Monday, 30 September 2013


Sorry cant seem to publish all your wonderful comments coming in. Mary I am no longer on ozemail - use my gmail address. Havent been able to buy a phone or data sim card. Maybe today when I reach Hiva Oa. Its now 4am ish. Cocks have crowed. Must rush. Airport beckons.

Dinner was delish

I tore myself from the second empty glass and headed for the Rouletto or some such that was the square with vans, food and people. I chose the blue van which my taxi driver said had the best poisson en cru. From research I knew this was the signature dish of French Poly. Ordered. Sat down. Soon this large plate/bowl arrived. I worked my way through every gorgeous mouthful realising I had eaten an also ran quality of same at lunchtime. I am aware of 'cooking' raw fish with lemon juice, but these small pieces seemed to done with coconut milk. The 'salad' of cucumber and tomato were mixed through.  I cant believe how velvety soft and dissolving the fish was. Truly manna from heaven. Despite being full as a goog, I headed off to the creperie van (again as per taxi drivers instruction). Normally I dont do sweet but bravely lashed out and ordered a banana and chocolate crepe. It arrived folded into a rectangle. Between the folds oozed wonderful melted chocolate intermixed with soft cooked banana slices. All of it melted the moment it was in my mouth. And it didnt feel heavy or too rich. And I really enjoyed it. What a wonderful superb start to the French Poly holiday.  I found my taxi driver again, and she dropped me back at the hotel. She decided she didnt want to be paid for the return trip, but it wasnt fair. She like so many others will never have the privilege of travelling like I do. But it does indicate their warm hospitality. Oh and trusting. She didnt want me to pay when we first got into the city and said I could pay later. Might ask for that trust from the Hobart cabbies. Hmmm. Mayhe not.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The tour highlight was the authentic food

There are lots of advantages in being here on Sunday when shops are closed. This is the day when,  after church in amazing decorated hats - I have a photo, people eat. Its the day of eating whether at home or out at a restaurant. So where we lunched at the Gauguin Museum which was minus the museum, there was a smorgasbord option with local authentic meals. What good fortune! Our tour driver explained everything, Principally, polynesia is not about spicy rather about sweet and salty. But after lunch, i have to say that the sweet and salty are immensely restrained and I loved everything. No surprises. Everything about raw fish and coconut milk. Three different varieties of banana - the most delectible morsel was boiled ladies fingers banana  with a sweet vinegar marinade and cucumber sensation in the flavor. Looked disgusting like a child's tongue. Was a pinky colour and initially we (the new york couple celebrating her birthday in first class and then staying in those outrageously expensive bures on Bora Bora but still managed to be good company) thought meat (because we forgot what we were told). It was amazing. And there was much much more to the excitement of the food.

Alcohol is not trustworthy

Or is it the drinker? I had a firm resolve when I left the brasserie to go and eat, but here I am in the next brasserie with another delightful Hinano. I am not finding the climate so trying like I did when I arrived last night. Good. I need to be a little acclimatised before I get to the Marqisis tomorrow.

Sunday is beginning to end

So much to say about today's tour but already evening is starting. No dinner outlets open near hotel so have taxied to the capital Papeete. Told female driver I wanted authentic Polynesian food. She dropped me at the wharf area near some caravan based vendors in an open square and told me in an hour it will be hopping with people and the best of local food.  Tables and chairs are being set out and it looks like it will be 1 huge party. I have wandered away and found a brasserie. Sitting in retro chairs this place has a wonderful worn feel about it. Drinking the local beer - Hinano. More like a draft than  a lager. Perfect for my slightly sunburnt body that is still slippery with sun protection lotion. That is, it is perfect because it makes me relax from being so hot - the last part of the tour was driving into the hot sun and even though the air conditioning was working, it warmed me up. Not sure of the alcoholic content of this beer, but I am having to correct lots of mistakes. Almost dark at a little after 6pm and being closer to the equator tomorrow will mean darkness comes even sooner then - just when Tassie's days are lengthening. Wow I really feel relaxed. Guess another beer is out of the question.

