Vanimo, part 2: So you’re from the yacht!

“Oh, you’re from the yacht!” It’s not a question, but a statement I hear from almost everyone with whom I have more than a simple transactional interaction. From the woman who helps point me to the consulate, walking home from church. We’d only just arrived- how did she know? And yet she did, because she […]

Vanimo, part 1: just a quick stopover, right?

It was with some trepidation that we pulled into the PNG border town of Vanimo early one morning. Papua New Guinea has earned a reputation as a dangerous destination for cruising sailors. It is certainly justified by the reports of attacks and theft that boats have experienced. Our research prior to coming to PNG helped […]

Pit stop at Wuvulu’s spectacular reef

The route from Ninigo to Vanimo, our next port of call, is a slightly awkward distance that can be stretched a few different ways for passage timing. We decided to build in a stopover at Wuvulu Island. Roughly halfway to Vanimo, we don’t have a lot of information about the island except that it was […]

Ninigo: photographs and memories

Hopefully, a few photos and anecdotes can help communicate the good memories we have of our time in Ninigo. Our children were a little shy at first, but there’s nothing like getting to hold a shy, docile pet cuscus (tree kangaroo) to help them loosen up. We’re told these are food for islanders, but “Boiman” was doted […]

Citizens of Ninigo

“You must change your citizenship,” Thomas tells us. “You are from Ninigo now!” Ninigo sailing canoe: these islanders are famous for their navigators Thomas is our host, the elder on shore from our anchorage at Mal Island in Ninigo atoll. After nearly a week on Ninigo, this sums up how we feel: a member of […]

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 […]

Papua New Guinea: kids and knives

It’s daunting the first time you see a grown man walking down a path with a large machete swinging at his side. In PNG, one quickly becomes inured to this sight. Sharp knives as common an accessory as the mobile phone at home. Everyone- and I mean, everyone- carries a knife. How else to you […]

Oh, we had plenty of fun, too

From the posts about the Hermit islands earlier this week, it might seem that we didn’t get to play very much while we were there. Hardly true! It wasn’t all about the awesome whales, either. Photo by Nalukai. We spent a lot of time in the water. There was the unforgettable experience of swimming with […]

The exotic cruising life: a wild day of… fixing sewing machines

Another day at the Hermits: Jamie learns that there’s a broken sewing machine ashore. Having worked for years as a sailmaker, he’s well versed in the mechanics of machines and has the  skills to help. OK, no problem, we set a time for 8am the next day to go in and meet with the woman […]

Helping out in the Hermit Islands: it takes a (global) village

Even without the incredible experience of swimming with whales, the Hermit Islands are indelibly impressed in our memory bank. We had a lot of fun in Bob’s company. His English is very good, and he’s happy to spend time talking- so we are able to learn a lot about the islands and the people who […]