4 YEARS FROM SHIPWRECK: THE ALEXANDER SELKIRK DECISION
by Kyt Lyn Walken
At the age of forty-five, Alexander Selkirk died in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and off West Africa on December 13, 1721. His life, however short, had been marked by anything but conventional choices, which made him a real legend, so much so that he was the inspiration for the birth of the character of Robinson Crusoe.
However, a story so far away in time must not discourage us from feeling it – and experiencing it – as potentially modern. If it is true that Selkirk was, in all respects, the son of his era, made of explorations, conquest of new territories – and consequent riches – his tenacity marked an indelible mark in the collective imagination, laying the foundations of the figure of the true Survivor.
However, to better understand the exceptional nature of his undertaking, it is necessary to take a step back of almost three centuries, when the young Selkirk, a non-commissioned officer of the Royal Navy and with a promising future ahead of him, makes a decision that will mark forever the his fate.
Of irascible character, the young man, born in the Region of Fife, in Scotland, in 1703 was admitted to the expedition of the already known William Dampier (corsair, scientific observer and explorer who first circumnavigated the world three times, as well as the first Englishman to to land in Australia) and Thomas Stradling.
The expedition’s task lies in attacking the enemies of the United Kingdom, at the time engaged in the Secession war against Spain.
An argument between the commanders leads Stradling to leave, followed by Selkirk. In October 1704, yet another violent clash arose near the Juan Fernandez archipelago, off the coast of Chile, at the end of which Stradling left Selkirk, who had tried to convince some comrades to desert. He was left on the island ” with a musket, gunpowder, a hatchet and some carpenter’s tools, a knife, a kitchen plate, a bible, a mattress and some clothes “.
In reality, Selkirk, by now acquired a good experience at sea, intended to stay on the island in order to better repair the vessel: this is what historians have reported. But perhaps his anger-prone nature made him seem like he could be left alone as the best.
And alone he stayed, for four years and four months.
The abundance of natural resources did not pose a problem for his struggle for survival; to this, Selkirk added extraordinary abilities to reuse waste materials for the production of tools – apparently he even forged a knife from circles of barrels found on the beach – and was able to tame wild goats (with whose skins he made new clothes) and even cats, to hunt the heaviest danger that the island hid: mice.
He was found on February 2, 1709 by the corsair ship Duke, who brought him back to his motherland by delivering the story of his survival on the deserted island to the local chronicles first and then the world.
Selkirk’s ingenuity and tenacity remain, to this day, an example of impressive and effective Darwinian adaptability.
Is it, once again, the law of the fittest?
Quite the contrary. It is the law of the individual’s will.
From the past to the present: survival stories to the limit of the unthinkable that allow us to establish our needs and rearrange our priorities. Exactly the philosophy behind the birth of an innovative product like Bivo.
AFTERFACE: Bivo, in the continuous search to make improvements to the products offered, does not forget the lessons of the past, but treasures them to provide for the creation of a nutritious and light product at the same time, easy to always carry with you.
Click on the button below if you want to try Bivo and discover all the current promotions. By entering the discount code “kytwalken” you will be entitled to 10% discount in the shop.