by Jamis MacNiven


After shutting down Buck’s Restaurant, my wife Margaret and I got down to the serious business of home defense from our redoubt in the Santa Cruz Mountains by making a half dozen stuffed dummies out of our old clothes from the 70s (‘look out, you vicious hoards, we have hippies on guard!’), lashed them to the parapets of the hastily erected stockade, armed them with wooden muskets, posted the “Danger—rabid dogs with stainless steel teeth” signs (much to the pups amusement as they lolled about drooling and snoring on the couches) and battened down for the eventual zombie apocalypse.

We then inventoried our 21 bags of flour and wondered whose job it was to pick up the yeast… In reality, we are off the grid (as we have been for 43 years). I realized I have been predicting the apocalypse for decades — and thank god I’m finally right. Please send me likes.

And so, I launch Pacific Voyages — a series of vignettes about mostly obscure islands of the Pacific which populate this ocean most abundantly.

So just sit back and take a break from the end of the world and travel with me to the ends of the world.

The Pacific, with its amazing history, is now going to be my main focus until the cows come home — and if they do, the dummies, vigilant at the ramparts, will probably shoot them anyway.

I’ll tell you about a French island named Clipperton. A place you have never heard of relatively near California.

And of course I will cover Pitcairn, where the Mutiny on the Bounty folks went and where their descents (at last count, 58 of them) still live. They are among the least fun folks I have encountered. Certainly it’s one of most remote places to live. Half the population of the men alternate spending time in Australian prisons for pedophilia, and then they switch with the other half because they need at least 10 men to launch the boat to the supply ships.

And I will discuss Ball’s Pyramid. This is an extremely narrow 1,844’ tall rock. It is only here that the third largest bugs in the world live in obscurity.

So trust me when I say I will take to places you will most likely never go. In any case, this is a vacation from the cares of the world with not a wiff of virus. Just watch out for malaria, beriberi, blackwater fever, typhus, cannibals, murderous mosquitos, sharks, sea urchins, saltwater crocodiles, deadly jellyfish, political shenanigans, white bread with Spam and wildly overpriced pina coladas.

Behold, the world of mostly boring places awaits.

— Jamis

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