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Showing posts from March, 2018

Southeast Asia Paparazzi

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I’d recently read that Indonesians tweet the most and are among the top populations posting on Facebook. At the time, I could hardly believe this statistic, but after spending a few days in Sorong, I am not surprised at all. These people are crazy about their smartphones. Everyone has one. Many have two or three.

The first full day we were here, Mark had the privilege of navigating through the entrance procedures - Customs, Immigration, Quarantine, etc. (If you’re sailing this way and would like notes on this, check out his update on Noonsite.) Michael decided to tag along, and when they returned that evening, they had hilarious stories to tell. Turns out, on the bus, Mark had been accosted by a gaggle of high school girls who were more than elated to see a ‘mista’ on their bus! They promptly snapped selfies with him and then grabbed his phone and took a few selfies with it, too, giggling the whole time.

Later, when Michael was with him at the Quarantine office, the young female offi…

Sailing to Indonesia

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During our sailing through PNG in the months of July through October, we have lost any faith in weather forecasts. Each time we prep for a longer passage, Mark sits at the nav desk diligently pouring over various forecasts that often contradict one another. Inevitably, two of the four models would be similar, while the other two were exactly opposite. Which one to believe? Does majority rule? In our experience, it is Russian Roulette.

The passage from Cenderawasih Bay around the corner to Sorong was predicted to be uncomfortable - winds on the nose and nasty CAPE activity that would surely result in many storms along the way. One forecast of the four, however, showed very light winds and calm seas. Mark’s mom was scheduled to arrive into Sorong in only a few days’ time, meaning we didn’t have much cushion in our sailing itinerary. We’d have to take what we were dealt for the 200-mile trek from Manokwari to Sorong. I popped a Stugeron tablet, doubled the Chana Masala I was making for …

The Ninigos Islands, PNG

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Our Papua New Guinea home.  Funny how the first islands we visited and the last would turn out to be our favorites by far.  The Mortlock Islands in the east and now the Ninigo Islands in the west created beautiful bookends for our time in Papua New Guinea.  As we sailed into the pass and across the lagoon with a brisk 18 knots of wind, we saw in the distance an outrigger sailing canoe.  Its sails were tight and full, the wind on its beam, one hull lifting in and out of the water as it skidded along.  They were absolutely flying and caught up with us in no time at all, screaming past Field Trip to wave hello!  We hooted and hollered at them, egging them on as they zigzagged all around us, showing off those sailing skills that the islanders here are known for.  What a welcome!
MAL ISLAND Puhipi Village on Mal Island was our first stop in this remote island group.  Thomas, the father and quiet leader of the familial village came out right away to meet us once we settled in.  He brought …

Seabreeze Dinner and a Cruise!

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It is amazing how industrious and patient the people of the Luf village are! Frieda and Nancy have been working to get a restaurant up and running on their tiny piece of paradise since a few years ago when Tom and Susie on SV Adina passed through here and made the suggestion. News spread among the cruiser community and the following year, Sara and Phil on SV Loch Marin contributed a beautiful set of plates and utensils to the culinary cause. By the time we arrived, a year later, the Seabreeze Restaurant (named by Phil) was ready for customers! I loved seeing such a culmination of efforts and resources between the cruisers and the islanders bring new opportunities.

Frieda and Nancy had outdone themselves! I’m sure it was an all-day affair to cook the buffet of local fare that graced our table that afternoon - taro, fried fish, fish cooking in coconut milk, rice, fresh fruit, and even a sweet treat! One of my personal favorites was the ‘pudding’ made from cassava and flavored with sweet…

Language Lessons at Luf

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By the second day, the kids were getting along well with the Luf kids.  Shyness on both sides had subsided and the play began.  All along the beach were these perfectly round nuts that had fallen from a towering tree.  Soon enough, they were transformed into bombs and slung at each other in a full-on nut war.  I’m sure the parents who had just swept the yards were less than thrilled for the bombardment of the nuts they’d just gotten rid of, but no one seemed too bothered, so play continued.  This was typical boy play - why is it so easy for boys to just pick up anything off the ground, make a game, and become best buddies?  Elizabeth, being a twelve-year-old, took a bit more time to find some way to connect.  Often, she ends up tagging along with me until she finds that one girl who reaches out to her and invites her to play.  We each have to figure out our own way of interacting, and sometimes it just takes a bit more time.  Sometimes we need to be the ones to take a risk, be vulner…

Legendary Luf - The Hermit Islands

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As we’ve traveled, there have been a few places that become legendary in the cruiser circles.  For some reason or another, a location would be mentioned over and over by various cruisers, making it a “must stop” in our own plans.

Luf Island in the Hermit Island Group is one of those such places.  Every time I emailed a friend who’d already sailed through PNG or read a cruising blog about this country, Luf Island village was always mentioned as a highlight.

That’s a lot to live up to!

Getting there was a slow slog.  We left New Hanover when all of our weather prediction models promised wind enough to sail.  SO, of course that meant that there was absolutely zero wind for the entire first day and a half!  It would be months before we’d be in a place to refuel, so Mark was going nuts, trying as many sail configurations as he could think of to catch even the slightest puff of breeze.  Finally, we decided just to take advantage of the positive current and drift for a half a day.  Our a…