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TOPIC: Some lost treasure tales are true

Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 8 months ago #13536

  • Kanacki
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Hello Unicorn

This is my second frustrating attempt as there seems to some problems with the server at Treasureworks. So I will try again just not try to attempt to post any pictures.

Anyway I am pleased you have had some enjoyment out of it. I just had the chance to post again as Friday we will be upping anchor with the tide. Good clean wind and a blue sky to sail by and one billion and one stars to dream by.

My son has charted a course to a remote reef called Conway reef after a whaleship was wrecked around the 1850,s So we will dive there. At high tide there is no land there at all. As funny as it seems it was once declared an independent micro nation in the early 1970s by a Russian. It is now the subject of a territory dispute between Tonga and Fiji. Like two kids fighting over a marble. However yachties use it as a safe reef anchorage on the 800 mile leg to New Zealand as inside the lagoon the water is calm. From there we head to Palmerston Atoll, then to Suwarrow then to Cook islands. In the Cook islands we should have internet again.

So for the moment I have a bit of quiet in the chart room. It is the "Old Mans haven" Yes the girls have been priceless. OH to have their stamina and youth and most of all the agility of a gazelle or monkey. That said the rest of crew have pulled their weight also as we had double workload on the voyage over with problem sails. When you have problems its all hands on deck. And we all spent some time up in the rigging. Because while at sea the ship has to be crewed 24 hours a day.

We had worked well can you imagine changing sails in a swell in pitching ocean and up in the rigging 10 to 20 odd meters up while your feet are type rope walking on spares. Try that with a small lanyard a hook and the fact that some times you have to unhook your self off the safety line tired wet cold 3 am in the morning on a non stop roller coaster. The girls and the rest of the crew done very well. But for me, Crow and the the other "oldies" its hard on the knees and limbs.

The girls tired would sleep from exhaustion only to slide from their bunks to the floor. crow was smart he rigged up an good only Mexican hammock and no matter how much old Drumbeat pitched and tossed he Kept level.Every night the girls would sleep in his hammock. We bought extra hammocks in Suva as most of crew saw the value in Hammocks. Yep it took awhile to get sea legs everyone had the sailors sway when we first arrived in Suva.

Hmm I see i am drifting off a little so I will get back to the story of treasure. even in Suva if you only knew there are treasure legends to explore. My good friend Hardluck supplied the following information, But in his usual cautious manner he recommended more follow up research. It is a lesson we should all take note of my friends.

Anyway as promised here is the following yarn .....of Hardlucks

A cry of mbula! Meaning welcome greets tourists following in the footsteps of Captain Bligh to this former home of fierce warrior cannibals. Fiji is strategically placed at the cross roads of the western pacific.

It is a island group of mainly frizzy haired Melanesians with Polynesian blood mixed with 200 years or so European convicts, sailors, deserters, whalers, Black birders and a mixed bag of societies casts off from all over the globe.

Piracy was never on any large scale in these Fijian tropical seas and today the cannibals have more refined tastes such as the luxuries of the modern world. In a paradise with surfing and tropical sunsets, it seems sad that it there is not too many gory tales of pirate treasure in Fiji itself. However there is a more modern treasure legend that haunts these islands.

This treasure story dates back to 1907 when a passenger steamer SS Fiona sailed into the harbor of Suva the capital of Fiji. In those days passengers and cargo was loaded and unloaded by small lighters which ferried passengers and cargo to and from shore.

There was a big swell and a strong box containing 1000 sovereigns were lost overboard. This duly fact was reported in an Australia newspaper. There was no follow up report if the treasure was ever recovered.

Perhaps some where it is still there today, in the beautiful harbor of Suva is a treasure now worth up to an easy half million dollars, lays half buried by the sands of time in the sea floor of the lagoon?

So being stuck in Suva in the very harbour this event happened we decided to have a little side trip. We saw the opportunity for a good mornings adventure to search for it. And who knows the drumbeat could of been sitting above a Million dollars of Sovereigns?

Being in port for weeks now the idle curiosity of our presence has long weared off with the locals and we by being involved in some of the local events have pretty much kept a pretty low profile in town. the Local water police have passed us every day and exchanged pleasantry. We dined at the local hotel with the local chief magistrate. Even took some local children from the school nearby for a inspection of the Drumbeat. we bought off the locals obtained the best seafood one could wish for next to nothing.

We have fallen into the everyday rhythms of sleepy South sea City where time has no meaning my friends. The locals after awhile paid no attention to our presence on the harbour. So the opportunity arose for a discreet search right in the view of everyone. We had discovered more info about the event. Better still we discovered the Sugar Ship back then had its own mooring Buoy back then and tenders would load the sugar onto the ship. Best of all we had an old photo of the position where the SS Fiona was anchored in 1906.

