Saturday, August 19, 2017

Takuu to Nuguria to Boang

Our friends on Field Trip have a knack for making connections at the villages. Sarah, an elementary teacher in her former life, visits the schools and offers help. Mark on Field Trip usually offers assistance to fix whatever needs fixing. We were lucky to piggyback on their efforts in Takuu and Nuguria. Both of these islands have been extremely welcoming and generous. At Takuu, we were the honored guests during a "Book Week" celebration where the whole village turned out to watch the school children perform modern and traditional dances and stories. In Nuguria, Conrad and Mark enjoyed helping to give a joint presentation about American culture and our boat travels to the whole school. We were inundated with gifts of lap laps (the local version of a sarong), necklaces, food, and other local items. We made new friends and got a deeper connection than we normally do when spending just a few days at a place. Both places are more Polynesian in culture and are part of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Leaving Nuguria, we used a period of favorable wind to head east to the Tanga Islands. Our short overnight trip to Boang netted us a 50-lb wahoo and 60-lb yellowfin tuna. We broke our streak of Solomons doldrum fishing and actually landed both fish (and without losing a gaff!). Matt struggled a bit to fillet the fish because they were too long to fit on the transom. Boang is a more traditional Papua New Guinea Melanasian village. The villagers have been very welcoming but they don't get many cruisers that visit (only 1 boat in the last 20 years or so), so we have had a lot of canoes that want to just hang out around the boat. With no television and no Internet, we're apparently the most interesting show around for the moment. We chat with them as well as our limited Pigin and their limited English allows, but eventually we leave them to go do other things. This doesn't deter them and they simply continue to hang out around the new 'water cooler' in the area (a place to meet and chat).

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