October 8th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
The Taporo loading at Hiva Oa

We made good progress today – I should think we’re about 400 miles away from Taurango now, which means another four days, assuming the winds are respectably kind.  There’s been quite a lot of bird life around the boat – albatrosses, gannets, what I think are stormy petrels, plus some others.  Doug is a dreadful New Zealand chauvinist.  He clearly regards it as God’s own country, is convinced that everyone who visits must want to stay, + can’t conceive why anyone should possibly want to live anywhere else.  He may be right of course, but personally his overwhelming enthusiasm makes me want to find him wrong. 

The gannets flying around the boat were particularly impressive this afternoon, + Doug told us he thought they were peculiar to NZ!  And I’ve seen millions of the buggers round England!  He also has a serious grudge against the Common Market.  I don’t know the circumstances of the rupture between Britain + NZ, but apparently it hit the Kiwis pretty hard.  But really it seems to me it can only be to NZ’s benefit in the long run.  An over-dependence on a single market on the other side of the world can’t be an economically healthy situation.

We ate the last of the potatoes tonight, with the last of the steak.  As Doug says, “There’s a lot of sadness at sea.”  We were able to listen to the Tauranga radio station today, coming in very clear, so we must be getting a bit close.  And on the subject of my itching, I’ve returned to my former diagnosis + decided I’ve got bugs.  It’s not too bad during the day-time, but trying to get to sleep the buggers plague the life out of me – I start scraping ferociously at my skin on virtually my entire body.  Still, with any luck we’ll be there soon, + I’ll be able to drown the bastards in hot soapy water.

At last, some positive indications of land, and the end of this particular bit of our adventure. I really do seem to be very down on Doug at present, one result of too much close proximity.

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