From there we compared present photograph and worked out the the rough position of the old 1906 anchorage. Lucky for us it was not in the present port area of operations. So My Son, Me , Crow , My Daughter in law and Grandson puttered around in the tinnie to the spot where we suspect the the SS Fiona was anchored in 1906. Me and my son slipped over the side with our diving gear into the water. We made sure nobody saw us with underwater metal detectors. Underwater we made a standardized search pattern.

The problem was we was dealing with over 100 years of river silt over the search area and about a hundred years of metal rubbish thrown over the side from visiting Sugar ships. As we searched the mighty Fijian navy passed by. Crow, My Daughter in law and My 4 year old Grandson waved liked all kids do the stern face captain smiled and the crew of the patrol boat waved back puttered past without giving a second glance.

Good thing my friends, If they only knew if we had found anything they would grabbed it even before we recovered it. Metal detecting is not recommended in Fiji as all finds in the ground belongs to the State. The good thing was they were used to seeing us in around the harbour for the last month. However there was one rule we failed in research to do, is to keep researching. Later we discovered our fools errand my friends as it turns out as Hardluck had suggested to search later dates of newspapers... A year later in 1907 hardhat divers from Australia was brought out by the Sugar company CSR and recovered the money after two attempts. And of course there is a lesson for all of us can be taken from that my friends perhaps the most precious treasure of them all?

However that was not our main reason for being in Suva. It was just a little side adventure as we awaited our new sails. There was one little more adventure where we flew out to the outer Fiji islands in a Cessna float plane, Me, my wife Crow and his lady friend for little island adventure while the youngies looked after drumbeat for 2 days.

However time is upon me once again and that my drear friends is yarn for another day. Tomorrow we clear port on the tide.

So sadly Its good bye and farewell for awhile as the Drumbeat continues its dance with the tropical rhythms of the south seas of endless blue skies and amazing tropical sunsets..

Kanacki
Last Edit: 6 years 8 months ago by Kanacki. Reason: Spelling
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 8 months ago #13538

HI barnicle scraper: I had a 1/2 hr post for you but when I clicked it to post, just disappeared, T H E N I noticed a small square that says 'submit' ??? sigh

After I drink my Anti Alzheimers, I'll post again.

Don Jose de La Mancha
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 8 months ago #13539

  • Bill-USA
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Don Jose de La Mancha wrote:
After I drink my Anti Alzheimers, I'll post again.

Don Jose de La Mancha

Surely you meant a mentation, and not a drink! :silly:
Dump a democrat!
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 8 months ago #13540

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Hello once more the last for awhile...

It was a morning of mixed emotion sailing Drumbeat out with the tide through the coral pass that entered our somewhat snug and safe harbour of Suva. The day had broken with the sun rising above the Eastern Horizon. Crow still awake after being up on watch all night stood near me as my Son now more than a man himself stood commanding the Drumbeat skilfully manning the helm as the sails one by one began to unfurl and bow the North Easter breeze blowing across the sunrise.

The ship heeled over to Starboard as wind filled the sails like puffs of cotton balls in a brilliant Blue sky gliding over a carpet of deep blue ocean as silently as the noise of distant gulls allowed us the Drumbeat propelled herself silently as the mast groaned a little to take the strain. South by South east I nodded to my Son as the drumbeat excellent and in a brief looking back at our home Suva for past few weeks miraculously begin sink behind us below the horizon.

There is to any Sailor an almost mythical comfort to see land in sight. And when you pass from the sight of land you enter another realm. Just you , your crew, your ship and and our ceaseless dance with the winds of fate riding across the ocean swells and the orchestra of creaks and moans of the rigging as the wind sings its gentle song.

It is always from that brief moment as crew instinctively fall silent as some sort of communal understanding of the moment. The silence will be broken by one of the Crew if all is well to sing. As the Drumbeat beat sails along her gentle tilt as crew adjust their stance. We my friends follow and observe old traditions of sea. And in that spirit of the old sea dogs we with a drum and Flute belt out a version of Drunken sailor... Sea Shanty. It is for all of those will attest who have traveled with us a magic moment....All part of the living experience of a tall ship at sea my friends.

Sea Shanties are very important cultural and heritage and most of all working songs. Working songs on tall ships are important as sailing a tall ship is and always will be about teamwork. Sea Shanties help the Crew fall in to a Rhythm.

No longer you are just a single crew person but a living breathing part of the ship as she come alive with her sound of approval if you are sailing her well. We the life blood she the body against the winds and the sea dance an eternal duet.

The restless ocean can love you one moment eat you the next such is the relationship between man, ship and sea. Our journey continues to a little known reef. And of a Shipwreck of ship in the 1850;s that lead to that final treasure story mentioned of the Oldies of this ship that flew in a Cessna float Plane out to for an over night stay daring to dream a little....

By please forgive me my friends as we sail in the even rising moon that last story I mentioned in Suva will Have to wait a little longer....

