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The Islands

Time Forgot

Exploring the South Pacific Under Sail

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We had long dreamed of crossing the Pacific but always found reasons to put it off. After I recovered from a serious illness I knew the time had come. When the gates of the Panama Canal opened onto the Pacific Ocean there was no turning back. The book is the story of our adventure— a story not without its dangers, incident and tragedy, but one we will always cherish.


Our voyage took us to legendary islands—the Galapagos, the Marquesas, Tahiti and French Polynesia. The Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, Tonga and Fiji— islands made famous by Captain Cook, Captain Bligh and Robert Louis Stevenson, and as we sailed in their wake we imagined the drama and romance of their voyages to these remote outposts.




We were entranced by the mysteries of French Polynesia, welcomed into homes of humble people, learnt traditional dances in the Marquesas and invited to village feasts wherever we went. I swam with seals in the Galapagos and lost the fear of swimming with sharks. In Tonga I swam so close to hump back whales I could have touched them. We swam with pearl fishers in the Tuamotos and were the guests of honour at chief’s celebrations in Fiji. Often we visited remote islands that had no contact or communication with the outside world other than occasional visiting yachtsmen. They welcomed us as if we were long lost relations. The gulf in our societies was brought home to me most vividly by an eleven year old boy form a small island in Tonga who looked at me intently and asked, “What’s it like in your village?”


This is not just a book for sailors who dream of making such a voyage but for
all armchair travellers who have yearned to know what life is like in the South
Pacific. I hope you will sit back and sail with us in comfort as you read .

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“Ever wanted to be a stow away on a blue water sailing adventure? Graham Morse’s natural writing
style brings people and places alive in this enthralling and inspirational account of Moonraker’s

Paul Gelder Editor, Yachting Monthly


“Dreams all too often remain just that. It took a serious illness to make Graham Morse determined
to achieve his own dream—to sail across the Pacific. This is a nicely written account of that cruise,
from buying his boat in the USA and then sailing to New Zealand via Panama and the Pacific Islands
with his wife and their crew. It is vivid enough to make your dreams today come that little bit

Andrew Bray, Editor, Yachting World 1992 to 2010


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