I’ll admit that until just now I didn’t know that there was a Robinson Crusoe Island but there is, 400 miles off Chile, and the tsunami has hit it with 18′ waves. No report on damage, if any – next stop, Easter Island.
Interesting to note that the Chilean earthquake was 9X more powerful than that which struck Haiti yet, so far, deaths seem to be in hundreds, rather than the hundreds of thousands. The reason? A good building code. Poor Haiti is so poor it can’t even afford laws.
UPDATE: Who knew? It really is the island that inspired Defoe.
It was here that the sailor Alexander Selkirk was marooned in 1704 and lived in solitude for four years and four months. Selkirk had been gravely concerned for the seaworthiness of his ship, the Cinque Ports, and declared his wish to be left on the island during a mid-voyage restocking stop. His captain, Thomas Stradling, a colleague on the voyage of privateer and explorerWilliam Dampier, was tired of his dissent and obliged by leaving Selkirk. All he had brought with him was a musket, gunpowder, carpenter’s tools, a knife, a Bible and some clothing. The sailor inspired Daniel Defoe to write the classic novel, Robinson Crusoe. To reflect the literary lore associated with the island, the Chilean government named the location Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966. In 1840, Richard Henry Dana, Jr. described the port of Juan-Fernandez in his classic Two Years Before the Mast as a young prison colony.
(Two Year’s Before the Mast is a great read, by the way – if you have a 14-year-old reader interested in sailing, you might suggest it. Or read it yourself.)
UPDATE II: Ah, Kindle! I just bought, for the princely sum of 99 cents, a trilogy of Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson and Treasure island. My pal Bernie Yudain recently expressed a grudging curiosity about the Kindle and Bernie, what it lacks in the tactile pleasure of a real book, it makes up for in the speed with which one can pull books down from those Internet tube things.
UPDATE III: Just added Two Years Before the Mast, free! Next time I’m stuck in an airport, I’m set for days.