This was the place where we saw the butterflies the last time around. This time it is where I played shuffleboard (silver medalist here which tells you how really horribly we all were…) in the morning before even thinking about tackling the crowds and the tenders.
Speaking of the tenders, as you might remember, the first stop where we had tenders the ship attempted an early bird special figuring, like the last time around, at Isle of Pines that they would not even fill a tender. Wrong – 300+ people up and ready to get off the ship. So today the early bird was only a half hour. Extended to an hour. Extended to two hours. Extended to three hours before they gave up and declared open tendering. Go figure, Perhaps fourth of five ports, but in any case I think people were a bit tired from all the late night parties.
But anyway – Lifou as I know now is part of the Loyalty Islands (part of New Caledonia which I would have known had I bothered to either read anything about it or attempt to have local currency). The island was neither discovered or named by Captain Cook (you remember him…) so the choices are either an English sea captained named Raven (1793) or a French explorer/scholar – Admiral Dumont d’Urville (1827). The latter is responsible for all the classical Greek nomenclature. Lifou escaped the worst of the disease devastation brought by the whalers to the region. It wasn’t until 1853 (Napoleon III) that France really had claim to the area and promptly started exporting convicts and political prisoners, but since this particular island was so small, it was skipped as a good settlement location.
2014 should prove to be interesting as there will finally be a referendum on staying a French Territory vs Independence.