Point of Venus

For those who had read earlier blogs, you know this was on my must do list. This was where Captain Cook had tried to record the transit of  the planet Venus over the sun - as part of a number of people on earth trying to calculate celestial distances. What I reminded my driver was that Charles Darwin on another occasion stopped here. It is not clear why this eminent personage is not in local reckoning. I took photos but it is all rather well trodden perhaps by millions of locals and tourists since then, and doesnt have much in the way of redeeming features. Stacks of people swimming off the rich black sand shore. Hand size crabs scurrying into python sized holes in the black soil. Apparently they taste like mud unless kept in a cage and fed coconut to clean them out. So not much to say about the markers of earlier western civilisation encroaching; a 1867 lighthouse once manual and now electronic, a white painted cement monstrosity recording Capt Cook's visit, and a bizarre memorial to the missionaries. A triathlon was underway nearby - events these days are so global.  With nothing to hold us, we set off again.

A permanent dazed smile

There have been a great many fortunate things about today so far. The cloudy sky became blue and the sun sparkled on the rain cleaned trees. My advance reading had prepared me for genuine hospitality. When the message for me to meet my tour driver down on the street, did not reach me until I asked and being late I set off with a dash down the goat track, I was met by very relaxed driver Vinioo who seemed remarkably unworried. She sat me up front next to her and the 2 couples sat behind. This meant I had a brilliant unobstructed view and I soaked it all up. What a wonderful tour it was in both English and French, but because I was next to her I could easily ask lots of questions. Marvellous. We travelled first to Papeete and being Sunday everything was shut. But the great advantage was that there were few people and few cars, so I could see any building or situation of note. I certainly wasnt interested in shopping. After collecting the final couple we were on our way.

I am now in Bonjour and Merci territory

My sing song Parisian Bonjour accent doesnt cut it here in Auckland as I board my Air Tahiti plane. I need a different tone. Because this plane is continuing on to Los Angeles, I thought there might be too many loud spoken travellers. Thankfully its mostly New Zealand tourists and local residents.

Apres le petit dejeuner

There is something about warmth, humidity and bare arms that make you relax into a holiday. After a breakfast of fresh croissant with jam, amidst tables of french speakers, I am ensconced on patio furniture watching ferries on the water. In the distance with some puff white toppings is the majestic island of Moorea. I imagine hundreds of tourists and the occasional local resident travelling back and forth. Obviously a comparatively young island geologically because it has all its hard and sharp mountainous edges. My view of the sea off Tahiti from my hotel verandah, shows breakers somewhat offshore ringing the edge with, I suppose, under- water reefs. That white frill is a nice decorative touch.


Simply want to record the fact that there is no ceiling fan, and the airconditioner doesnt work and I can only open the window 2 inches. But its character building and its good to get used to being too warm. And John you will smile when I tell you there aren't large cockroaches in evidence just those small soft light brown ones on the walls. So I have zippered up my suitcase.  The room is fine. Its clean, and spartan. Need to go out to Bora Bora and some other islands to get the plush resort hotels. Changing the subject, I can see my blog but cant get in for some reason, and so sorry I cant change the spelling mistakes. Thank goodness I can continue my story via this email method.

Now in Tahiti

Looking forward to a good night's sleep and up ready for around day trip tomorrow. The entrance into  Tahiti airport building was a surprise. Two singers with ukeleles and a gyrating dancer not looking particularly touristy, and softly musical in a nice way. Then when I came out into the public waiting area there were lots of people greeting friends and spreading real floral necklaces over their necks, everywhere. It was fantastic. Wish someone had been meeting me. I and a few others, without floral tributes, headed to our hotel on the hill up a steep dark lane laughing all the while about goat tracks. But I should have a spectacular view in the morning. Glad to have arrived.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Downtown Auckland

Wish I was wearing my thermal. Sitting having bowl hot buttery pumkin soup  for breakfast. Outside an endless stream of motor bikes like our Hobart fun run but without the kids toys. Missed the 10am ferry to Devonport by a minute or two and next not for an hour so too late for me. Wandered into big shed marked tourist market. Three stands open. Over to refurbished wharf shed with sign Auckland Heritage Festival. Another example for your PhD thesis Isabel. I was one of few visitors walking around, but the organisers were all trying things out and having a great time. Wonder how much government funding went into giving these artists a chance to do something for the people. The washed yellow sun is seeping through the cloud layer. Might be a nice spring day here soon.  Almost time for me to return to the airport. 45 mins to city so very glad I stayed at airport hotel.

