Peter Pinney


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The Rex

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Ride the Volcano

Alice Brown was Peter Pinney's first wife. They met in New York City, it was the mid 1950's she was a young copywriter working on Madison Avenue, NYC. They took a job delivering a car to San Diego, on the other side of the US, and then kept travelling & trekking south to Central and South America, where Peter bought the schooner 'Rex' and set up a charter service for wealthy tourists out of Panama.

On Christmas eve 1957 while operating the other arm of their expanded service - smuggling whiskey and cigarettes to Costa Rica - they were hit by a storm and the 'Rex' was smashed to pieces off the Colombian coast.

Washed up on a beach alive along with crates of contraband, and were now on the run from authorities alerted by the coastguard.

Their quick exit in a small plane almost came unstuck when the pilot - realising they were fugitive - refused to take them as agreed to Panama, at last persuaded he landed them among seldom visited (and fearsomely reputed) Indian tribes on the San Blas Islands.

See a larger image of Alice
with San Blas Indians

In 1958 Peter & Alice married on top of Volcano Irazu in Costa Rica, then made their way north to Canada's west coast, where Alice worked writing for radio, Peter worked on the salmon boats, and Sava was born.

When Sava was only a few months old they left Canada to travel as before, but it was not as easy now with a baby in tow.

Travelling to south once more they visited Cuba (experiencing the island's euphoria after Fidel Castro came to power), Puerto Rico, Costa Rica & the British Virgin Islands.

In Tortola they stopped for a year and ran the local paper, writing and editing the Tortola Times.

Their bubble burst, and Peter and Alice arrived separately in Australia. They both went on to further adventures and partnerships.

 *Note: PP experimented with a novel style format for Ride the Volcano.

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Volcano Irazu - blew up the year Alice and Peter divorced!