So what do the North Sea South Seas and Treasure Island share in common?
The author Robert Louis Stevenson who I’ve got to know these last 18 months.
Where his grandfather, the eminent Scottish engineer of his time (also Robert) made his mark.
Robert’s piece de resistance was the Bell Rock, the world’s oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse, built on an outcrop of the Inchcape reef and accessible at low tide.
Young Robert might have expected to follow in the family lighthouse design business.
The real Treasure Island
Robert Louis (originally Lewis) though did base his Treasure Island on the Fidra Island in the Firth of Forth.
Where David and Thomas Stevenson built theirs which has been automated since 1970.
And which the Scottish Seabird Centre has its cameras set on to keep an eye on its seabird population.
It was here then that Robert got his Travel bug which would see him circumnavigate the globe.
Stevenson’s love of Travel was both lyrical and practical as he sought warmer climes more conducive to his bronchial problems.
And he would say: ‘We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world.’
That and. his marriage to American Fanny Van De Grift led to him seeking out many of the familiar, but also the wildernesses of this world.
And so he gave us a rich legacy of Travel books as well as his bumper fiction books.
With his entry into this world showing what a master he was with his 200km hike in south-central France, Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes.
And then we get In the South Seas, a celebration of Samoa where he set down roots and lived out his days.
RLS truly loved the South Seas island of Samoa and championed their rights in the face of exploitation from the super powers in letters to The Times.
In RLS’s footsteps
Check out their excellent site with its Following in the Footsteps of RLS.
Western Samoa is a three and a half hours flight from Auckland, New Zealand.
So let’s hear if for North South Seas and Treasure Island.