“French Explorer LaPerouse in Alaska” is the title of a talk to be presented Saturday June 27th at Juneau’s Assembly Chambers by Captain Philippe Fichet Delavault of the cruise ship Seven Seas Mariner.
Fichet Delavault, who has been sailing around the world for the last 36 years, has been serving on cruise ships for the last eight years. The Seven Seas Mariner docks in Juneau each Saturday this summer.
In 2001, Fichet Delavault came to Alaska for the first time, and learned that his French compatriot Jean Galaup de la Perouse had preceded him by 215 years. LaPerouse (1741-1788) charted the coast of Alaska by direction of the French king Louis XVI, and entered Lituya Bay in July of 1786. He and his crew met the Tlingit people living there and described the people and their culture in journals and art work.
Twenty-one French officers and seamen in two small boats were drowned while charting the mouth of the bay. LaPerouse placed a plaque on Cenotaph Island with the names of the lost men and the words “Who ever you are, when you read this, mingle your tears with ours.” The French Association Laperouse-Albi-France has prepared a replacement plaque as the original no longer exists. A new location, instead of Cenotaph Island, must be found.
Captain Fichet Delavault will speak Saturday June 27th at 5 p.m. at Juneau Assembly Chambers at 155 South Seward St. Juneau. His web site (choose French or English) is: http://web.mac.com/phfichetdelavault/Lap%C3%A9rouse_in_Lituya_Bay/Welcome_to_Lituya_Bay.html
The Association LaPerouse Alaska is being formed and membership information will be provided. For more information call 907-321-7558.