Making friends in the Louisiades: learning Misima dialect

Connecting with people in the places we visit, learning about our similarities and differences, is something I truly enjoy. Demonstrating interest by knowing some of their language is a great way to start. This is complicated by the vast number of languages we faced, first in Papua New Guinea and now here in Indonesia. Tok […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pictures of our first month in Papua New Guinea

Thanks to the good folks at the Ropopo Plantation & Resort near Kokopo, PNG, we have enough internet to get a few photos uploaded. Hooray! Kinda makes me want to stay here another day, but we need to keep moving. Having a schedule doesn’t suit us well but it’s well worth the upside of meeting […]

Preserving a family’s history

Punchline: I’m looking for a good Samaritan / karma seeker who can retouch a photo. Here’s the backstory. Our first day anchored off Panapompom, Toby paddled up to Totem in his outrigger. He was hoping we had some powdered milk to trade, because his wife wanted to make a special bread for a feast on […]

A day in the life

A peek into our day on Totem: normal activities in a not so normal life. In full Halloween pirate regalia, Niall is working on a map that we're going to age with tea bags. At 13 years old, Niall has been telling us for weeks that he's not getting dressed up for Halloween this year. […]

Idyllic week in Budi Budi atoll

Budi Budi was only going to be a short stopover, but when we finally had good weather to leave, our weeklong stay felt too short. With an excellent anchorage, beautiful reefs, and very friendly people—it should be on more “must-see” stops in Papua New Guinea. This jewel of an atoll gets few visitors, lying just […]

Ask, listen, share, rinse, repeat.

We haven’t been in Papua New Guinea for two weeks yet, but I believe we have gotten to know more local people here than the rest of our Pacific island cruising. It’s not spending time in one place. We’ve only spent a handful of days in each anchorage.  It could be related to being on […]

Dim-dim TV

When sailed from Panasia to Brooker Island, we gave a ride to Ronnie- one of the local guys who had gone diving for crayfish for us the night before. He wanted to go back for a feast with his soccer team to celebrate the end of their season. We were happy to offer a lift […]