Robert John Dastin passed away at his home in Pucon, Chile, on Sunday, October 25, 2020, following a brief illness. He was born in Manchester, NH on April 30, 1972 to Patricia K. Linehan and Robert E. Dastin. Robbie, as he was known locally, and Robbicito, as he was known in Chile, attended local schools and graduated from the University of Colorado.
Robbie is memorialized by his brother, Matthew, stating: "The sky was the limit and Robbie knew it. It was only his cool smirk that gave his secret knowledge away and even then only to the astute observer. From the time he was a boy, he never let anything get in his way. The obstacle was the way and he craved the adventure.
Robbie Dastin was a lover of good people, nature and the great outdoors and the bigger the backdrop the better. He found majesty and life's gifts in mountains, his travel partners and especially rivers. His love of rivers began when he attended college in Boulder, Colorado. It was here he first took up kayaking and this passion for adventure with boat and paddle in hand brought him all over the western United States and throughout South America. Rob eventually settled in the mountain town of Pucon, Chile. The southern Andes were his playground and he did it all with passion. He and his teams would navigate many Class V Rivers for the first time. Rob led a simple life and never bragged about his adventurous lifestyle or accomplishments. His heart and soul were as big as his lifestyle and leaves a legacy for the next generation of
explorers. Robbie was inimitable and has had a profound influence on how people choose to live their lives today. In his younger days on a ski trip to Utah with his family, Robbie found a pin in a ski shop that read: "No guts, no glory" which he bought and promptly put on his ski hat, and this was the message that lived in his head the rest of his days."
Robbie's expertise as a guide and negotiator was well known and he was contracted by National Geographic and the BBC for their documentary entitled "Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise".
John Mattson, a long time Colorado kayaker, builder and author, also memorialized "Robbicito" in an article as a true kayak legend in the (Pucon) region. "Always inquisitive about new runs and a true explorer, he was the impetus and driving force behind many first descents of what are now Chilean classics, including such rivers as the Carhuello, Turbio, La Plata, Curring̈e, Melado, Pascua, Llizán, Panqui and more. A good quote about him is what the Chileans came up with after boating in terror with Robbie down the extreme creeks in Chile: 'Never follow a gringo,' says Kurt Casey, a longtime Pucon-area kayaker and developer of the website, Rivers of Chile.com. He was a great paddler and did a lot to open up kayaking the harder runs in the region. Pucon was a great place for him," adds Mattson. "He was running all the big waterfall runs there, Class V, plus, plus, plus. The last time I saw him was in Pucon and he had just gotten done with some extreme creek and got stuck behind a waterfall. As always, he was super calm and relaxed, but full of energy."
He will be remembered by his loving parents Robert E. Dastin and Patricia K. Linehan, both of Manchester, NH, his brother and sister-in-law, Matthew Dastin and Suzanne Dastin, of Denver, Colorado and their children, Stella and Sutton. He dearly loved his niece and nephew and enjoyed hearing about them and their childhood antics. Another person close to Robbie's heart was his dear friend, Javiera Silva-Emhart, and her daughter, Olivia, of Pucon, Chile.
The light of Robbicito's spirit will certainly be kept aglow by the many, many friends he met over the years…who loved him dearly.
He would want us all to live the adventures we dream.
Services were held October 26, 2020 at Templo Jesus de Nazareth and burial followed in the Cementario Municipal De Pucon, Chile.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester,
555 Union Street, Manchester, NH 03104, or to the charity of your choice.