Archive | local culture


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 […]


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 […]


Doing things for the last time

With our departure from Australia coming up, we’re conscious of doing a number of things for the last time. It’s something that happens routinely when we are traveling, but stands out now due to the relatively longer stay we’ve had in Australia. Mexico was our home for a similar length of time, but we weren’t based in one […]


Mementos from Marquesas

I can’t help revisiting the sailor’s tradition of picking up a tattoo in the South Pacific. Our friend from the former FlyAweigh (now “out there” as Water Music), Alison, shared more pictures on one of her trips to Sydney. Thanks to her, I’ve got an image of Hyo’s to post. This is on the inside […]


Aussieisms: Cherries are for Christmas

We plunked ourselves down around the community tables in the marina last Friday for our weekly barbecue. The informal “it’s going to happen anyway” gathering is comforting in its unplanned simplicity…we love this regular reconnection with our boaty neighbors. Plates of munchies were around. Jacqui brought out a bowl full of fresh cherries, sighed, and […]


Aussie snapshots: beach culture

A few weeks ago, we had use of a friend’s car (thank you Jennifer!) while they were on vacation in Hawaii. It was really fun to stretch our wings beyond our usual public-tranportation circumpherence and see a few new corners of Sydney. Here’s local phenomenon. It seems like every beach has it’s own Surf Life […]


Sailors and tattoos

Tattoos and sailors have gone together since explorers ships first encountered highly decorated residents of Pacific islands in the late 1700s, and brought the designs back home with them: marks of their journey and exotic encounters. the Marquesas are recognized as being among the oldest homes of this tradition. Traditionally, they were a mark of […]


Feed the body, feed the soul

Something I’ve missed about living on land is having a garden. Oh, sure, you can put pots on the deck for boat style patio gardening- but that’s highly impractical while cruising. Aside from the harsh environment (salt spray is foe to the hardiest!), quarantine in most countries generally won’t welcome live plants. Thanks to a […]


Storian blong wanfala kenu Totem

Long long taem bifo i bin gat wanfala kenu Totem long smolfala aelan blong Bainbridge. Ol wan toktok blong Totem i gat wan gudfala plan. Hem wanem go long solwata lukluk aelan blong Pacific, longwei long not blong Bainbridge. Be wind i kam bigwan, solwara i rafraf. Afta wan dei, ol man blong Totem hem […]


Language lessons- Vanuatu edition

I’ve prided myself in learning a least a smattering of each local language- but reverting so some unappealing American ethnocentrism, I seem try English first in Vanuatu and am almost sorry to find that it works every time. I think I may have succombed somewhat to the disappointment of a fleeting stay in a place […]

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