The joys of travel

When we arrived late into Auckland at what I imagined was 12.30am, I discovered daylight saving started at midnight and so it was now an hour later. In bed by 2.30am and can strongly recommend Novetel Airport Hotel. But at 7am (4am Hobart time) a phone call noise woke me from the deep, I couldnt reach it in time, then couldnt return to sleep. So I am up and about to go into Auckland on this cool morning. Let the adventure continue.

A flight back into the past

I can hardly believe the food I have been served for dinner tonight on Air Tahiti Nui from Auckland to Papeete. It has taken me back to 1970s rural Tasmania. Of the two choices, I chose the chicken dinner.  There were small lumps and by texture it was clear they were chicken. But it was the orange neon florescence of the textureless sauce that was stunning. Almost the orange colour that will be seen in fashionable clothes this coming summer. And not the reddish tone one sees in the bain maries of sweet and sour dishes in lunchtime takeaways. The breadroll had collapsed on itself. The desert was Frangipani Apricot cake and this was where even Mrs Marjorie Bligh, cook extraordinaire from Tassie's north west coast, would have been left speechless. I remember those not quite sponge cakes with jam sandwiched between that were sold to people who couldn't cook or didn't cook at the end of the 1970s. In this day and age of style, freshness and healthiness being presented in food on all the airlines that I have travelled in recent years, I am astounded that the trend has not reached French Polynesia's national airline. An amazing disappointment. But perhaps a reality check of what is to come. But it is all part of ongoing education. Wonderful that that is.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Eyes that listen

Here is something for the musicians and lovers of certain kinds of music. From Gauguin's writing in his 'Intimate Journals': 'In an exhibition on the Boulevard des Italiens I see a strange head. I do not know why something happened inside of me, why I should have heard strange melodies in front of a picture. The head of a doctor, very pale, with eyes that do not look at you, do not see, but listen. In the catalogue I read, "Wagner, by Renoir".'

'Spend yourself...'

Tonight I finished reading Gauguin's 'Intimate Journals'. What an interesting read that book has been over the past weeks. Extraordinary life and intelligence. I rather loved him when he said 'Let me get my breath and cry once more: "Spend yourself, spend yourself again! Run till you are out of breath and die madly! Prudence ... how you bore me with your endless yawning!' A sentiment with something in common to that of Dylan Thomas: '...Rage, rage against the dying of the light....'

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Mural in Triabunna referring to French explorer Baudin

In response to my post exploring Swansea's connections to Tahiti, well-known artist Chantale Delrue alerted me that in 2003, she painted a mural in Triabunna (on the east coast of Tasmania)as part of the 'Bi-centenary of Tasmania' celebrations. The theme of the mural was the French explorer Baudin's expedition. I guess Chantale could be accused of being slyly subversive; after all it was representatives of the English crown who took the initiative against French occupation of the southern Australasian continent and got the country going on an English basis. However, in the first few years of this century there was strong feeling that our Tasmanian French heritage should be recognised and even if it did not directly fit within the dates of the Bi-centennial, the French legacy remains. And what remains of Chantale's mural - apparently it has faded over time and a supermarket sign is now layered on top of it. If you are in Triabunna, please send me a photo and I will add it on to the blog.

