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Published: August 19th 2018
Thursday Conflict islands.
Being so far forward in the boat any action that occurs happens next to our cabin, so 6-30am I was awake listening to the action of tenders being prepared for transfer of passengers to the island as well as the ship being held in place by the thrusters rather than an anchor. The Conflict Islands are a coral atoll 152kms off the tip of mainland PNG comprising 21 separate islands surrounded by a beautiful lagoon. Located 11 degrees off the equator they are mostly uninhabited, 30 people live on the island we visited today called Panasesa Island, small but with a massive air strip which was used in the 2nd World War in The Battle of The Coral Sea. A turtle hatchery is an important conservation aspect of this small island. These islands were first chartered in 1886 and are named after the HMS Conflict a British navel ship built and based in Sydney. A leisurely breakfast started the morning at The Pantry this morning, chatting to the Canadian couple on board plus a Rockhampton couple. Trivia, Scattagories, Dingbat filled in the morning, then an early lunch saw us ready for island time. Gemma who is Scottish and
one of the dancers on board hosted the morning games, and told us a little of her job. Hired and putting the show together on the Gold Coast for 6 weeks, then a 2 week handover and a contract of May to October. She does the 2 shows almost every night, dance classes daily and trivia. She reckons it's pretty easy. We chose to remain on board the ship until free tender time, so down to deck 3 and walked straight on board for the short 400 metres to the jetty.Non free tender time is where you put in to go ashore at a certain time, wait in the theatre, line up in many places and finally get on board. There were quite a few bars, eating places and souvenirs on the main foreshore area and the all important stamp in the passport for Martin and also a place to mail a postcard. You could buy a beer for $10-, huge big local can. The coral and fish life was OK, not impressive compared to the Great Barrier Reef but interesting enough. A well swept sand path circled the island making an easy stroll. Immaculate and clean, big airfield across
the middle, tropical island lushness of dark green foliage contrasts with the cobalt blue of the deep ocean and the beautiful turquoise of the reef lagoon. And coconut palms everywhere, bearing huge quantities of nuts.And back on board to our luxurious room, with air con and a lovely fresh shower. We have formed a trivia team, a Maltese couple Martin met in the defence force chat, and another couple who felt 2 man teams were wasted and asked to join us. Pretty formidable as a 6 man, we did well but were pipped at the post tonight. Angelo's fine dining, Italian of course, was tonight's late dining option. We chose a Suavo wine, Italian fruity white to accompany our food. Chatting to our Phillipino waiter we learnt what we suspected that there are quotas for staff on board across all departments. The countries P&O visit in the pacific must be represented in the 500 or so staff on board. The vast majority are still Phillipino however with Italiens well represented on the bridge.
Tot: 0.238s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 12; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0115s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb