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After 2 years, we finally (almost) left Chile. We left Isla Mancera at lunchtime on 19th March and arrived at Bahia Cumberland on the Northern coast of Isla Robinson Crusoe at 10am on the 23rd after 3 1/2 days of "bouncy" sailing covering 479 miles.

This is the bay in which the Germans sunk their Warship “Dresden” in WW1 rather than letting the Brits have it. It was rather windy when we arrived gusting up to 50 knots so we stayed on board to catch up on some sleep...

Sitting comfortably at anchor...

The Island is part of the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. The archipelago is made up of 2 main islands, a third much smaller island and numerous rocky islets. They were formed by the peaks of a submerged volcanic mountain range rising from the seabed. The more Easterly of the 2 main islands was originally called Mas a Tierra (“Nearer Land”) while the other, 187km further West, was known as Mas Afuera (“Farther Out”).

It is a really remote place and we think that Alexander Selkirk must have really hated his captain to have asked to be dropped off here!! He remained marooned on the Island from 1704 to 1709 and is thought to have inspired novelist Daniel Defoe's fictional Robinson Crusoe in his 1719 novel.

Following his much publicised rescue, more and more buccaneers began calling here to stock up on water, vegetables and goats prompting the Spanish Crown to take official possession in 1742 at which time it was converted into a Penal Colony.

In 1966, the Chilean Government (thinking they could cash in on the literary lore associated with the islands and to lure tourists) renamed the islands Robinson Crusoe (Mas a Tierra) and Alejandro Selkirk (Mas Afuera).

The highlight of the Island, other than Diving on the wreck of the Dresden, is hiking up to the Alexander Selkirk Lookout Point, about 1,800 feet above Sea level, from where there is a fantastic view out over the Bay...

Robinson Crusoe is the only inhabited Island and, sadly, suffered severe destruction on 27th February 2010 when it was hit by a tsunami following a magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile. The tsunami was about 3m (10ft) high when it reached the island. Sixteen people lost their lives, and most of the main village of San Juan Batista was washed away. The only warning the islanders had received came from a 12-year-old girl, who noticed the sudden drawback of the sea that indicates the arrival of a tsunami wave and saved many of her neighbors from harm. {NB We were on Easter Island when the tsunami passed through}.

Two years later, the villagers are still trying to rebuild their buildings and their lives.

It was our intention to only stop for a couple of days but, as usual, we ended up staying longer... we had filled up all our water tanks and were all ready to leave the next day when we had a mosquito attack. One of the little devils had got caught up in the bed linen and Vicki woke up with over 30 bites all over her face.... she looked a little like the “Elephant Man” and was feeling very sorry for herself.

So, we waited for the next weather opportunity which was actually a bit of a result as our good friends, Penny & Michel, from Passe-Partout had arrived from Valdivia and it was nice to have a catch up with them. We eventually left on the morning of the 4th April only to return in the afternoon (much to Penny & Michel's amusement) as we had noticed that our gooseneck weld on our main mast had sheared again – we had got this fixed previously in Tenerife back in 2006.

Finally, on 6th April we left Chile for the last time and headed West to cross the Pacific Ocean – first stop to be Pitcairn Island...

{Editor's Note - I have just realised that, in the whole 2 weeks we were on the Island, we didn't take a single photograph of the boys - unheard of !!!}