CFP francs

Today I bought some money for French Polynesia and the notes are so pretty. The CFP franc (called the franc in everyday use) is the currency used in French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna. The initials CFP stand for Change Franc Pacifique (“French Pacific Exchange”). These 1000 franc notes have on the front right a decorative woman with the title of Le Directeur. Her hair falls in waves around her shoulders and behind an ear are a mass of white flowers. A necklace of these then morphs into a garment of red leafy like petals. To the left of the director is the side view of what seems to be a colonial women as the watermark in a white otherwise featureless circle. Underneath are the words Le Directeur General (but of what period and whom I have no idea) Next to the circle is a trio of high palm trees behind which is a traditional hut with further palms and mountains in the distance. With the exception of various squares containing numbers most of the remainder of this side of the large note is covered in symbolic floral icons in a decorative white and pinky orange pattern. On the reverse, a couple of deers, a westernised white washed church, another style of indigenous house, two white birds and a pair of totem like poles indicating wooden carvings. Various forms of vegetation give a back drop to these features. The decorative fill on this side of the note is a similar pinky orange colour but this time it consists of geometric shapes. This configuration made me think of the specialised tattooing that I expect to see - apparently the Marquesas in its history has had some extraordinarily wonderful (although early explorers said they were barbaric and savage)tattoos typically across the face as well as the body. Certainly Herman Melville's book 'Typee' (discussed in an earlier blog posting) gave lots of precise details about the tattoo lines going across eyelids, etc. This all makes me question what I might do if confronted with the opportunity to get a face tattoo (do I hear an intake of breath somewhere). I recall after a visit to Cornwall a few years ago, where I was able to get a temporary tattoo of a panther which stayed long and large on my arm for days - people edged away a little when I went to the opera with arms exposed. I suspect I am only brave enough for the temporary not the permanent markers. Back to the notes; trusty Google tells me 'All banknotes are strictly identical from New Caledonia to French Polynesia. One side of the banknotes shows landscapes or historical figures of French Polynesia, while the other side of the banknotes shows landscapes or historical figures of New Caledonia." And now I have discovered the 1000 CFP note has a Tahitian Woman with Hibiscus Flowers on the front side,and the Local Animals and Mission Church are at Vao, Isle of Pines for the reverse. This is the image of the front side:

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Dominican Republic, Bulgaria, and Tunisia

What is the connection between all those countries with people looking at my blog and Tahiti. It turns out that beach soccer is the link between Tahiti and the country of many of my viewers. Already you know from an earlier blog that Russia is a soccer competitor for Tahiti, and that the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup takes place from 18–28 September 2013 (the day I arrive is its last day) at Tahua To'ata Stadium (Stade Tahua To'ata) in Papeete, Tahiti. Russia is the defending champion – I wonder what I will learn on Saturday night. It turns out the Dominican Republic, Bulgaria, and Tunisia all have soccer teams and play Tahiti. But it doesn’t seem that Tahiti plays so well – check this site: When I have time, I will research some other countries for their connections.

Tall Ships leave Hobart. Which tall ship first saw a French Polynesian island?

When you fly into any large city airport, and look back at where you came from, often you see a line of planes at set distances and at different heights on their approach to landing behind you. I saw a clear resemblance between that situation and with the line up of the tall ships today as they motored towards the Tasman Bridge; each craft keeping a distance in front of them to allow the ship ahead to elegantly approach the bridge and run up various sails, then turn in a leisurely arc amidst a flurry of water traffic out for sightseeing, before heading back past the regatta stand in all their glory. From time to time various marine horns sounded and their booms bounced around the air. The whistling steam boat added an extra dimension to the festival atmosphere. Many different craft from ferries to kayaks to motor boats to water skis and an assortment of yachts tacked and tacked and tacked again to follow the ships with their long white water streams along the Derwent Harbor. The Mercury newspaper snapped this great shot: My Sydney friend Liz tells me these tall ships are due to make a spectacle in the Sydney Harbour on October 2nd, and having watched the 'speed' of the departure of these tall ships I can understand the trip north won't break any Hobart-Sydney records. But what a wonderful adventure for those new passengers who are on board just for that trip. All of this made me wonder which tall ship first visited Tahiti. There is debate about which explorer and therefore which tall ships first reached some part of what is now French Polynesia. One theory is that navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, serving the Spanish Crown in an expedition to Terra Australis, was perhaps the first European to set eyes on the island of Tahiti. His 3 ships were the San Pedro y San Pablo (150 tons), San Pedro (120 tons) and the tender (or launch) Los Tres Reyes. Apparently he sighted an inhabited island on 10 February 1606. However, whether the island that he saw was actually Tahiti or not has not been fully ascertained. According to other authors the real discoverer of Tahiti was Spanish explorer Juan Fernández in his expedition of 1576–1577. Apparently Juan Fernandez set sail from Valaparaiso (regrettably, I cannot find the name of his ship/s. After heading west for one month along the 40th parallel south, in the spring of 1576 they arrived in an island described as "mountainous, fertile, with strong-flowing rivers, inhabited by white peoples, and with all the fruits necessary to live". I think this may be some of the Marquesas Islands. Alternatively, explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira took four ships, San Gerónimo (the Capitana), the Santa Ysabel (the Almiranta), the smaller frigate Santa Catalina and the galiot San Felipe and left Callao, South America on 9 April 1595. On 21 July 1595 the ships reached the Marquesas Islands. So many canvases may have been billowing off Tahiti and/or the Marquesas for over 400 years.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Why have South Koreans been visiting my blog?

