Page 4 of Parvati Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Solomon Islands » Guadalcanal August 15th 2009

Again? Couldn't we have stayed in Malaita? No? Well, okay... as long as I get to learn some more tech stuff and have fun afterwards. Let's do it! In the military, days seem to begin earlier and earlier, and I find myself unable to sleep past 6:45 or 7:00 am. I think, again, back to my Papa and how he could never sleep past about 5:30 or 6:00. Am I doomed to repeat that? Is it from being in the Navy? My poor husband is in for some early mornings, though he can sleep anywhere, anytime. I definitely envy him that. So, most days, I have my alarm set for 0700 to get to breakfast at 0730. With the volunteering projects, I usually have to be on the gangway by 0700. Well worth my time and ... read more
My first IV catheter. Mission Complete.
Dog attack
MREs are the yummiest!

Oceania » Solomon Islands » Malaita August 13th 2009

Vet Techin’: To Faint or Not to Faint, That is the Question Shifting from Guadalcanal to Malaita (those are two of the different islands included in the mission) was truly uneventful... unless you can appreciate beautiful clouds, a lazy but colorful sunset and rays of sunshine pouring like molasses through the clouds. Okay, yeah, I loved it. As soon as I heard Spike (the Chief Mate) say that “that would make a pretty picture”, I ran down to grab my camera (thanks for my bday present Jer!) and started snapping. I think I did rather well, considering one of the photos is now my desktop photo. :) After only seeing a limited view of Honiara in Guadalcanal, I hoped that Malaita would prove a more rural gem and I was very happy with the outcome. Maybe ... read more
Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Oceania » Solomon Islands » Guadalcanal August 10th 2009

So what is Guadalcanal like? Well, it's a bit difficult to explain, but I began to have some appreciation for it. Anchoring out, I stayed on the ship for the first couple of days, but after meeting some people and getting out of the main area, it was actually pretty nice. There's loads of history and even if the locals don't give a super warm greeting at first, it got much nicer as the days passed and meeting the RAMSI folks certainly was worthwhile. I really enjoyed their company and their graciousness as they took us around to some interesting spots. You can see a couple of photos here of local "flora and fauna" (yes, that includes beer). :) ... read more
Our First View of Honiara
The Fishing God
Lime Lounge

Oceania » Solomon Islands » Guadalcanal August 7th 2009

The Solomon Islands have a very rich history that has intertwined with the United States and many other westernized countries. From its beginnings (again, from a Western viewpoint) as a land full of savages and cannibals, to headhunters, to holding the legend of King Solomon’s mines. Some people here still believe that the sharks are their ancestors! I read my Lonely Planet guide and was shocked at how many things could happen in these little islands. Thinking of Guadalcanal Day and actually being here for the day itself, it makes me think about my grandfather and his days in the Navy. These are places where his generation took a stand during WWII, made a difference and gave the islands back to its people from the Japanese. So many ships were attacked on the coast of ... read more
By the Dawn's Early Light
Sea Fan
Purple Clownfish

Oceania » New Caledonia » South Province » Noumea July 31st 2009

Oui... un petit peu (yes... a little bit). Thank goodness! 31 JUL - Lagoon Safaris Sounds Like a Jungle Adventure During our transit to NewCal (as I lovingly refer to it), I did a lot of research for myself and my guys on things to do and places to see. Not that any of them took advantage of it, but it was super helpful for me, since I stumbled across the 5 star PADI resort (Kuendu) and Lagoon Safaris (the dive shop at the resort). I began communicating with Annabella, the Australian shop owner about getting a group from the ship out to her shop. I made a spreadsheet (you know me, the engineer) and ended up with about 6-8 people everyday. It was really quite a distance for taxis to and from the ship everyday, ... read more
Blue Spotted Ray
Turtles Everywhere
Jay Took This

Oceania » New Caledonia » South Province » Noumea July 30th 2009

I thought people airbrushed photos of these... it's a shame I was alone. Over the water bungalows is where it’s at! As we neared New Caledonia the weather began to shift to the cooler, rainier side. I was a little worried that our strictly liberty port was going to be ruined by the weather in fact. Many started to complain about the cool weather, but I kept my attitude optimistic, thinking of the over the water bungalow I had secured for all 3 nights. As we pulled into the lagoon, by the way, it’s the largest lagoon in the world, there were reefs everywhere. Looking at the navigational charts, the harbor entrance is listed as a “no anchor zone” due to unknown ordnance from WWII. Apparently there was a large U.S. Supply Headquarters here and between ... read more
Inside Trusses
My bungalow
Where I Spent Alot of Time

Oceania » Tonga » Ha'apai July 25th 2009

Well, it's not the Cat Knapp... let me assure you that it was totally worth my while. I didn’t think that I was going to be able to dive again in Tonga but timing worked out perfectly for a small group to go out with Brian and Sabine’s dive shop, Fins -N- Flukes. Sabine is originally from Germany and Brian from Ireland, how the two of them ended up in Pangai is beyond me, but I met them earlier at Mariner’s Cafe. They have the cutest little puppy and great attitudes, just good people to hang around. Jay and Thomae had made friends with them early too, so it was easy enough to get additional divers (Me, Derrick, and James) together. Though a bit of a cloudy day, we left the ship early and met on ... read more
The Dive Shop
Yes, this is the boat

Oceania » Tonga » Ha'apai July 18th 2009

I was lucky enough to fall into a group going on a dive trip on Sunday. In the Tongan constitution, the law states that no one is allowed to do any kind of work on Sundays. So, most establishments are not allowed to offer any services of any kind. Luckily, this place, Happy Ha’apai Divers got permission from the village elder and 7 of us left for Foa to experience some Tongan diving. I persuaded Brittany to come out with me, Kyle ditched us, but we left on the 8am RHIB. Twenty minutes after getting ashore, we arrive at Happy Ha’apai Divers, walking our gear down to the beach where another RHIB awaited us. As I looked out at the boats, I imagined that we would be on the small dive charter boat. Lucky us, ... read more
Getting out to the Cat
Our Dive Boat the Cat Knapp
Dive Brief

Oceania » Tonga » Ha'apai July 16th 2009

Okay, so this consists of going to Mariner’s Cafe and having Aussie beer (or American beer if we buy some from MWR) and getting Magda to make a pizza for us. Kyle, Brittany and I hang out with some of the ADVON (Advanced something, pretty much the advanced party). Here are some photos of everyone but me getting crazy. :) We hung out with some Australians from the HMAS WEWAK as well, a LCH... their oldest actually, that has a stag crew (that’s what they call it anyway, all guys). Funny thing happens, it’s a pretty good story if I can tell it right. I need to get a little background first. Right now, the BYRD consists of Ship’s Company MILDET, Civilian Mariners, PHIBRON 1 and all the personnel embarked to them. PHIBRON is somewhat ... read more
Ryan (Fish) and me
Cheesy Hyram
The Crew

Oceania » Tonga » Ha'apai July 15th 2009

15JUL As usual, I digress... let’s see if I can keep on task to describe the day’s events. I went on a COMREL to one of the elementary schools (Pangai Primary School) with Lauren Rago and Rick Parry (the two Aussie Public Affairs types), Todd (the Chaplain), Beav (the TACRON, or air operations guy), the musicians and a few other CivMars from the ship. It was so much fun, the kids, faculty and parents all came to have a program involving all of us. We really didn’t know what to expect, but we came away rejuvenated, elated and feeling like we had just had a vacation. We danced, drank coconut milk, played frisbee with the kids and just had a great time together. What an amazing day! To begin, the group arrived at the Primary School ... read more
Dancing a lot
Learning a new dance
Making faces

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