Legendary Luf - The Hermit Islands
|Luff Island Village|
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 average boat speed was a whopping 2.1 knots!! Would we ever get to the infamous Luf?
Three days passed before the winds kicked up and pushed us to Luf, but the sporadic sailing had delayed our arrival time to 8 pm that night. We had to make a decision. Go through the wide pass at night or drift around outside all night until daybreak.
|Tour of Luf island village|
The bay is deep, with very few spots less than 35 meters. Originally, we anchored in a spot up close to the village, but after a few harrowing squalls blew through, our nerves forced us to move out to the 10 meter pinnacle quite a way from shore. The anchor set well, and we had plenty of room to swing (or drag, heaven forbid). It made our dinghy commute a trek, but at least we had peace of mind!
Ashore, things were quiet. A few children greeted us as well as some folks that were there visiting to do health check-ups for the government Health Department. Turns out, all the teachers and many of the students and community members had gone to the Ninigo Islands for the Independence Day futbol tournament, so it was a bit of a ghost town. The village tour guide, Ben, was up working in the bush, so we just chatted for a while with the few people we could find, and then asked them to let him know he was welcomed to come aboard for tea when he returned.
|Smiley face of Luf village|
|More happy kids|
|Guest book entry from our friends on s/v Lumbaz over a year prior to our arrival|
|Ben and Mark|
By the time the first stars showed up in the dusky sky, Ben headed back to the village, leaving us to get rested from our sluggish passage. I laid in bed that night with my mind full of anticipation, excited to finally be in Luf Island.