I couldn't work it out. Why would South Korea people be visiting my blog, in the numbers they have been. Wonderful Google provided the answer. 'Tahiti (stylized as TAHITI; Korean:타히티) is a six-member South Korean pop girl group formed by Dreamstar Ent in 2012. They debuted on July 23, 2012 with their first single "Tonight".' I smile as I think what a disappointment this blog must be to devotees of the girl band. If you are interested read more at I noted they have a sit-com reality program - I think my reality program for the next couple of weeks will be better.

It pays to be persistent - and not to worry

My Marquesas Island skipper had warned me Tahiti shuts down for Sundays (and I arrive in Tahiti late Sat night and I leave almost before sunup on Monday. I checked with my Tahiti hotel whether I could get an around day trip tour on Sunday (I want to see the Point of Venus and stand in the shoes of Captain Cook and Charles Darwin, and I want to at least pass through the two towns where the French artist Paul Gauguin lived. The hotel said no and confirmed nothing was available on Sunday. So I sent off many emails to all the tour providers and I am now booked on a round trip for Sunday which will take me where I want to go (well that is what I am led to believe) and much more.I now suspect some of the other 'nos' from the hotel may in fact turn out to be yeses- well that's to he hoped for. Especially since one is the necessary data sim card so I can write and send you my blogs! But what will be will be. ...I refuse to tell you I am counting the sleeps to go before I am in Gauguin territory.

The look of Tahiti in 1888

Weeks ago I wrote a series of posts about Robert Louis Stevenson's connection with French Polynesia. Sister June has discovered an absolutely deliciously dissolute (well that's my interpretation) photo of this author (with stepson who had inspired 'Treasure Island') at addition, there is new information about his work and time in Tahiti. But here is the photo with Stevenson seated:

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Swansea and France

Today I travelled north to the Tasmanian east coast town of Swansea to listen to a concert by the highly esteemed Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra chorus. Francophiles may already know that the east coast of Tasmania has a French heritage: this connection was recognised during the concert when two songs were sung in French. As always I look for connections with my current life and my adventure to come in French Polynesia - but today the connections are difficult to make. But it is worth noting that French explorer Nicolas Baudin, who came to our Tasmanian east coast, did try and get to Tahiti but his government wouldn’t approve his plan. Earlier, one of Baudin’s compatriots had taken up the challenge: Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (1729–1811) travelled the world to find the great southern continent, but after reaching Tahiti and the Hebrides he stopped short of the Queensland coast. It was a fierce and uncertain world then: Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne sailed from Mauritius to land on Tasmania in 1772, but did not find mainland Australia. He turned east, instead, to New Zealand where he and a number of his crew were killed and eaten by Maoris. Bruny d'Entrecasteaux visited southern Tasmania in 1792. The 1803 Baudin Expedition brought Freycinet to the east coast of Tasmania. Swansea was established in the 1820’s and is one of Tasmania’s oldest towns close by to our Freycinet National Park. While the English came to Australia mainly to colonise it, the French came for mostly for the purpose of discovery/science: the places, the plants and the people. A lot of scientists were on board the French ships that came with expertise in agriculture and horticulture. As well as names remaining, so too did some of the gardens they established when they were exploring. There is one that was recently discovered at Recherche Bay, left behind by the French explorers in the 1700s. The Freycinet peninsula (see Freycinet's original 19th century map) and national park were named after Louis and/or Henri de Freycinet, officers from Baudin's expedition. Also, the highest peak in the Hazard Range is Mt Freycinet. From Baudin's expedition, many places were named after Frenchman on board including: Cape and Mount Baudin, Taillefer (doctor) Rocks, Capes Peron (zoologist), Bernier (astronomer), Bailly (zoologist), Boullanger and Faure (geographers), Bay Reidle (gardener), Maurouard (petty officer), Lesueur (artist - his works from Tasmania are on display in the Le Havre museum in NW France) and on Maria Island Point Mauge (a zoologist who died there). A number of these remain as well as other places named at the time including Ile du Nord (on Maria Island) and Point Geographe. Refer to

Friday, 20 September 2013

Using the technology

Google's blogger site has given me a special email address which allows me to type my posting into an offline email and then when my gmail goes online, the posting will automatically be added to my blog.  So this is to test whether in fact such a miracle will occur.

