Wish You Were Here: Sipping Espresso Aboard Jacques Cousteau’s Old Ship, Physalie (Now Espresso Ship), Port Tarakohe, New Zealand
Scuttlefish writer Owen James Burke is currently rambling around New Zealand in a camper van with a camera, surfboard and speargun in search of stories, waves and fish. We’re putting together a waterperson’s guide to the island nation, but meanwhile, we’ll be publishing stories and photographs, short updates along the way from the Yankee in Kiwiland. -CD
I was convinced this was a gimmick, and you might imagine my immediate disbelief after haphazardly stumbling upon Cousteau’s old ship amidst this craggy, rusty old shipyard in–for all intents and purposes–the middle of nowhere. Photo: Owen James Burke.
The other morning, I was driving along a coastal road in New Zealand’s Golden Bay looking for a place to sit by the water and have an espresso. Coming out of a hairpin turn through a cave-tunnel in the road, I saw a sign for the “Espresso Ship”. Perfect, I thought. Plainly and simply rhapsodic. Those may well be the two things I love and covet most in this world.
Little did I know, as I would soon come to learn, this floating cafe formerly belonged to my late hero: a French naval officer, scientist and explorer by the name of Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
How had I never heard of this boat?
Photo: Owen James Burke.