveries…and…also, it was their "hope" that it would stay afloat. With the animals acting as crew, they set sail to help their friend get his wish.
Wendy, the Whale Tail, served as navigator, sailing them past idyllic lands and colorful reefs. Pablo the Parrot acted as a lookout. Ophelia the Octopus steered the ship's wheel as they traversed the Caribbean Sea, The Atlantic Ocean, and even ventured down the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Unfortunately for the sailing crew, an unlit lighthouse and unexpected gust of wind proved to be too much for the hobbled-together hull. With water flooding the deck and the sails collapsing about them, the animal crew fought heroically to keep Hope afloat.
The ship ran aground, shipwrecked for a second time. At that moment, Gordy realized that thanks to the love and friendship of his pals, he was able to explore interesting and exciting new places. He saw sights he had only dreamed of seeing. But…in all honesty…as unique and different as these places were…they didn't compare to the lush, tropical beauty of Castaway Island. For the first time in his life, Gordy was homesick. With no vessel on which to travel, his heart ached at the thought of never seeing Castaway again.
And then he had an idea…an amazing… fantastic…awesome idea! Why not build Castaway here! The animals loved it and agreed to help build a place where memories would be made, happiness would bloom, and waves of joy would wash over everyone who visited.
Using repurposed pieces of the ship and the help of a few locals, they christened this tropical Shangri-La: Castaway Bay. Gordy and his friends are always overjoyed to welcome families from far and wide and to help them feel like they do: right at home.