This is the story of my life so far: 67 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
Returning to France
After several years in French Polynesia, where the capacity for ship maintenance is limited, it was time for the BDC Trieux to
return to France for a long maintenance period.
So, in May 1972, we said goodbye to Papeete and started a two month journey to France.
On the way to Mexico, we stopped for two hours near the only French possession in the North Pacific: Clipperton Island, an inhabited island off the coast of Central America.
To learn why this seemingly unimportant island ended up to be French, you will have to read the Wikipedia entry. It is a fascinating story, but I had no idea at the time because there was no Internet.
Although there is a 6 km2 coral reef, as there is also a small volcanic outcrop rising to 29 m, technically Clipperton is not just an atoll, but an island with a barrier reef.
Salina Cruz, Again
As the speed of the ship was very much dependent on the sea state and the wind, the length of our trip had been set so that even with several days of rough sea and high winds, we would arrive on time in Salina Cruz.
As it happened, we had rather calm sea wind and we were able to be near the coast of Mexico two days early. So, we needed to wait for two days before arriving in Salina Cruz. The crew was not really happy about that.
Salina Cruz Bay and Harbor
We stayed in Salina Cruz for 3 or 4 days. I have no special memories about this stay.
But this time, we did not stay in Panama City, on the Pacific side, but in Colón on the Atlantic side, where we stayed for several days.
In our opinion, Colón was a much less interesting city than Panama City. So, one day, with several other officers of the ship, we took the train and went to visit Panama City.
Newport News, Virginia
From Colón we set course for Newport News, in Virginia.
You might think that this was not a very glamorous port of call that had been chosen for us.
The reason we went to Newport News was that we were taking delivery of some heavy equipment, armament or ammunitions ( I don't remember what it was).
Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth and Norfolk viewed from space
With the other officers, we visited Virginia, and went as far as Virginia Beach.
After leaving Newport News, we crossed the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in the major French Navy port on the Atlantic facade, Brest at the end of June 1972.
View of Brest Harbor, by Pierre Péron
This was the end of my first post, on the BDC Trieux.
At the beginning of July 1972, I went on vacation for two months, not knowing yet where my next post would be.
Continue to Part 42
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Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40