Chronicle of a voyage around the world

LOST ISLANDS OF THE WESTERN PACIFIC

Published on 01 august 2015 at 0h00

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Rose Island, the forbidden atoll... I could start like this: “Allow me to announce to you that the corvette ‘l’Uranie’ has discovered, to the east of the Navigator’s archipelago, a small island which is to be found on none of the most recent charts of these seas, and that the Captain of the aforementioned corvette has named this island Rose. It has therefore been done, my name is now attached to a small point on the globe (a very small one, in fact, because envious people would perhaps only call it an islet, which it is); encountered at night, it could have been fatal for us, in the place where, as it is marked on the expedition charts, we will from now on beware, and no one, I hope, will perish on the dangers which surround Rose Island.” Journal du voyage autour du monde à bord de l’Uranie 1817 – 1820. Thus wrote Rose de Saulces de Freycinet, in her log book on 21st October 1819, after the discovery of the little atoll (which bears her name) by the French vessel captained by her husband, the geographer and explorer Louis de Saulces de Freycinet. She had the nerve to follow him aboard at the age of 23, against all the accepted behavior at the time. Rose was thus the second French woman to sail round the world... Situated in the South Pacific, around 150 miles south-east of Pago Pago, look for Rose somewhere between the Cook, Samoa and Tonga Islands. The little atoll is American, and is part of the US territory of Samoa. Rose is an uninhabited atoll, which ...

This article appeared in issue 143. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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