See ya in 3 weeks.

kanacki
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 8 months ago #13541

Kanacki & my new friends --->
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 8 months ago #13542

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Kanacki, you have surpassed yourself with the lovely descriptions you gave in your last post.
There must be a poet deep inside of yourself. I am almost in your boat sharing your experiences with you all. I can see those sails unfurling, feel the wind blowing in my face, and looking behind me see the shore line disappearing. Thank you for sharing your trip with us all. I wish you all well in your journey, may you all stay safe and well. Look forward to future posts from you.


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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 8 months ago #13598

  • Kanacki
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Hello All

I had expected not be in an area internet until 3 weeks.How ironic. Do not think Island girls have simple lives either. They have Their lap tops, I Phones, Facebook, just the same as western girls . I have to wait and to they had deserted to shore. My how much as times changed. Tonga just got high speed internet on August 21.

But here we are in the harbour of Nuku-alofa the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga. We had originally had planned to sail to the Cook Islands via Minerva reef . But such is the way of tropical tramps the idea seem more practical to head towards Tonga first. So we had made this big south east turn to Minerva reef then North Northeast to Tonga. We had made good time with favorable winds. The trip to Minerva was a big deviation if we had sailed directly from Fiji to Tonga..

The reef actually consists of two reefs. The northern reef has a fairly safe pass in a lagoon of clam water. There is a small sand islet that appears on low tide. It has has a history of shipwrecks , many are known some are unknown. The water around the reef is some clearest in the pacific and coral is all colours of the rainbow. As the Drumbeat anchored we met some fellow mariners anchored in their yachts. There was 3 different yachts there, stopping over of various trips of the pacific.

One of girls came up with a Stirling idea to have beach party on the sandbank. We invited the other yachts to our Barbie on the beach. The fishing was fantastic as we had caught a tuna and we had floated at tarp connected to four floats one on each corner and caught some beautiful dolphin fish. So we were never short of food that and free Coconuts we gathered in Suva.

From the plenty of Drift wood collected in Suva we made a bonfire. As the coals appeared we dug a hole in the sand and buried the fish wrapped in Tin foil on top of the coals and place sand on top. The fish was marinated in Coconut milk and herbs in which slowly infused with dolphin fish. Over fish we marinated with fresh garlic milk and Spanish onions. We had place crab and lobster pots and the lagoon and good a good feed of lobsters partly boil then lightly fried on the barbecue with a Garlic sauce and finely chopped mushrooms and caramelized onions.

So here we were with feast for a king on sand bar in middle of pacific ocean about the size of half a football field, just patch of sand and crystal clear blue sky with hardly no breeze. The mighty republic of Minerva formed in the mid 1970's The tidal island Tonga and Fiji are in dispute over. Sailing under a Micronesian Flag I felt the urge to stir the pot a little and plant a Micronesian flag there. There was enough for us and the other crews to form a Cricket team each and have a little hit around the island. It was all fun and games and had a great laugh. We were perhaps had the first one day international in country that does not officially exist.

Of the boats there was young Austrian man who was sailing around the world with German girl friend, A Canadian couple and a young American fellow they had picked up in the Cook Islands, bound for Micronesia. Another mono hulled yacht with classy line was a New Zealand Couple and their two sons who was returning from Tahiti on their way back to New Zealand. The 3rd was a retired French couple with 3 Mexican crew members and one Filipino steward, on their way to Tahiti from New Caledonia.

It still amazes me that here in the middle of nowhere people can come to gather from various countries and backgrounds and languages and yet able to share a magic moment on a speck of land that is only above the surface a few hours a day that was proclaimed an imaginary micro nation in the 1970;s. But like with all good parties they must come to an end and we retreated back to our respective boats as the sea claimed our party island.

And party it was as the girls had came alive as they dressed up in their Melanesia hula outfits and gave an impromptu performance for the crews of the other boats. That and Me on Flute and My wife Ukulele and my son on Spanish guitar and Tone death Crow on a drum strummed and drummed a hula in which the girl dances to with the traditional island sway of hips into an exotic movement. After that I think the New Zealand Couples two Sons wanted to jump ship.

The next day we dived among the coral reef. Even my grandson got in act via his mum on a clear perspex canoe you could look down through the floor at the tropical fish and corals. Relics from the days of ancient shipwrecks could be seen among the coral debris. Me and Crow explored a ships anchor encrusted with coral. My son made a best find of all with one of the underwater metal detectors found a ships sounding lead weight. Clearly of early 19th century vintage.

Underwater visibility was amazing. The white tipped and black tipped reef sharks swam around us inquisitive and surveyed us with a wary eye. Generally they are no problem just a bit intimidating if you are not used to it. Of course do not be bleeding of course as the status quo can always change. But in General they are not the problem when you have a dive buddy.

