Macron, that is Mr Macron, French President, is visiting French Polynesia this weekend. He’ll be here for 4 days, whizzing around the different Polynesian island groups, in the way politicians do. An uneasy relationship exists with mainland France. The reason, nuclear testing. France conducted dozens of tests here, the last one being in 1996. Some of the atolls where tests were carried out are still off limits.
Among locals there’s a feeling of disregard for the lives of islanders. In 1974, the fallout from a test drifted unexpectedly over Papeete and the Society Islands. It’s estimated 110,000 were affected by nuclear radiation fallout. And that there was a massive cover up by the french authorities. Cancer cases rocketed afterwards and to date only 63 citizens have received compensation, even though many more payouts have supposedly been agreed. Soldiers and contractors involved in working at the test sites have been paid out but not the uninvolved citizens.
Macron is apparently going to address the nuclear issue on this visit. We’ll be following the local news to see what transpires.
On Saturday several roads downtown will have restricted use due to Macron’s visit. A local chap has been servicing our tow generator and is due to drop it off this Saturday. Tom, a friend, who was also getting something dropped off said to the chap, “you do know about the road closures. It might be tricky to get here.” “Yes” he said, “I’ve got my tomatoes ready. And they’re green not red. Red ones are too soft whereas green ones have impact!”.
And here’s some boaty news for you boaty people out there. Life in the marina is busy. We have new dyneema guard rails. The generator works again. It hasn’t done so for a while. Dave managed to source a second hand high pressure pump which did the trick. The dinghy has had an overhaul. The chain has been over-ended and remarked. The water maker has been pickled. Dave said he felt like Walter in Breaking Bad measuring out chemicals. I said if you have cash stashed in a locker you need to tell me now. There is no cash.
This week’s projects involve engine hoses, batteries and paperwork for coming home. 7 days and 8 hours till takeoff.