Monday, May 21, 2012

The Story so Far

I think this is a great map of the Pacific because its got everywhere Ive been in Sapphire on it. My solo ocean voyaging began in 2009, in Sydney but I left the Australian mainland from Newcastle, going to Lord Howe Island, then the rest of the way across the Tasman to New Zealand where I arrived on November 30th . If you look closely you will see Tubuai in French Polynesia, and of course Papeete, but Raiatea is not marked :  its one of the little dots under the "n" of  "Society Islands" I sailed there last year, having left NZ on May 18th and it took 24 days to landfall at Rurutu. From there it was 115 nautical miles to Tubuai , and from there I sailed to Papeete, Moorea, Huahine  and Raiatea. I left the boat hauled out in Raiatea, with a plan to return after the cyclone season and continue west. This time I hope to reach Fiji.

And so here I am, back in French Polynesia after a flight lasting less than 5 hours from Auckland, during which time I enjoyed red wine and a beef casserole while listening to Ella Fitzgerald and then I watched a delightful  interview of Australias greatest living artist , John Olson, a man with an extraordinary  imagination and creativity, and a huge fascination with everything in the natural world about him, now approaching his mid 80's and wonderfully alive.

I mention this for two reasons - firstly because it - the journey here - was so effortless and pleasant and quick, a stark contrast to my last trip in that direction between New Zealand and Tahiti. But also because that interview with John Olson  reminded me of how extraordinary and wonderful  is the living  natural world . It was a stmulus I think I needed after the shock of Motta, Ethiopia and then the negativity and self obsession of current political discussion in Australia, which I am pleased to have left behind. I am going to have a bit of "me time" and some sailing adventures in the South Seas.

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