The ones to watch are the tiger sharks as they are more aggressive and they have a tendency to stalk. It is definitely one shark never keep your attention from. A first they swim around as to size you up then attack from behind. This is of course in regards to sharks is warm tropical reef sharks. Cold water sharks and Estuarine and temperate zone sharks have their own habits. However understanding their habits makes it hell of a lot safer in the water in regards of what you can and cannot do.

Even though wee were virtually becalmed during our stay one thing you cannot is loiter too long in theses places as it not the best placed to be anchored in a storm for a sailing ship not much room for sailing ship of her size to maneuver in. So the Drumbeat said farewell to micro nation of Minerva. The Drumbeat blossomed with white sails contrasting to the aqua marine waters she glided above. The weather was fine except for 2 Squalls we encountered since leaving Suva.

And thus today most of our crew has gone off for the week end to do a Hula show and one of the resorts leaving the 2 old boys to look after the Drumbeat. Hey I just realized Halloween in Tonga. Anyway Me and Crow have a chance to sneak out and visit one of the famous legendary Bill fish bar of the Pacific.

Depending how much web get I may have few more yarns...if I can pull Crow from the Bar. ;)

Kanacki and Crew
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13625

  • Kanacki
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Hello All

Quieter than the morgue as late.

anyone around lurking?

Kanacki
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13626

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Hello Don Jose barnacle scraper indeed my Drumbeat is as smooth as a babies bottom. :laugh:

Has that no good 2 bit Orish beach bum hustler been talking like a runaway freight train as of late.

Has he been gloating over the fast one he pulled? I saw him sneaking off to the chart room the other day..

Kanacki :cheer:
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13627

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B) Sounds like you are living the life we have had to let go because of health problems. We miss the company of other sailors and travelers meeting in out of the way spots all over the globe. We have had the same fun times with travelers from several countries almost exactly as you just described where we didn't even speak the same language but everyone had a wonderful time. Having gone from sail to power and then to being landlocked has been a big letdown but we still have the memories and contacts from all over the world. Keep your log and guest book up to date and don't forget to keep in touch with all those people. In the long years ahead they will be more important than you will believe.

Safe travels with fair winds and calm seas to you all. Keep the stories coming. If we can't be there in person we would love to see the world through your eyes and feelings. You should, if you already haven't been doing so, contact some sailing and boating rags about writing stories as you travel. They pay well and so many people would love to keep up with your adventures. When I could find the time to tear myself away from all the diving, snorkeling, fishing and sailing I would also write some stories and submit them.

Like I said; keep the log and guest book up and you will find it your own little island when the day comes that you have to stop sailing the world. 'scuse me while I sail back across the years and cross the Caribbean again to see the lost friends and uncharted islands of days and friends long lost to time.

I love reading your stories and adventures. They bring back many memories and forgotten adventures of our own. Keep up the great work and have a wonderful time.
Count your Blessings but Remember your Dreams!
Last Edit: 6 years 7 months ago by WhiteFeather.
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13628

Damn , did it again. lost a whole page to Kanacker: oh well nothing new there. snifff. The submit box is located in different areas. I now copy it before submitting it just in case.

Good morning """GALS""""' Crow', and kanacker: Yep he has been giving me all of the secrets, between OIRISH guys, but he hasn't clarified which German, . I hazarded a wild guess for the German prospector that found the "Dead Horse " mine, but he denied it. Then I remember that he died long ago.

He gave me a detailed rundown on the Drum Beat along with photographs, Man that is a large dining room

He mentioned such lil thingies as having a solar powered ventilation system in your room - while SHE deserves it, You ????

I loved your chart room, extremely well laid out with the latest toys, sigh, and here I thought that you being a beach comber, simply spat into your hand, clapped them together ans then sailed in the saliva's direction.

Back in the post cave man days I was lucky to come up within 1/2 mile positions using Celestial.-- time piece factor..

As white feather said, keep you books up, they will be very precious later. I personally didn't nor took care of the photographs, now I sincerely regret it , especially when my grand kiddies ask about life way back then.

I told Crow that we have to find the lost city "Z" and buy her form you before you reef her, - not reefing sails.

I love that part of the world, I was brought up on Jack Londons' books and the Iliad

Give my HI to the gals and you lovely, long suffering Wife. also your son hehehehheh like to meet him some day.

I presume that you have been stepping on Crow's fingers keeping him in line?

Don Jose de La Mancha
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13629

Booze aided medication Bill HI my friend it has been some time.

Don Jose de La Mancha
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13630

  • Unicorn
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Kanacki...I have been following your posts with great interest. I have posted a couple of replies, both in your threads and White Feather's.(today is the day) I cannot offer any sort of technical replies because of my lack of knowledge both in boats, and of seamanship. But this doesn't stop me from being very interested in any of the posts in here. I just enjoy reading about the adventures, and the up's and down's of what I would call a group of unique men and women. I really must rectify this by posting more, even if it's to offer either sympathy if it's needed, and happiness if the news is good.

