Friday, 8 March 2013

What news of Lapérouse?

More than 200 years ago two ships commanded by the explorer Lapérouse foundered on the reef off Vanikoro, a tiny island in the southern Solomon Islands. Amateur divers started exploring the site in 1981 and made several impressive finds. Then in 2003 the discovery of a skull gave impetus to the search for a solution to the mystery of the explorer's disappearance. Shortly before going to the scaffold in 1793 Louis XVI, who instigated the original expedition, reputedly asked: "What news of Lapérouse?"
Claudine Wéry
Guardian Weekly, Friday 8 April 2005

It's a good story, but if I was about to lose my head, I doubt I would be asking such a question. Methinks I would be too busy screaming for mercy. However, yesterday I recalled this question as The Spouse, my brother and I sat looking out over the waters of La Perouse on one of those perfect days you can only dream about.  We three get together on a fairly regular basis, meeting up for lunch at various locations around the city.

It was time for fish 'n chips and if it's fish 'n chips, it has to be at historic La Perouse.  

Where else could you sit on the balcony of a seafood café and take in beautiful harbour views?  I can only hope that Monsieur Lapérouse had such glorious days when his little fleet anchored here over two hundred years ago.

As we live on the other side of the Harbour, we drove across the Anzac Bridge, through the city and out to the Bay.  Did I mention that it was a perfect day?

Perhaps the sun distracted this sky writer or maybe he's dyslectic. Upside down AND back to front, all while piloting an aircraft.  That surely takes a special talent.  (Memo to self: clean the windscreen.)

I like to think that this seagull was pondering the question, "What news of Lapérouse?"  But in reality he was probably after our chips.

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