Not dead or gone just yet

Where's Walt?

On vacation since November 18--and to me, part of being on vacation is ignoring as much technology as possible. We got back Monday; yesterday was entirely consumed in catching up with email and related work issues--I didn't even log on to the Internet except to check one fact.

We visited the Marquesas islands, for those who care: One of the five archipelagos that make up French Polynesia, with islands such as Fatu Hiva and Nuku Hiva. The cruise (14 days) departed from Papeete in Tahiti (departing is always the best thing to do in Papeete!), and visited five spots on four Marquesan islands, along with Rangiroa in the Tuamotu archipelago and some of "the usual suspects" in the Society Islands--Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahaa, and Tahiti, but not Raratea. (Unfortunately, Bora Bora, which may be one of the most beautiful places on earth, was overcast and raining. Otherwise, the weather was generally good.)

I'm not doing a travelogue, at least not here, not yet. Just noting that lack of entries (and lack of comments on postings!) doesn't necessarily indicate lack of interest. I'll catch up little by little, but will be VERY selective about what gets printed and considered as C&I source material--particularly because another time-dependent thing looms on the close horizon.

(No, we didn't visit any libraries in French Polynesia. Sorry about that. For those with a historical bent, the Marquesas represent an extreme example of what Randy Newman calls "the Great Nations of Europe coming through"--probaby more than 100,000 population prior to first European contact, then down to about 4,000 by WWII, now back up to 8,000 or so thanks to antibiotics to help defend against the wonders of European civilization. Things got off to an unusually bad start: The first Western visit at one island resulted in 200 Marquesan deaths right on the spot.) (Oh, and they weren't "noble savages"--neither noble nor savages.)

That's it for now. Just thought I'd let anyone who cares know that I haven't actually disappeared for good.


First: you lucky dog--er, rather, good for you! Sounds like a great trip. Do let us know if you post pictures somewhere.

Second: I must admit that your subject line brought to my mind the "Bring out yer dead!" scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail . I suppose I'm still captive to all the Monthy Python I watched in my youth and young adulthood. nbruce's journal entry on cheese and religion involuntarily called to mind the scene from The Life of Brian when people on the hillside were mishearing Jesus's words "Blessed are the peacemakers" as "Blessed are the cheesemakers".

Hmm. I actually thought of Mark Twain and his "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," but now that you mention it, "I'm not quite dead yet" works as well.

My wife uses a film camera, so we're unlikely to post pictures. It was a great trip. Unlike our repeated cruises to Alaska, visiting the Marquesas was probably a "once in a lifetime" deal--unless, at some point, we book a cabin on the Aranui II, a combination freighter/cruise ship that delivers supplies to the islands year-round.

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