I must say, you and your crew came to mind when I read about the terrible tornado's in the area's you have been berthed in, and I hope you are all safe and well, and haven't suffered any in the terrible storm.

Without seeming out of place in this post, I must congratulate you and the wording of descriptions in your posts. I am sure there is a touch of Lord Byron, the romantic English poet about you. Your words bring me right with you all, I just love the descriptions of all that you, Crow, and the crew are doing. Believe me, if I were a few years younger, I would be asking for 'permission to board'. You cannot imagine how romantic it sounds to a land locked 'lubber' like me. I can only use my imagination to be their with you all.

What we need now is the story from my dear, and long standing friend Don Jose about his romantic and great opening of 'Tayopa' or a book even ( hint hint) then maybe we can all enjoy a great party, and for sure I would journey across the World finally to meet all of you lovely people. I may have to bring a walking stick by the time he finishes 'that' book, but I will get their. :whistle: :woohoo:

Do take great care with all of this bad weather whirling around down their. My best wishes to you all.


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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13635

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Sorry folks. I kept clicking on post this message and nothing seemed to happen. Finally up came the posts I had been clicking on. I did my best to remove all but one but it seems that I didn't even do that successfully. Sorry Guys p.s. got rid of the posts but its left empty spaces. sheesh what am I like, better not answer that. Incidentally how does one remove unwanted posts successfully? p.p.s Can bring some good Scotch whisky with me :S

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Last Edit: 6 years 7 months ago by Unicorn.
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13636

  • Kanacki
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Hello Whitefeather thanks for the Thumbs up. In fact it was reading your adventures and Wreckdivers posted here inspired me to write a little here. I hope those health issues do not keep you land locked for long my friend.

Hello unicorn. It is always a please to hear from you. It gives me great pleasure to hear how much you enjoyed my yarns.

Hello Don Jose. hmmm I agree with Unicorn have you written another page yet? If not its detention for you.

And yeah that Crow pulled a fast one on me. To rub it in hell just gives me a silly grin from ear to ear when I asked him How did he know that women Grandfather?

He has framed the 100 spot up in a glass picture frame. and wrote a caption Hustled Knacker it can be done as a trophy. So yeah hound the crap out of him. The girls tried hard but got nowhere

I didn't get to tell you about our side trip..

So you await in torture no more..... That little trip from Suva to an mysterious island straddled like an Emerald floating on a sea of Sapphires.

In the hazy heat of the deep blue Pacific, I must introduce you to a romantic deserted island that tantalises you with her charms.

Vatu Vara some times spelt Vatu Vera is a up raised coral island that looks like top hat or sailors cap. The island has so safe anchorage for larger vessels. There is one big predominant flat topped mountain that dominates the island blanketed with a canopy of lush green jungle. Recently it was put up for sale for 75 million dollars. Weather they managed to get a buyer is anyone’s guess. But seeing the present state of Political affairs on the island, I doubt it.

Strangely it was once of these Islands that was never populated consistently among the island. Perhaps it was the problem of not having regular running water that discouraged hardy islanders to settle on her. However perhaps that is what gave it her magic lure? Or perhaps the legends that surrounded her as mysterious temptress of treasure for those daring to seek.

The legend was build from perhaps from Rumour and innuendo, but built around a real person. Legends tell of an old salt an American....But like all legends there are various versions of the identity of this man and his story. The first was a newspaper treasure story written around 1947 about Seaman by the Name of Joe Thompson lived there for over 40 years. What was his story?

His story is that he was allegedly on in around 1829 an English Whaler which was shipwrecked on a reef far to the South of Vatu Vara . The crew abandoned her in Two boat., with Captain and crew in one boat, Joe, His Full name was Joseph Thompson was in one boat with 2 other men. What happened to these two other men remains a mystery between the lips of Joe and the sea.

It has been claimed another whaler tried to salvage the valuable cargo of whale oil. Unbeknown to them the vessel also considerable money made as a whole cargo of whale oil was sold Sydney several months previous and the money was kept in the Captain strong box amounting to 5000 gold sovereigns

Thompson came ashore on Vatu Vara in the Eastern part of the Fiji Isles. Strange thinks happen on islands in the Sunny South Pacific, perhaps tired of a sailors life he decided to settle down and travelled across other island and bought his shipwreck island paid for with shiny gold coins. An unusual sight for any beach comber castaway to possess which fuelled the imaginations of the locals. What happened next Joseph stayed happy there on his island kingdom for the next 40 years . Only leaving his island twice in that time once to find a wife and second many years later, a rumour of him hiding treasure there he was lured away and his island home was ransacked by want to be treasure hunters. They of course found nothing and the Wiley old Joe was two smart for them.

Undeterred he continued his happy island life style till father time came and took his life away from his heavenly island home. His devoted islander wife it is said missed him so dearly only lived a few months after he died. And once again the island became the sole home of the empty cries of the birds that roosted in the tree tops. Such is the way of the Remote islands of the Pacific my friends.

