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Published: November 20th 2007
Hi everybodysorry about the delay of info but finding internet in papua new guinea has been a bit of an ordeal (as well as finding anything here). So what has been happening for the past few weeks, well after reaching the capital of the soloman island, Honeara, we all disapeared from the boat for several hours to get on some dry land. Even though there was not to much to do in town we found some nice spots to relaxe, and shop through a v. small market. not much to report from that city and the most interesting things to happen were the random locals buzzed on bettle nuts (a nut, which when chewed with lime powder, will give you a mild high) and the fresh water that the girls got and made into a shower (our first fresh water one in a month... which can be quite exciting if your in our position!).
After spending a few days in town we picked up and sailed to a more reclusive spot, the Marova Lagoon. This is one of the most beautiful spots that I've seen in the world, speckled with sandy white beaches covered with palm and coconut trees, crystal clear blue waters and a interesting coral reef (which we explored its extream drop-off without fear, watching v. large rhino fish swim by). it was a little diffucult coming into port, for we missed our ETA and came in durring darkness, so we had the whole crew running up and down yelling depth soundings and sending us up into the riggings to try and spot coral reefs to avoid. But after spending a lovely night ancored watching the viberant sunset, we struck out but ourselfs to explore the islands. after snorkaling i decided to circumnavigate the island, and found several coconut trees which I later brought some of the boys to so we could climb them and get some food for ourselfs, which was quite a labourus process as it took 10mins of proding the trees and anouther 10 to hack the coconuts open with a machety. then after exploring the island (with the boys tring to machety their way through some ridiculus p[lants) we headed back to the 45 degree beach to play some jackpot, which landed me with several face fulls of sand. once tired of the beach island some of us grabed some flippers and swam back to the ship to play on the rope swing for a bit! that night we had a party for jordan's (the bosun) 25th birthday party, and we all 'learned' to swing dance! it was slightly disatirus but we had fun doing it!
the following day we attempted to pass though a very shallow passage, but once we scraped the bottom we decided to ancore up and wait untill high tide the next day. that night we were aproched but on of the villagers, graden, who sold half the ship some quite beautiful carvings and broght some fresh vegtables as a gift, which we thourly enjoyed! the next day we were taken to 'Skull island' which was this tiny island with a monument as tall as I am made up of coral, and peppered thoughout it were the skulls of the chifes from that past few hundered years (the latest being from 1908). The next morrning as soon as it was high tide we tried again to get through Dimond passage, which was about a wide across as the ship is long! but we got through without to much drama and sailed off to Gizo.
After a few days of travel we arrived in the town of Gizo, which is famose for the american and japan sunken ships and planes skattered throughout the waters surronding us. I got the chance to dive on one of the planes, it was pretty cool being able to see the damage that was done, but still be able to see the control panels and props. That night the local yaght club ('the PT-109' which was named after JFK's ship that got shot down while visiting the area (pretty interesting story that I dont have time for..)) threw a party for us, so we spent the whole night dancing and having a good time, even though we were the bulk of the ppl there.
We spent a few more days in Gizo not achiving that much and then 'sailed' for 3ish days to get from the solomans to PNG. We had a few rain skwalls in which everyone striped to their bathing suits and had fresh water showers, the next day we had a swim stop in the middle of the passing (only 10thousand feet to sea bottom this time) and a turtal swam right up to the group and plays with us for a while (one of the trainess Brooks tried to ride it!). And the last day befor we hit land I was on morning shift, tring to retrive a sail that wasnt coming out, and I managed to put my foot out by twisting it in the deck break! so I was out of comision for a few days unable to walk. but its fine now and only bothers me a bit.
on the 17th we arrived in Rabule, PNG and have been wandering around town exploring the open markets, which are quite large and aloud me to stock up on stash (private food supply). they have a large lychee market here which is a delightfull suprise and i managed to buy one lady out so I could share them with the boat crew. the next day we had a tour organized for thouse who wanted to go, to the sights of Rabule. First we visited the active Volcano (which I can see glowing durring night watch!) and hiked across a barren wastland of black ash dunes to get close enough to hear the volcano rumble! Then we visited a japaness peace momorial to remember the soilders who died durring the wars here. Then we piled back into the vans and were taken to japanes tunnels that were built to avoid enemy fire. even though they were out numbered by american forces, these tunnels gave them an advantage and made it a very difficult and exstensive battle.
In a few hours we are metting with one of the custom officers who invited our intire crew over to his house for a catered party, should be fun, and the crew is looking forward to having a dinner off the ship, because of the danger here we havent been able to stay off the boat anytime past 4:30.
I'll try and keep in touch. talk to you later!
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