Tsunami hits Robinson Crusoe Island

Wake up, Friday, it's Saturday, and we have to leave!

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.[4] 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.[5]

(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.


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10 responses to “Tsunami hits Robinson Crusoe Island

  1. Island Surveyor

    Quake scale is by orders of magnitude.

    One order of magnitude is 10x

    Two orders is 100x, etc.

    8.8 – 7.0 = 1.8 orders = 10 ^ 1.8 = 63x

    NGS reports the energy released as 500 times.

    Think of the energy to push that much water all the way across the Pacific.

    • christopherfountain

      I was always lousy in math and geology, so forgive me – never could quite get the hang of the Richter scale – but either way, a big one, huh?

  2. Walt

    Dude –
    FWIW you suck at Real Estate too. And writing. I know. Too easy, but I couldn’t help myself!!
    Your Pal,

  3. Retired IB'er

    Sorry, but only a heathen would buy a classic “book” electronically. Want to buy Grisham, etc. by download, knock yourself out, read it once and discard.

    But good books by Joyce, Faulkner, Hardy, Dickens, Fitzgerald, Tolkien, etc were meant to have their pages fondled as the reader digests their prose!

    • christopherfountain

      IB’R, I do believe you are wrong, just this once. Because I have read the classics, and wallowed in the joy of reading a good book, but the Kindle is a great way to carry them with me. I have over 100 books on my little machine -some are pure junk but still fun to read but, ironically, the classics, being past copyright protection, are free! My usual practice when traveling has been 1/10th of my luggage devoted to clothes, 9/10ths to books. Now, I can move around the globe with a carry-on, my Kindle, and nothing else. it’s about speed, and access. A few weeks after first buying my Kindle I remembered that I’d never read USS Grant’s autobiography – I’d been tempted by a first edition at Just Books, but at several hundred dollars, I’d balked. With a Kindle it was free, and in my hands literally within seconds. Not necessarily the enjoyment of a real book, but entirely satisfactory nonetheless.
      Try it, you’ll like it.

  4. Walt

    Dude –
    I am watching CNN. They are saying Hawaii may get 2 – 3 foot waves? I swam in bigger than that at Jones Beach, for Petes Sake.
    Shouldn’t a zoonamm…a toozam.. Shouldn’t a really big wave be like 50 feet like they had in the Perfect Storm? What am I missing? I am expecting Biblical stuff and it’s a boat wake?
    And Bernie Yudain. He should write a book. No. Not a comedy book. Tell him to do something on what it was like to live when dinosaurs roamed the earth. I want his first hand account.

    Your Pal,

  5. Walt

    Dude –
    I think I figured it out. It’s not the size of the wave, but the motion of the ocean. Right?
    Your Pal,

  6. Chilean Reader

    Imagine “surfing” on a 15th floor, dodging falling furniture and trying to avoid all the broken glass all over the place while thinking you’re really going to die. 700+ deaths so far, not so much for an earthquake this magnitude though (multiple tsunamis and more than 100 replicas).