Robinson Crusoe Island
Sat 29 Sep 2012 23:17
28 and 29/9
Hello readers! Steve here again doing the Dawnbreaker update. So last time I wrote we were cruising about 4 or 5 hours out from Robinson Crusoe Island .. that sail was a beauty under an almost full moon doing about 6 to 7 knots as the Island grew bigger and more epic/mysterious looking while the hours fell away towards sun rise. We sneaked in (with the mission impossible song playing in my head) to Cumberland Bay under the cover of darkness and anchored around 5am, one anchor watch on with the rest crashed out waiting for the Day.
This Island is 12 miles long, 4 miles across, 34 miles around and 4 million years old and the Robinson Crusoe legend began back in 1704 when a Scottish Master Mariner sailing on the British privateer "Cinque Ports" by the name of Alexander Selkirk enjoyed argueing with his Captain so much that he was asked to leave! Alexander was put ashore on uninhabited Mas a Tierra, now known today as Robinson Crusoe Island. He spent the next 4 years and 4 months here alone eating goats and lobsters with lots of time to think about his communication style with work mates. :-)
Selkirk when finally rescued resumed his naughtical career meanwhile Daniel Defoe wrote about Alexanders solitary Island exploits in the form of the classic novel "Robinson Crusoe" albeit the story was changed little to make it a seller!
For us on the Dawnbreaker first morning was an opportunity to jump in the freezing ocean followed by a shower off the back of the boat, then a great breakfast, laundry done and hop on the dinghy and cruise to the jetty of the Island. We cleared with local Chile Customs offiicers and hung for a bit in town and checked out the local dwellings and people who are all very friendly and laid back, theres also maybe 100 very cool dogs of all different breeds roaming around, there everywhere! We went hiking up to Plazoleta Del Yunque which is a very beautiful park and I got to say this Island appears hard and rugged from our anchorage due its imposing mountainous look but we saw its surprising softer side once we got up and into the Del Yunque. Beautiful flowers, palms and trees everywhere, humming birds wizzing around, crystal clear fresh water streams ... just a fantastic pristine nature walk is what we enjoyed this sunny day. If you have to be stranded for years somewhere there could be worse places!. We ended up at one of the local hostels "Hostel Petit - Breuilh" were we had a some white wine and great crab empanadas, then cruised the little town looking for a good time that couldnt be found and so we ended back at the Dawnbreaker via our dinghy having a few quiet drinks under a huge irredescent full moon with the Island as a back drop!
Nice to have sleep without watch duties!
Brings me to today and this morning Cabral and I rescued a local dinghy that was floating free and heading out to sea, there was also a labrador dog who swam past our boat (where did it come from???) and swam all the way to shore 500 feet or so and I followed him with binoculars to see him shake himself off on the shore and jog into the village .. that dogs a legend, who was that guy!
We headed back to the local Jetty and went for the hike to Mirador de Selkirk. This is the hike that Selkirk did daily in the hope of spotting a passing ship and on the way we passed what the locals believe to be his main dwelling, a small stone structure. It was a great walk up to Alexanders lookout and again this island is just pristine nature! When we got to the top and could see the other side of the island it was breathtaking, just fantastic and a view that was hard to walk away from, like being in Lord of the Rings, very Middle Earth! Huge sweeping green mountains and flats, Pacific ocean all around, epic. Lunch up the top and back down we came straight to our little dinghy and back to the Dawnbreaker which was waiting for us with a warm cabin, cold beers and some great food. Outside right now as I write there are Williwaws (35+knot winds) howling down the valley from the Island mountains into our anchorage position and smashing into the boat .. everyones tired from the day and so its going to be pasta dinner and some red wine and guitar for the evening! nice!