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Chapter 15: Sailing Round the Island
As Crusoe says, for five years he lives the same kind of life every day. The chief thing he does, aside from his yearly labor of planting barley and rice and drying gapes, is to build a boat that will be useful. Once the boat is complete, he digs a canal to it so he can launch the vessel. His next plan is to sail around the island. He fits the boat with a mast and sail and readies his provisions.
On November 6, in the sixth year after his arrival on the island, Crusoe sets out to sea again. The trip is a disaster, for his boat is carried away by a powerful current. Crusoe faces the prospect of starving and dying out in the sea. Fortunately, the wind blows favorably and brings him back to the island. He gives thanks to God for saving him again and puts aside all further thoughts of making an escape by boat. Exhausted, Crusoe makes his way to his bower, where he falls asleep. He is awakened by hearing somebody call him by name and is terrified. Later, he realizes that it is his parrot
Crusoe has not learned his lesson from the two previous disastrous attempts with boats on the island. Still wanting to visit the mainland, Crusoe successfully makes a smaller boat, which he succeeds in fitting with a sail and launching. His first trip is a disaster, for a strong current takes him far from shore. It seems Providence is not ready for Crusoe to escape, but at least the wind blows him back to the island shore. He immediately things God for saving him once again.
Defoe seems to suggest that the problem with Crusoe's escape is not physical, but moral. He is still not ready to return home, for he has not learned to be content with his station in life.