Was it a true treasure story or was fiction burred into reality of the exotic landscape? Such is the dreams in the heat shimmers of the midday sun my friends. Stories of people and places in such colourful places become twisted in eager retelling of them.

Another version is rather colourful also and perhaps none more closer to the real story. The Hobart mercury Tuesday 11 of August 1885 newspaper story....

It is not generally known that Fiji can boast of a Robinson Crusoe, But on the island of Vatu Vara, or sometimes called" Cocked Hat Island," which it much resembles in the distance', lives an American named Edward Thompson, with his Marquess Island wife. He was brought up in trio shingle-splitting business in America, but emigrated to these islands, and purchased Vatu Vara, for about £70, from a person named Osborn. Crown grant No. 1 was issued to the owner of this Island.

Thompson and his wife have no communication with tho outside world, except when a small schooner named the Nautilus visits the Island. They are afflicted with a religious mania, partly of one form of religion, and partly of another. They go about in nearly a nude state, the male allowing his hair to take its natural course. A mania having taken hold of them towards the Jewish persuasion, a passover lamb had to be procured from Loma Loma, the island being within 30 miles of tho Lau Group. On another occasion, the Nautilus having landed a few stores required by this couple, they allowed them to be all washed away, as it was a Saint's day. The end of the world is also foretold by them, and some amusing stories are told by tho owner of the Nautilus as to his reception at various times by this singular strange pair.

And more telling yet my friends story of there fate is told in the Otago Daily Times New Zealand April 1907 gave more details on the sad fate of this couple.

ALONE ON AN ISLAND.
AN EXTRAORDINARY COUPLE.
(Otago "Daily Times.")
AUCKLAND, April 27. 1907

I Recently was on the Fijian Government steamer Ranadi, whilst on a cruise through the Fijian group, called at the Island of Vatu Vara, which is owned by Mr. E. V. Thompson. The island is a small one, 1,030ft. high, greatly resembling a hat, and has been owned by Mr. Thompson for 40 years.

Mr. Thompson is 80 years of age, and has lived on his island for over 30 years with his wife, a Manahaki woman. He was found to be in good, though feeble, health, and the visit of the Ranadi was most opportune, as his supply of bread- fruit, varas, and yams, upon which he chiefly relies- for food, had about run out. Fortunately the Ranadi had a good supply of yams on board, and the old man s storehouse was replenished.

This extraordinary couple have supported themselves chiefly by growing yams and breadfruit, and have -not been visited for several years at a stretch by anybody except perhaps a few natives from the neighbouring islands, whose visits Mr. Thompson does not in the least appreciate, as they generally rob him of his coconut and other things.

Mr. Thompson is an American, who was at one time manager of a Nai Taba plantation. He left Nai Taba to take up his residence at Vatu Vara. He keeps a recording of the days by marking each one on a rock, and j on Sunday, March 31, was only one day out in his reckoning. He was ' quite interested to hear of the war between Russia and Japan.

The old man had not by any means forgotten his English, and was neat and clean in his appearance. His wife showed the greatest consideration for his comfort and health, and gave many signs of a wonderfully faithful and extraordinary nature. Judging from appearances, she may be perhaps 60 years of age. Tho Rev. Mr. Cook was one of the
party, and held prayers, in which the old couple showed great devotion.

However not long after the elderly couple was visited again in 1909. In the following Newspaper story posted in

Thirty Years on an Island.

Captain W. H. McClellan brought the steamer Suva into port after a rough trip from the Fiji Islands. The vessel brought news of the death of a noted island hermit, who had spent over 30 years of his life on an uninhabited island. Vatu Vara it an outlying island of the Fiji group, and was recently visited by the Government steamer Ranudi. Those aboard found an old Manahiki woman there, the hermit's companion, and she stated that he had died before Christmas, and that she had remained alone ever since. The hermit's name was .T. V. Thompson.

He was an American citizen, but very little was known of him. With the exception of the Manahiki woman." he lived alone on Vatu Vara, growing all his own necessaries and discouraging any visits from either whites or. natives. Of latter years age had made in roads on the strong frame, and the hermit bartered with chance visitors for foodstuffs. Although the Fiji Government had. in view of his failing health, attempted to induce Thompson to leave the island and live in Suva, the hermit gratefully but emphatically declined.

No one had been near the island since November 5 last. When the Ranudi called there the woman said. "My husband was a long time ill. . and died three days before Christmas. I am old and weak, and I did not know how to bury him. but the good God helped me." All efforts to get the woman to leave the island were unavailing. The steamer sailed, leaving the faithful mourner beside the lonely grave far away in the Pacific.

So you can see in a small amount of time how much a real story of Couple perhaps found their own private treasure of freedom get twisted out of all proportion. And by 1947 it was story of treasure of Gold coins became the treasure.
Even today the story of the gold predominates the real story an indication how society has changed in its outlook on the world my friends. Gold and treasure has become the desires of us all my friends. How crude we must have become in the eyes of the islanders with their simple pleasures.

