Keith's blog post 6
30 July 2011 | Kavieng, and Manus Province, Papua New Guinea
What really left an impression on us over the course of those few days was that there were these two islands, just 15 miles from one another, with such vastly different lifestyles, education, access to food, living conditions, etc. And, as is typical all over PNG, little means of communicating with or accessing one another. One has an abundance of what the other needs and yet they do not figure out a way to help one another. It is troubling to ponder.
Meanwhile, a few reflections on life on the boat and other brief highlights:
I have been on the boat for three weeks and in that time the following things have broken: the windlass motor (which raises and lowers the anchor - meaning Steve and I have been trading off the manual anchor duty since day three of my trip!), the propeller on the dinghy's outboard motor, the line that attaches one of the bigger sails to the boat (for you sailors, we were without our screecher for about 24 hours of this passage), the watermaker, the GPS, and the paddlewheel that allows the autopilot to function. Other than the windlass, all were repaired in fairly short order. But, Steve is often in system repair mode and it certainly made me appreciate (and not desire) the challenges of owning a sailboat.
Although the water has been, by all accounts, murkier than usual because of the unseasonably stormy weather, we have had an amazing time snorkeling every day we can. The best snorkeling so far has been at the Hermit Islands. I am being treated to the most diverse marine life I've ever seen. In addition to the zillions of fish, there is an amazing variety of coral, sponges, plant life, etc. and it has been an absolute pleasure! And not too many sharks!
Day-to-day boat life is a matter of slowing down and easing into the routine. It is indeed strange to be in a part of the world where there is no cell phone or internet access. It's a great way to disconnect. We have remarked several times that the three of us are doing great traveling together in a confined space. No one has thrown anyone overboard the whole time!
This has truly felt like a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a very remote part of the world. It has been very special and I'm having an amazing time!!
So, we are underway and headed to Palau for the final two weeks of the adventure. The best thing is that Karen gets to join in the fun (oh, and she's packing a new windlass motor to boot!)!!! There promises to be great skin diving in Palau, which has some of the best in the entire world. Hopefully, I'll get to share again on the blog!