Safe landing! And Happy B-day, Australia!

Kia ora my fellow ocean travellers!

As we approach the landing site after sailing across the seven seas, I just want to say: It was a pleasant journey!

And as I ponder over the experience, I wonder whether we have all reached the Happy Isles. Hopefully, we won’t get there in a disarray, as it was the case with the epic First Fleet after its arrival on the fair land of OZ, an event remembered each year at the upcoming January 26 Australia Day celebrations.

When the First Fleet left Botany Bay to sail north in search of a better future (little they knew that Sydney Harbour was just around the bend), they paraded before French Captain La Perouse’s expedition. The following is an account of what happened, excerpted from a great book, The Fatal Shore, by Robert Hughes:

“The departing English now gave the French a spectacular show of fumbling.  Friendship rammed Prince of Wales, losing her jib boom. Charlotte nearly ran on the rocks, clawed off and cannoned into Friendship. Lady Penrhyn just avoided ramming her amidships.”

….the birth of a nation!!!

Wish you all a safe docking, and see you on land.

Ka kite ano!

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles……

Ulysses, by Alfred Tennyson

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