Communing With Crusoe's Inspiration on Isla Más a Tierra, Chile
The privateers' galley, the Cinq Ports, had to be a very leaky ship for sailing master Alexander Selkirk to request to be abandoned alone on this island, over 400 miles from the coast of South America. All he took with him: a musket, gunpowder, some tools, a knife, a Bible, and clothes. Incredibly, he managed to survive for over four years before being rescued, and the account of this feat almost certainly inspired Defoe's fictional castaway, Robinson Crusoe. Selkirk subsisted by fishing at first, but after being harassed by sea lions, he decided to venture inland. In the island's interior he found more variety of sustenance, from edible plants and feral goats. He built two huts to give himself shelter, and even tamed feral cats to protect him from nocturnal rat visits. Originally called Juan Fernández, Más a Tierra, or Aguas Buenas (take your pick), the island was definitively renamed Isla Róbinson Crusoe in 1966. Recent archaeological digs have unearthed European instruments, locating Selkirk's probable campsite.