I spent 5 days with squatter-castaway David Glasheen

Jun 02, 2017 · Curiosities

It was 20 years ago this month that David Glasheen decided to abandon civilisation and become a voluntary castaway.

This ex-businessman lost all his fortune during the famous stock exchange crack in 1987. On top of that, he also lost his wife when she asked for a divorce!

After various years fighting for his existence Dave (who is now 74 years old) decided to start all over again on a desert island, which he has made his home. Restoration Island can be found in a remote area of the north-east of Australia.David Glasheen Australian Robinson Crusoe

Quasimodo, the castaway dog in Australia

He left behind a succulent life full of luxuries to immerse himself in a very different life, existing with very little, but totally happy. 

However, the authorities put their eye on him years ago but it is now that they want to throw him off the island. The Queensland government have an eviction order on him and recently emitted a judgement in which he is claimed to be a ‘squatter’. That’s the reason he is always asking for help like on this video

David white beard dog help



Two years ago I was lucky enough to spend a few days with this white bearded castaway. I wanted to meet this endearing person, his dog Quasimodo (Quassi) and, at the same time, to spend a few days cut off from civilisation in this inhospitable part of Australia. I was also able to record some short Youtube videos like this one 

Alvaro Cerezo Docastaway

There I discovered that Dave is really a very sociable person who loves visits. Also, this Robinson Crusoe is enjoying his experience just as our clients do on our Comfort Mode islands. This is because Restoration island also has certain services and commodities. You can learn more of this in a further article.

Australian castaway squatter


This island isn’t as idyllic as the ones we offer to our voluntary castaways. Dave’s island is plagued with dangerous animals such as tiger sharks and white sharks. There are also taipan coastal snakes and above all, and the most dangerous, is the fearsome saltwater crocodiles. Dave’s dog, Quassi, survived two attacks from this predator.

Sadly, he wasn’t as lucky with the third attack by a dangerous animal and last year a taipan snake ended Quessi’s life, leaving Dave alone on the island.

“Only a mad man would think to swim carelessly in these waters” Dave told me.

Quasimodo quassi castaway dog

However, his is very determined. He won’t move from the island for ‘all the money in the world’. At the end, if the police evict him, he is prepared to live on the beach, to be precise, on the remains of a shipwrecked boat on the edge of the sea. In Australia all the beaches are public.

David Glasheen Robinson White beard old

Nonetheless, I fear that Dave will have to assume the risk of being ‘surprised’ by a saltwater crocodile at some time when he is distracted, just like what happened to Quassi twice, as these animals can attack on the edge of the sea. You can see a surprising meeting we had with a crocodile on this Youtube video.

Alvaro Cerezo Docastaway

Whatever happens, Mr. Glasheen decided that Restoration Island is the place where he wants to live the rest of his life. The future will tell us if he is lucky or not.

You want to know more about my experience with him? You can read this other article I posted. You can also find the world’s largest coconut. I found it at Restoration. 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Boris Stermotić June 22, 2017 at 8:37 am

Go David & Quassi Go!


Alvaro Cerezo September 30, 2017 at 1:14 am

🙂 🙂 🙂


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