Tahiti – In the Footsteps of Melville and Gauguin

image1 (7)Pape’ete is a big city! It sprawls along the shore of the island of Tahiti whose center is high, trailing off to the south with a long ridge. We came in past the island of Mo’orea where we’ll go for a day, leaving here at 5 AM tomorrow morning. We back in to our pier, right across from the Aremiti Ferry.

Several conversations overheard this morning as I sat in the Crow’s Nest watching us approach. One centered on what the speakers view as a stupid rule: the restriction that these vessels must touch in a foreign country once during a cruise, thereby prohibiting, for instance, cruises up and down the East coast.

image2 (4)Am re-reading Kinds of Love by May Sarton. I know I’ve mentioned it before but I’m struck again at how well she gets the coming on of age, the shifting of tides within a long marriage, the strengths that come to light as weakness invades. You hear pieces of Sarton’s poetry in the descriptions. Christina, a Boston “summer person” in the small New Hampshire town of the book, is a journal keeper like myself, and there are wonderful passages in which she reflects on the different reasons she keeps a journal. Tom has just begun the book.

The clouds move fast on and off these islands. As we left Mo’orea last night right before sundown, without a camera in hand, there were spires of rock much like those in Torres del Paine that revealed themselves. Tom wishes he were still 6704teaching Melville. We realize Omoo is not as we always thought it, but rather Omo’o. And you understand why Melville and Stevenson and Gauguin were so enthralled by the ocean and the land here.

We are sad to know of the death of our dear friend, Fred Goode. Sad for us, but we know he was ready and had been waiting for a long time.

[Editor’s Note: Posts have been sporadic due to transmission problems from the high seas. – TCB Jr., whose family nickname, Tommo, also comes from Melville. ]

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