Not many people have an opportunity to visit this small island. Chileans refer to it as Juan Fernandez, but it is more famously called Robinson Crusoe island. The storybook is based on this island. From Valdivia, Chile to Juan Fernandez is about 500nm and should take us 4-5 days. We did not expect a lot of weather and were hoping for a good sail. As luck would have it, we sailed the entire way with the mostly the small spinnaker!
- Departed Valdivia on Saturday, 9 Mar at 1415pm
- Arrived Juan Fernandez on Wednesday, 13 Mar at 0100am
- Miles Traveled 485
- Max speed 12.1
- Average speed 5.5
Very early morning arrival at Cumberland Bay, Robinson Crusoe. Certainly not idea, so we took all precautions entering Bahia Cumberland at 1 am in the morning. We circled for about an hour trying to determine the best anchorage. It was extremely deep, even close to the fishing boats, at 40-60 meters. Not good for anchoring. It was pitch black, no moon, and only a few street lights on shore. On the first attempt, we dropped the hook in 26 meters of water. We sat and watched it and decided we did not feel comfortable with our swing. The second attempt. we dropped it in 24 meters of water. We had a little more swing room, but didn’t feel comfortable. Matt ended up staying awake until day break when we moved for a 3rd time. Deep, dark blue water.
Went ashore and first met with SAG (agricultural department) to ensure we did not bring any fruits, veggies, meats from another country. Then we stopped in to see the Parque National Arch de Juan Fernandez to get our park passes. Our last stop was the Armada to clear into the island. Everything went smoothly.
Decision time. Go back to the boat and try to catch up on some sleep or explore. We decided to go exploring. We only have a few days here so why not make the most of it?
HISTORY OF ROBINSON CRUSOE ISLAND
The archipelago was discovered in the 1500’s by Fernandez, a Spanish sailor of Portuguese origin. There are three islands that make up this archipelago. Robinson Crusoe, Marinero Alejandro Selkirk, and Santa Clara. These islands are thought to be between 2 and 4 million years old.
Many unsuccessful attempts were made to colonize the islands. Two ships from the English corsairs anchored in front of what is now known as Robinson Crusoe island in 1704. A boatswain by the name of Alejandro Selkirk argued with the captain and was left on the island with only a bible, knife, rifle, pound of powder, tobacco and some clothes. He remained on the island for 4 years and 4 months before his rescue by an English corsair. Alejandro’s diary and story were the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s famous storybook “The Incredible and Amazing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.”
TODAY IN SAN JUAN BAUTISTA
Newly constructed buildings now house small tiendas and restaurants along the shore. It was lovely, but odd because they all looked so new. We discovered a tsunami destroyed Cumberland Bay and the small town of San Juan Bautista in 2010.