Archive | November, 2012

And then there were three

Two days after we swam with whales in the lagoon here in PNG's Hermit Islands, we were told one of the whales had died. At this point, the pod had been inside for eight days. This sad news didn't resolve questions about whether they would be able to leave, or if we could have a […]

Oh yes, whales in the lagoon! Oh no, whales in the lagoon…

On our second morning at the Hermit Islands, Jamie went ashore to meet with Bob, the village elder who is shepherding us during our visit. He came back to Totem bubbling with information, and after reeling through what he learned, saved the most interesting for last: a pod of whales was in the lagoon! Not […]

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Oh yes, whales in the lagoon! Oh no, whales in the lagoon…

Jamie went ashore this morning to meet with Bob, the village elder who is shepherding us during our visit. He came back to Totem bubbling with information, and after reeling through what he learned, saved the most interesting for last: a pod of whales was in the lagoon! Not only that, but the villagers were […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our anchorage in the lagoon of the Hermit Islands, a Happy Thanksgiving from the Totem crew! We didn’t have a turkey or play touch football in a leaf blown backyard, but it was a sweet Thanksgiving on board. The gray skies and misty rain were reminiscent enough of our Pacific Northwest holidays, although the […]

Adventures in fueling

Refilling the diesel tanks aboard a boat is generally the simple process of a taking side tie at an accessible dock, where helpful staff assists in fueling your boat and processing your credit card. At least that’s our memory of most of the developed world. However, it bears almost no resemblance to fueling we’ve experienced […]

Kicking around in Kavieng

Kavieng doesn’t disappoint for a cruising trifecta of greats: surfing, diving, and resort-style relaxing. Couple that with a town has all the basics to top up provisions, and a resort that offers passive security while welcoming cruisers to enjoy the vibe and refreshments. It’s no wonder people rave about this place! Yet somehow, we didn’t […]

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Trading in the Louisiades: what will you get?

What you should bring to trade was covered in the last post; We knew we’d do a lot of trading, but we weren’t entirely clear on either side of the equation. Here’s a rundown of some of the things we traded for during our weeks in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. Lots […]

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Trading in the Louisiades: what to bring

We knew trading would be part of the experience of cruising in Papua New Guinea, but failed to appreciate just how much. For trading in the Louisiades, here’s what I would like to have seen gathered in one place before we left. This is based on our admittedly limited experience, through the western islands in […]

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Rabaul and Kokopo: WWII history and volcanoes

We had a very uneventful sail from Budi Budi atoll up to Kokopo, at the NE corner of New Britain island. I use the term ‘sail’ very loosely here, as we motored or motor sailed almost the entire distance- about 325 miles. The sea state matched what we experienced floating along the equator during Totems […]

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How to cook yams, with cultural lessons on the side

Yams and coconut are diet staples where we have been cruising in southeast Papua New Guinea. We have traded for many, but my first attempts at preparing them weren’t very interesting. One of the first women I met on Panapompom Island, Wendy, came on board to help me work out the secrets one afternoon.The first […]

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