Canning extravaganza, for cruisers!

It was superbowl on Sunday, but we had another kind of party at home! A canning party. We all were so excited to apply our new knowledge,  so 50 lbs of tomatoes and 12 lbs of meat later…. and few hours later!  The ladies had produced almost 100 jars of various delightful recipes. We even got to sample some for dinner!….

We are just getting the ball rolling as we need to do some more provisioning! We will have two boats stock up in no time!! One is leaving for Alaska this spring and summer, and the other one for México and further in the summer and winter. As for us, well, we will be reading their adventures eating  our delights, in a somehow different decor!…..

This is what happen when you can for too long, you are starting to lose it!

or is a new helmet for the football season?

On that note only one place we can go today, Devil’s Island. Infamous site of the French penal system, where Alfred Dreyfus and Henri Charriere were imprisoned.

The rocky, palm-covered island rises 40 m (130 ft) above sea level. The penitentiary was first opened by Emperor Napoleon III’s government in 1852, and became one of the most infamous prisons in history. In addition to the prisons on all three islands, prison facilities were located on the mainland at Kourou. Over time, they became known collectively as “Devil’s Island” in the English-speaking world, while they are known in France as the bagne de Cayenne, (French: Cayenne penal colony) Cayenne being the main city of French Guiana.

While the colony was in use (1852–1946), the inmates were everything from political prisoners (such as 239 republicans who opposed Napoleon III’s coup d’état) to the most hardened of thieves and murderers. A great many of the more than 80,000 prisoners sent to the harsh conditions at disease-infested Devil’s Island were never seen again. As an island, the only way out was via the water; accordingly, very few convicts ever managed to escape.

On 30 May 1854, a new law provided that convicts would be forced to stay in French Guiana following their release for a time equal to their forced labour time, or, for sentences exceeding eight years, for the remainder of their lives. They were to be provided with land to settle on. In time, a variety of penal regimes emerged, convicts being divided into categories according to the severity of their crimes and their imprisonment or forced residence regime.

In 1885, a further law accelerated the process, since repeat offenders for minor crimes could also be sent. A limited number of convicted women were also sent to French Guiana, with the intent that they marry the freed male inmates; however, the results were poor and the government discontinued the practice in 1907.

The horrors of the penal settlement became notorious with the publicity surrounding the plight of the French army captain Alfred Dreyfus, who had been unjustly convicted of treason and sent there on 5 January 1895.