Arriving in the Hermit Islands: typical of our PNG experience

Our arrival at the Hermit Islands was hardly auspicious. After two nights at sea with all the squall dodging fun the convergence zone has to offer, our morning arrival is darkened by thundercloud formations on several sides. Looking down at the main village: Luf Island, in better weather The Hermits are a group of volcanic […]

Reader questions: fair trading

When we were in Jayapura this past week, we were able to get online in a meaningful way for the first time in months. It was fun going through blog comments- some great questions that come through the here and on our Facebook page. Here’s an excerpt from one: “Being both a person who’d “give […]

Evening discussions at Tunung Island

We were grateful for Paul’s help finding the shipwreck in Three Island Harbour  and enjoyed his company, so invited he and his family out in the evening. Beautiful sunsets near New Hanover Island Paul paddled out to Totem after sunset; sitting in the evening breeze and eating dinner together, we talk about his home. He grew […]

Working around New Hanover, PNG

En route to the Hermits, we spent more time than we originally planned at Ungalik. But we feel the need to keep moving west, to try and get as far as we can towards Indonesia’s Raja Ampat before the seasonal northwesterlies set in. Still, we couldn’t resist the lure to linger a bit longer near New Hanover. […]

Zen and the art of not missing a field guide

My abundance of pumpkin and coconut got me started on that post about wanting a certain cookbook a couple of days ago, but while I'm thinking about the books that we wish we had on board, there's another that looms large. Or rather, it's not one book in particular this time, but a gap in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]