Our little Cessna float plane flight to Vatu Vara . The Cessna took off amongst the waves of our crew and bitter disappointed grandson who wanted to come chucked a wobbly as his mum held is hand as he realised he was not going flying. The flight took up out over oceans across many islands and resorts below. The islands below became glisten display of emerald paradises mesmerizing us into quiet contemplation..

No sooner the trance was broken my friends. Was the Cessna landing after a Circle of Vata Vara and its imposing jungle clad flat topped mesa 1000 ft high. The float plane skimmed over the aqua marine blue water and started to reverse thrust as it slowed over sand patches of crystal clear water of the lagoon. The plane puttered towards the beach were it turn and puttered to a stop.
And so here we were Four oldies on our little side adventure living like we were 18 again. How quickly we forget the passions of our youth my friend how quickly our ways become solid like trees and not the saplings that played in the wind of our youth.

Crow looked across at me knowing the chances of any treasure being here is next to Buckleys. But it wasn’t the treasure we were after it was the treasure of romance as I winked him he my friend of too many years clicked on, and grinned like a puppy off the lease. As chance to spend time with our misses in an romantic adventure over night. The South Sea my friends can trigger passions in couples sometime when life becomes a little stale and predicable my friends. When sitting around watching TV has become the norm... I recommend this type of romantic adventure for any relationship my friends you will be better for it.

It was chance for Crow to and his own private adventure with his lady friend and for me it Chance to spend some quality time with the love of my life, the women who has been faithfully by my side for so long and bearing our 8 kids and it was time to have some romantic quality time.

Crow and his Girlfriend took one half of the island and Me and my Angel took the other half in search of treasure and romance my friend on a tropical island paradise all to ourselves. We set up a basic camp-site above the high water mark and set up two hammocks and a green tarps above each
A camp-fire set up and old tree stumps for seats. There was plenty of drift wood for a fire. We places most over supplies near the camp up against some rocks. The plan was Crow and his lady search on half and I and my lovely and other meeting back at sunset.

I will not disclose the details but those few hours was as magic as any treasure my friends as there is nothing romantic of an island for oneself in a lovers arms watching the the moon reflect into the lagoon like a perfect mirror as the wind dropped after a fiery sunset.

We met back later as darkness fell. But all of us was fairly quiet in content contemplation such is the magic of Vata Vara my friends. We had come in search of treasure only to learn some times treasure can not be some thing as crude as gold and gems , a priceless treasure all the same, intimacy and passion is the greatest treasure of them all. It cannot be bought or sold at any price, it can only be given.

The next morning we searched around the Island for signs of the past inhabitants on this island. Time and tides had almost obliterated their 40 years as if it was it was all a mere dream. Would that be the same for my life or even yourselves. A mere moment lost in time?

And yet all of us felt a little sadness and relief when we found a cairn of where this old man was buried . We placed some flowers on cairn and some white and yellow Fanji Pani flowers and shell necklace on top on this forgotten,man’s grave hoping his lady love was buried with him a fitting end of their long sojourn on this their romantic island of their own. I wondered if we would over 40 years slowly descended into Madness as he had done? Perhaps a lesson for us all to be careful what you wish for …

One last note about treasure my friends. How ironic as the treasure was the island itself as Edward Thompson bought the Island for 70 pounds it is as far as I know still up for sale for a cool 75 million. Dollars.

If only I had the cash....

Kanacki
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13638

  • aquanut
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Thanks Kanacki. Once again I'm reminded what true treasure is. Your stories and adventures need to be assembled in a book for all of us dreamers.
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13640

  • Kanacki
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Hello Unicorn

Thank you for your concern. The rest of my family living in Micronesia are safe and well in Northern Pacific. The Typhoon Yolande formed about 400 to north of my home Island in Micronesia and moved west generating greater speed. 300 Km hour winds then made landfall in the central Philippines. I really can feel for the people of the Philippines as I have personal experienced typhoons. Once at sea.

The Drumbeat is in Tonga at the present time and we have our own Typhoons to look out from down here as from November 1st its typhoon season in the South Pacific. One thing captaining a ship you always watch the ocean, wind and weather because if you turn your back on it, It can eat you.

That you for the compliment Too

Hello Aquanut.

We are all dreamers in this world my friend. Its the ones that have stopped dreaming is the ones I pity. traveling the oceans at the whims of the winds make you so closer to nature you become one with the elements. Not only do we work a tall ship like if she is a living being, we begin to open our eyes to world around us and we begin to see everything as living. Like riding a spiritual magic carpet my friend, Just like when the Australian aborigines go on walkabout, which they call the dreaming.

