Privateers. Most nations at one time or another have employed them during times of hostility: men whose patriotism is kindled by personal profit. During peacetime they’re called pirates, and the captain of the fleet was one of the best at his job. Ordinarily, this might have been enough to land him a paragraph in the history books.
Upon his return to England though, the Captain added to his legacy with a book about his experiences sailing ‘round the world, making fools of the Spanish, and it sold like limes in a scurvy-ward. However, this literary jaunt of Woodes Rogers was just the tip of the iceberg. For among the crew that sailed out of Guam that day was a pair of men whose lives would inspire two of the classics of western literature: Alexander Selkirk and Simon Hatley, respectively remembered as Robinson Crusoe and the Ancient Mariner.