Weather and time

How I love Google and this moment in history when all information is at one's finger tips. Thought I would see what the weather will be like when I reach Tahiti next Saturday. It will be about 27 degrees and about 22 degrees overnight. During the day, presumably before I arrive at 9pm, there will have been thunderstorms. On Sunday when I have the day to fill, it will be about 29 degrees max and 67% humidity with some cloud which is all incredibly liveable - of course this a country which measures temperatures in Fahrenheit rather than Celcius - its been so long since I have had to do the calculations. But thanks to wonderful Google, I can make the calculation without thinking. A much earlier posting explained the time differences, but I have just checked the time in Papeete just now - its Friday afternoon (yes I will be crossing the international date line) at 4.30pm as I write this on Saturday at 12.30pm. So I will be behind you by 20 hours - almost a day. This means as I travel over there I get two Saturdays. But on the return I lose the time.

Tall Ships

Yesterday a dozen or so 'tall ships' arrived in Hobart from around the world, for a week long 'festival'. These are sailing ships from the past. There is the Dutch 'Oosterschelde', the Danish 'Soren Larsen', the Dutch 'Europa', and the 'Tecla' from the Netherlands. In addition the 'Young Endeavour', the 'Windeward Bound', the 'Lord Nelson' and the 'Lady Nelson' are all here. And local more modern wooden sailing boats are also joining the party. As I travelled to work yesterday, there were some coming up the Derwent Harbour with their many sails full of wind. What a wonderful spectacle. After work, I walked down to the wharves and had a look at each of them berthed for the occasion. It seems miles of rigging swing up there in the air high above us. Many stout tall trees have lost their lives to get a new 'life' as the many masts on these vessels. I imagine these tall ships are many times the size of Wendy Windblows, the ketch in which I will sail around the Marquesas Islands. These tall ships gave me a reality check about what size I might expect. But already I can imagine feeling the breeze in my hair, seeing the sparkle on the waves and smelling the salt spray on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A slight connection from Captain Joshua Slocum

You know how I look for connections between my life and my forthcoming visit to French Polynesia - well one was handed to me on a plate. One of my managers, an enthusiast of boats, was excited when I explained I would be sailing around the Marquesas Islands for a great adventure on a ketch which I wasn't familiar with. He loaned me a copy of a book titled Captain Joshua Slocum The adventures of America's Best Known Sailor - written by son Victor Slocum. It is an extraordinary book telling the life and challenges faced by Slocum across the seas in the 19th century. Around 1895 he built a ketch (The Spray), and became the first person to sail around the world alone - and the boat was only 36 feet long! Pretty impressive. I was particularly alert when in late May 1896 Slocum remarked that he passed without stopping 'the high and beautiful island of Nukuhiva'. I look forward to seeing this island from the sea within the next three weeks. I will touch down at the Nuku Hiva airport en route to the island Hiva Oa, Saturday week, but eventually I will sail back to Nuku Hiva to finish my glorious adventure. Then I loved the fact that Slocum, after passing the Marquesas continued on via Samoa to Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. I enjoyed a number of wonderful working sojourns in Newcastle and it was the place I was married amidst lots of very happy friends. But I wonder what Slocum was seeing there in spring 1896 - I wonder what the city/town looked like then. From Newcastle, Slocum continued south towards Melbourne and then on 25 January 1897 he crossed Bass Strait and stayed awhile at Beauty Point on Tasmania's north east. From there he sailed west to Devonport where, as he was leaving on the 16 April 1897, he remarked 'Tasmania is the fruit garden of the world'. Even when I lived in Devonport in the early 1970s, many of the surrounding small towns were focused on apple growing and other fruit orchards. Regrettably over the years, as the world's need for fruit changed, orchards were plowed under. Now there is a revival of interest and a great deal of fruit is grown again in the district. Slocum was based in Devonport for 3 or so months and Devonport's Joshua Slocum Park remains today as a recognition of his great feat (he was really only half way around the world when he was near my home town). Will have a look at the Park with different eyes next time I am up there for the opera.