About thirty kilometers off the coast of Chile is a small teardrop-shaped island called Mocha, inhabited by the indigenous Mapuche people. The island was well known among sailors, especially pirates and privateers, who used the island as their supply base, exchanging steel and manufactured goods for livestock, corn and potatoes. English and Dutch privateers would often stop at the island, load their ships with supplies, and after a brief stay, sail up the Pacific coast sacking Spanish ships and ports along the way.
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It was around the waters of this island that Mocha Dick was first spotted in 1810.