The stories of some castaways make ideal inspirations for books and even movies. Here is one of the castaways that may be the most well known.
Scottish mariner Alexander Selkirk’s solitary odyssey began in 1704, when he arrived at an island off the coast of Chile along with a group of British privateers. The men had spent the previous year harassing Spanish shipping around South America, but when they dropped anchor in the Juan Fernandez archipelago, Selkirk got into a dispute with his captain over the seaworthiness of their ship. Fearing the worm-eaten vessel would not survive another voyage, the hotheaded Selkirk elected to stay behind on the island with only a small supply of weapons, food, tobacco and rum to keep him company.
Selkirk may have believed that a passing ship would pick him up in a matter of weeks, but he would eventually spend more than four years and four months alone on the island. He passed the time by notching the days and months on a tree, reading his Bible and chasing goats—first for food, and then merely to have something to do. All the while, he kept his eyes peeled for signs of rescue, but the few ships he saw flew the Spanish flag. On one occasion, he was even forced to hide in a tree when Spanish mariners landed on the island to resupply. Selkirk was finally rescued in February 1709, when a band of privateers led by Captain Woodes Rogers stopped at his island. The wild-haired and bearded castaway initially had trouble remembering how to speak, but he went on to become a minor celebrity in 18th century England, and was likely the inspiration for the title character in Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel “Robinson Crusoe.
Just imagine how strange it must have been to have nothing but a herd of goats for company for 4 years. That would certainly test the survival skills of just about anyone!
Coffee out on the patio this morning.