Juan Fernandez to Guayaquil

Selkirk's story appeared in print in Rogers's Cruising Voyage, which turned Selkirk into a celebrity. 

As a journalist, Daniel Defoe knew a good story when he heard one and used Selkirk and Will, the earlier Moskito castaway on Juan Fernandez as the inspiration for his most famous adventure story, the first realistic novel in English (Robinson Crusoe, 1719). 

After watering and refitting at Juan Fernandez, the expedition cruised off Chile and Peru, taking several prizes including the French—built Havre-de-Grace, which was renamed the Marquis, and proved to be a useful unit. 

After they took the island of Puna Rogers moved on to Guayaquil, which he planned to assault using small barks and pinnaces carrying light guns, which could move upstream on the flood tides and lie low in the mangroves while the tide ebbed. 

Rogers' men arrived off Guayaquil around midnight on 22 April to find the town blazing with lights during the fiesta for the Eve of the Invention of the True Cross. 

Their Indian pilots suggested the town had been alarmed, and the privateers withdrew to consider their options. 

Rogers favoured a sharp assault, Dampier advised against an attack on an alerted town while Dover and others proposed negotiations for the ransom of the prizes they had left at Puna. 

After much debate, prudence prevailed, but by the time the talks began the Spanish authorities had been advised that there were a thousand pirates in the river. 

Galapagos, Gorgona and Galleons

© Ian Hughes 2017