The first French expedition to the Pacific


In 1766 the La Boudeuse and L’Etoile departed on a voyage of discovery that would circumnavigate the globe before returning to France two years and four months later. In command was Admiral Louis-Antoine de Bougainville.

Tahiti captured the hearts and minds of Bougainville and his crew, and the commander would write effusively in his journal : “We could hardly believe our eyes when we saw a peak covered with trees right to the summit… we could see the houses of the islanders amidst banana, cocoa-nut and other trees laden with fruit…” It was not the landscape that impressed expedition members the most however.


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