Day M181: How The South Pacific Was Won

26.03.12: The Pacific, south of the equator line, is now complete. Yes, there were a handful of territories – Niue, Tokelau, French Polynesia, Pitcairn & Easter Island – that I skipped, but if the purpose of this adventure is to have great stories to tell the grandkids, I need to finish this quest so I can work on spawning future generations of argumentative scouse dingbats to tell the aforementioned great stories to in the first place. Happily, I did get to visit the French territories of New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna (both of them!) and the US territory of American Samoa, bringing my ‘territory tally’ up to 9. Here’s a rough map I knocked together of the route I took, including ships and dates. Clicky for biggie. MASSIVE THANKS must go to the cargo kings of the Pacific Ocean - Swire, Neptune, PDL, PIL, Reef and…

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Day M104: This is Yesterday

Sun 08.01.12: Yesterday was Sunday 8 January 2012. Last night I went to bed and got I good night’s sleep. This morning I awoke to find it Sunday 8 January 2012 again. While I was sleeping the Southern Lily 2 left Apia, crossed the (newly redrawn) International Date Line and now it’s Sunday again. That’s not a typo. Welcome, friends, to American Samoa. Divided countries, especially ones divided by Western Powers, always strike me as deeply unfair. Samoa and American Samoa share the same language, culture and religion. The only thing separating the two is the conceit of politicians thousands of miles away and more than a century ago. Britain, France, Germany and the US all wanted a slice of Samoa. After some kind of contest (presumably a pissing one), it was agreed that the Samoan islands of Savai’i and ’Upolu would be given to the…

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