As for books? Well it is perhaps for some but for me and my old yarns are part of me and I could never sell them for a price. They are priceless part of me as they are mine to give and I give them in the spirit of true story teller not as book author. And I give them to those who care to read them just as you may listen to an tired old sailor telling yarn.

I think there is an adventurer in all of us wanting to break free from the the lives we somehow fall into. And if My sorry assed stories give some pleasure to those who cannot go where I can go then it is more than enough reward my friends.

Don Jose you know that the perhaps the unholiest of the unholy trio has been quiet lately. Off making deals. And that Scurvy Dog Crow still hasn't let on yet how he fleeced me. :laugh: Saturday we are planning to pull up anchor depending on the weather of course. Palmerston island that will freak old Crow out. he nearly got married there last time. :laugh:

He better cough up that answer to he might run it a past girl friend on Palmerston. :laugh: Such as the cunning of us tropical tramps my friends. ;)

kanacki
Last Edit: 6 years 7 months ago by Kanacki. Reason: spelling
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13641

G'd morning Kanacki, coffee?? now on my third since it is now 0524. Ah ha, now you have put your foot into it--You posted --->>


"As for books? Well it is perhaps for some but for me and my old yarns are part of me and I could never sell them for a price. They are priceless part of me as they are mine to give and I give them in the spirit of true story teller not as book author. And I give them to those who care to read them just as you may listen to an tired old sailor telling yarn."



Now you know more or less just how I feel. I post for those that can never travel the road in life that I have, the same one' that you have chosen, voluntarily or involuntarily.

The conditions in which we formed ourselves and our lives cannot ever be repeated since the world has changed so much.

How to describe spending weeks in the Forbidden city in old Peking by myself, it was effectively abandoned pending the imminent entry of the Communists. I was able to handle priceless bits of Chinese history or to go wherever I wished.

As I once mentioned, I used to take my lunch with me, once I sat under the tree on Coal Hill where the last of the Mings hung himself, tried cumunning with him with questionable success.Then there were the times with the cannibals in the Solomons, the Lacandons in the Yucatan , The Mayos in southern Sonora, and the Yaquis also in Sonora ole Mexico.

Of course along the way there were a couple of wars, and a glimpse into the life of a Mercenary via Castro and Cuba. 'Even had to work at times', kinda liked to eat and a life of adventure sometimes has a very thin table.

The Brazilian venture sorta fizzled on the vine by getting involved in an old Fashioned, 3 year, full Spanish courtship gaining a beautiful wife and then on into looking for lost Jesuit mines etc to maintain her..

No, I am living a full life and looking forward to another 60 + years, but in spite of this, I have a deep sense of jealousy on the lives of the unholy trio. Y O U !!

You, my good friends have lived a portion of life that I probably will never live, but desperately wanted, starting with your infamous Haki, on to adventures in South America and retiring to a lovely Polynesian Island, with an equally lovely wife and with your own sail boat - even if it is a pain in the xxx to maintain it.

No, the ones - that should write a book to share with others are you. - the unholy trio.

A jealous Don Jose de La Mancha

p.s Tell H.Luck I want my Amy back -- at his expense naturally .
Last Edit: 6 years 7 months ago by Don Jose de La Mancha.
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13642

G'd morning it's coffee time hound master : "Forts??what forts,? we don need no stinkin forts" <-- carefully spelled. Which brings us back to another point -- 'PTSD',-- and it's many possible forms. Many, under a very traumatic situation, only retain certain aspects of it, often transported mentally to another situation which had no connection to the first yet the situation which promoted the first is somehow now part of the latter. Under these circumstances one could indeed truly believe in their consciousness that this or that happened, when in actuality it never did in that time or situation.

Beth, explain it to that traitorous, would be sheep lover.

I will be the first to say that probably there is no connection to the LAD, but since it hasn't been found in what is basically a small area, well covered with explorers, maps, aerial photographs, and now sat, including the great deceiver, Google Earth coverage, to play with, it must be somewhere else.---> Mexico??? Tayopa??? snicker.

Don Jose de La Mancha
Last Edit: 6 years 7 months ago by Don Jose de La Mancha.
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Re: Some lost treasure tales are true 6 years 7 months ago #13644

  • Kanacki
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Ah touche...I

You will be another one claiming he out hustled Kanacka. I must be slipping in my old age.Unfortunately there is some things you can write about and other things best left unspoken. Some times the edge between lawlessness and law abiding can be a grey area. The unholy trio has straddled that tightrope for years.

But such is the life of tropical tramp beach bum my friends. That was great yarn about Peking. Hardluck has few treasure stories from China. Hardluck collects treasure stories like people collect stamps.

And Cuba was that Bay of Pigs event?

PS Amy has a few things to do before she gets back to you. I had a good talk to her on Skype the other day. She went and saw the head archivist in the Vatican who manages the archives. Amy will be better at explaining things. Hardluck is either in America or Australia. He will contact when he has some thing to say.

Kanacki
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