April 2016

Fake Sun 2.0

Mette Boel

Fake Sun 2.0 takes point of departure in the novel ‘The Life and Adventure of Alexander Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe, A Narrative founded on Facts’ written in 1837 by John Howell.

Alexander Selkirk born in 1676, the seventh son of a cobbler, grew up in Lower Largo, Fife. At the age of 19, Selkirk fled to sea after finding himself in trouble with the Kirk Session after his brother’s trick of making him drink seawater, which resulted in a nasty family fight.
Selkirk hoped to make a fortune at sea through privateering (legalised piracy on the King’s enemies) against Spanish vessels off the coast of South America.

After a few years he had proved himself an excellent navigator, which led to his appointment as Sailing Master on the 90 tons privateer ‘The Cinque Ports’.
However, the expedition was a disaster and the hot headed Selkirk and the tyrant captain fell out when Selkirk insisted to be put ashore on the next possible island as he was convinced, the ship would sink.

In 1704 Selkirk was indeed put ashore and thereby marooned on ‘Isla Juan Fernandez’ now known as ‘Isla Alejandro Selkirk’.

Selkirk lived for four years and four months on the island. He had with him a little clothing, bedding, a gun, some tools, a bible and tobacco.

The first many months of his stay on the island, Selkirk simply read his bible, awaiting rescue, but it soon became clear that the rescue was not imminent. He resigned himself to a long stay and made the island his home. He taught himself to hunt goats for food and clothing and he domesticated cats and sought amusement by teaching them how to dance.
Selkirk was finally rescued in 1709 by ‘Duke’a privateering ship piloted by William Dampier, and its sailing companion the ‘Duchess’.

Selkirk later learns that the ‘The Cinque Ports’ did indeed sink off the coast of Peru with all the crew drowned except the tyrant captain and 17 other men who had survived only to be captured and left to rot in a Peruvian jail.