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Revived Bougainville Voyage Fails

  • June 3rd, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

boudeuse-advent-free.jpgThe expedition using the three-masted sailing ship La Boudeuse despatched from France last November to probe the effects of climate change has run  out of funds and been stopped half way through.

bougainville-2.jpgThe vessel was named for one of the two ships, the other being Etoile, under the command of Admiral Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, on the first French circumnavigation of the Earth, 1766-69.

Le Monde reports (2.6.10) that the 21st Century namesake got half way through its mission, having crossed the Atlantic, plied the coast of French Guyana, and then sailed on to Venezuela to investigate the Orinoco basin.

It got to Caracas, and was then sent to a French Caribbean naval base, where it is expected to be sold to pay creditors.

The expedition began boldly with a commission from the French government, replicating the famous commission given to Bougainville by Louis XV, sending the navy to search for knowledge (no doubt also, strategic advantage), instead of directly going off to engage in war.

While women participated openly in the 2009-10 replay, the celebrated Jeanne Baré, thought to have been the sweetheart of a botanist under Bougainville, had to board ship disguised as a bloke – later to be unmasked.

The Admiral, as a  man of the Enlightenment and great navigator, ensured a healthy and safe return for his expedition, during which only seven lives were lost out of a complement of 200, remarkable for its time — and one of those lives was not that of Ms Barre.

Far from being thrown overboard as the superstition of earlier times would demand, she achieved fame as the first woman to sail around the world.

NOTE: Reports on Jessica Watson (EUAustralia 6 and 16.5.10) refer: Jeanne had the aid of some menfolk on the journey, but neither GPS nor blog, (ed).


Le Monde, Paris,  2.6.10, Fin d’expédition pour “La Boudeuse”, (End of the ‘La Boudeuse’ expedition),  [email protected], (3.6.10).

Wikipedia, Luis-Anotine de Bougainville, 1729-1811. wiki/Louis_Antoine_de_Bougainville#The_first_French_circumnavigation, (3.6.10).