Sunday, January 26, 2014


The three-masted barque 'Otago', built in 1869 and owned by Grierson & Company of Adelaide. This was the only vessel commanded by Józef Korzeniowski, who later became famous as the writer Joseph Conrad. Korzeniowski took command of the 'Otago' in Bangkok in January 1888. He sailed her back to Sydney and then made a return trip to Mauritius before relinquishing his post in March 1889.

Josef Conrad is considered one of the greatest writers of English prose, which is remarkable considering English was his thrid language. Conrad has influenced my writing greatly. Our paths crossed, apparently, in Sydney and Bangkok, albeit separated by eighty-odd years. Conrad wrote the novel Heart of Darkness, inspiration for Coppola's masterpiece Apocalypse Now.



  1. Now I'm curious to know if Conrad ever visited Otago, which is one of the provinces in the south of New Zealand. The word is an Anglicization of "Otakou", the predominant Maori settlement on what is now the Otago Peninsula at the time whalers arrived in that part of New Zealand. Great find!