Monday, July 31, 2017

Solomons to Takuu

After almost nine months of motoring through the Solomons (the longest we have been in any country while on the boat, by the way), we finally got our parts installed, made the last minute dash to the market to buy as much produce and fruit as we could store, checked out and headed for Takuu. We saw every kind of sailing, from perfect beam reaching through flat seas, to downwind in heavy seas, and upwind into waves and rain galore (to say the forecast was a bit off may be a bit of an understatement). We made some rookie mistakes: Mark's hatch wasn't all the way closed so his mattress was soaked with sea water--first time we have had that happen in 4-1/2 years of sailing. Conrad tossed his cookies inside the cabin and didn't make it to a bucket right away. We also lost a lure to something huge that about ripped the bungee cord in half, let alone snapping the 150 lb test line like it was nothing. Ripe bananas from the humongous stalk that Matt couldn't refuse (less than $3 US) started plopping down as the boat moved from side to side (a la the Pacific crossing), so it's lots of banana bread for the next while.

Takuu (Mortlock) is an atoll that is technically part of the Bougainville Independent government (which is itself nominally part of Papua New Guinea), though they get almost zero and are basically left to themselves. The inhabited islands are only a meter above the sea, so rising sea levels are a real concern facing the 200-300 residents and during very high tides some of the houses get inundated. The government wants the islanders to relocate, but many are reluctant to leave their home to move to a place with a different culture (Takuu is Polynesian in origin, while the rest of Papua New Guinea is Melanesian) and way of life. Our friends on Field Trip have been here for over a week and have making friends and fixing boats. We are enjoying the nice calm anchorage while we dry out Mark's bedding. Conrad turned 11 today (Matt made donuts to celebrate) and is itching to try out the new camera his grandparents got him.

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading this blog but did feel sorry that Conrad didn't make it to the bucket and that Mark had wet bedding. Also, hope everyone likes banana bread.


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