Friday 7 December 2012

The Fortification

View of the sea and ship wreck, Crusoe builds his shelter along the side of a steep hill. A small fresh water stream can also be seen in the foreground.
Desiring a place to look out for passing ships and a source of freshwater, Crusoe decided to relocate to a better site.

“First, health and fresh water… Secondly, shelter from the heat of the sun. Thirdly security from the ravenous creatures, whether men or beasts. Fourthly a view to the sea, that if God sent any ship in sight I might not lose any advantage for my deliverance”

           Eventually, Crusoe finds a site that is slightly further inland on the side of a rock-composed hill with a view down to the sea and a freshwater source nearby. He chooses to situate himself on the north-northwest to gain shade from the sun. This side of the hill has a small cave-like indent and in front of this indent was a piece small of grassland about a hundred yards wide.

The Shelter

          The new habitation started by circling off an area of about ten yards in radius from the rock. To construct the fence, Crusoe drove two rows of stakes into the ground with a six-inch gap in between and then laying cables from the ship in the gap. This method of construction is called a fagot fence. The  gap is usually filled with bundles of twigs and straw and an additional layer of mud of plaster and be laid on top to create an adobe fence. After roughly laying out the fence, Crusoe pitched a double tent where top sheet of the tent being a piece of tarpaulin taken from the ship as a place for rest and the protection of goods from the weather. After the completion of the tent, Crusoe returns to the construction of the fence. The entire pale takes him one year to complete but becomes sturdy wall of posts and cables covered in grass that can only be crossed by the use of a retractable ladder. During the construction of the wall, Crusoe also digs into the crevice in the hill to create a better storage space for his goods. The soil removed from the rocky hill is used to strengthen the wall.  Finding the need for fuel and fire, the cave is expanded even further to allow for Crusoe’s kitchen. Crusoe continues to expand the cave until he has carved a passage to the outside of his wall to allow for a side door to his shelter and more storage space. Shelving was also added to the cave walls to provide organization of tools. At one point, the cave collapses from a lack of support and Crusoe begins to build the cave more carefully by supporting the roof of the cave with posts and boards. Crusoe also used the placement of the posts as a partition for rooms. Throughout the time spent on the island, Crusoe continues to expand the cave whenever a necessity for expansion exists. Finding the stakes grown outside his bower to be even better for cover and defence, a second wall is constructed outside of the initial wall about eight yards from the first fence. Upon the discovery of the footprint in the sand, fear drove Crusoe to fortify the second fence even further until the fence became woods that hid the cave completely.  The second fence was also constructed with seven holes with muskets already set in place.


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