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Muroroa picture

The Moruroa
Blues :
a tale of spontaneous protest sailing adventure in the South Pacific

By Lynn Pistoll

Click here to see the order form, which you can print off from the website.

Introducing The Moruroa Blues

The Moruroa Blues is a story about ordinary New Zealanders taking on a world superpower: the French military and government.

The story begins in June of 1995 when French President Jacques Chirac made the decision to resume nuclear testing in the South Pacific. Shortly after the announcement, 14 New Zealand yachts were prepared and provisioned for a 3000 nautical mile voyage to Moruroa, to protest against the French madness.

The story is the personal account of Lynn Pistoll, skipper of the Joie. The Joie was the longest staying New Zealand yacht, returning to Moruroa a second time from Papeete; and finally closing-off the protest campaign with the Greenpeace yacht Caramba on October 27, 1995.

The account reveals the inside story of the protest from the view of one skipper. It covers the struggle, challenges, and achievement of organising and preparing for the venture; sailing in the roaring forties during winter; and contesting the 12-mile exclusion zone at Moruroa. The campaign focused world-wide attention on the French programme, which ultimately resulted in the signing of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; ending five decades of nuclear testing by the superpower States.

Key Book Features

  • A historical New Zealand event. A tale about ordinary New Zealanders joining together to do something important for their country and the world.

  • A spontaneous tale with an entertaining mix of personal achievement; danger and death threats; sea adventure; patriotism; international politics; French nuclear colonialism; and protest actions.

  • A highly contentious indictment of past French Government activities in Polynesia.

  • Introduction by U.S. Congressman Eni Faleomavaega.
Review by Rozellia Mawhinney

This week, on the fourth anniversary of the French nuclear bombings at Moruroa, AllPro Publishing of Wellington released The Moruroa Blues; a spontaneous protest sailing adventure in the South Pacific, written by Lynn Pistoll. It is a lucid historical document written from the ship’s log of one of the skippers in the New Zealand flotilla.

It is a valuable account of what the media wouldn’t tell us at the time. The real story needed to be told.

The magnitude of the sacrifices made by the many individuals on our behalf is overwhelming. The gruelling experiences over three months in unforgiving seas, the brave families who took their children, the sickness, the separations, the sheer claustrophobia of it all will move your heart and possibly your stomach.

The book has a wide appeal. A staunch anti-nuclear stand, great sailing tales and some outright weird culinary nightmares will grip your imagination. It is guaranteed to make you think and wonder if, after all, there is something we can do that will count in the future. It is a well told narrative in an easy style. The story is our history in the making. The flotilla and crew did this for us. Read the book. I’m glad I did. They have my full respect and gratitude.

Other Reader Reviews

A very enjoyable read which has really inspired me. The Moruroa Blues has elements of sailing adventure, protest, environmental concerns, and international politics. If you are an avid reader, then here’s a real good yarn. Alastair Lovett

...the story... is told with simple eloquence by Lynn Pistoll in Moruroa Blues. In words sometimes angry, sometimes humorous, the skipper of the Joie documents the story... of ordinary people who stood up to a nuclear power and said ‘Enough!’
Lynn should be commended... for documenting the story. Because of his book, the story will be told, and because of his book we will never forget the lesson that Moruroa Blues teaches us – if enough people join their hearts and minds for peace, powerful things can be accomplished. U.S. Congressman Eni F. H. Faleomavaega.

A pleasure to read. A very interesting tale. Your story is a well-told and valuable one, and it is an honour to see it before the rest of the world! Susan Cournoyner

Publication details

The book is in A5 format, 204 pages long with 70 supporting pictures and illustrations. Published on 27 September 1999. Price $24.95.

Click here to see the order form, which you can print off from the website.

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