Back in the Solomon Islands -
07 April 2013 | Gizo, Solomon Islands
Hello from the Solomon Islands! –
We left March 17th on St. Paddy’s Day for the Solomon Islands to return to Mokisha. It was a lengthy trip of 13 hours to Nadi, Fiji followed by a 2 ½ hours layover. It was another 4 ½ hours to Honiara, capitol of the Solomon’s without any drama. We even slept fairly well on the plane which was a plus given the time change.
Our next leg of the trip was to Gizo and ultimately Liaperi. Options were certainly limited for getting to our destination. We ended up with 8 bags of boat parts so our “over” baggage was $690 out of LAX. Yikes, the airlines got us this time. Still, cheaper than trying to ship everything. In any event, a prop plane to Gizo would have issues with the amount of baggage & would have cost additional $$$$ so we opted to go the ferry route. We got a cabin where we piled not only bags but a cooler of meat & several boxes of additional provisions. There was only a single bed in the cabin so we gave a new meaning to ‘’spooning’’ on a tiny bed.
We arrived in Honiara on a Tuesday and the ferry left for Gizo on a Sunday. This ended up being pretty nice since it gave us time to rest up & provision. We were allowed to take everything aboard on Saturday night, which was a good thing when you see the pictures of the crowd! Arriving in 2 taxis we loaded everything into the room & went back for the night. The 10 am departure was smooth & worry free. We set out for our 26-hour journey with 8 stops of various villages. Pictures are in the picture gallery to your right – enjoy.
The ferry ride was enjoyable & we met some interesting people. Each stop was about an hour long and where bedlam ensued. The locals all know what they are doing & it seems to work.
Finally, Monday afternoon we are met in Gizo and are shuttled off to another boat for a 45 minute “canoe” ride to Liaperi. Boy, these bags are getting a workout! Finally, we arrive back at Mokisha. She was in pretty good shape on the outside but the usual coat of mold covered her on the inside from the v-berth to the galley. We were able to settle in one of Noel’s comfortable cabins which was a life saver – especially in the afternoon because it is HOT, HOT, HOT!
So we settled into the routine of projects and cleaning – without boring details, we emerge in 8 days with a boat that can move and we leave for Gizo.
We’re now at a resort called Sanbis – an incredible place to finish organizing and continue projects. We can jump into the clear waters and snorkel when we get to hot & enjoy the waterfront café at night. We’ll be here for a few days (with internet!) before heading off to the Shortland Islands. Although we both got a couple of colds in the tropics, they are running their course so we plan to do a couple of dives – including a 140 foot Japanese freighter that was torpedoed during the war, the Tara Maru. The trade winds seem as though they are arriving which not only cools things down but gives us the chance to sail.
Updates will come when we can get internet again, until then enjoy the pictures.
Colleen & Tom
PS – I’ve also posted our route for this year – Solomon Islands to Thailand so you can see where we are headed. We’ll put 5,000 miles under the keel this year!