Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

Theroux's Marquesas

April 28, 1991

Paul Theroux's article was astonishingly maladroit for someone of his international reputation.

The Tuamotu Islands are indeed notorious shipwreckers, not because of their "shoals and poor anchorages"--there are no shoals and the anchorages inside the passes to the atoll lagoons are certainly better than those found in the neighboring Marquesas--but because of the unpredictability of the currents that flow around these low islands setting unvigilant ships onto their reefs at night.

A "wake" is the disturbed water left astern of a ship: Theroux's "bow wake" is thus an oxymoron. "Bow wave" is what he was dimly aiming for.

Theroux traveled on a 343-foot cargo passenger vessel and wonders, "How else could one visit all these empty . . . islands except by such a ship?" As a travel writer his eye must be seriously questioned if he failed to notice the overcrowding of foreign cruising yachts at every island he visited.

PETER BRAYTON NICHOLS

Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|