Solomons to PNG
02 August 2009 | Rabaul
Picture from a typical trip on a local bus!
Tuvurvur, the active volcano next to Rabaul, was rumbling and smoking
as we slowly sailed up to the anchorage. Even all the way down in
Kokopo it makes loud deep noises that shake the hull of the yacht as it
spews alternating black and white streams of smoke from it's fiery
mouth. There's three volcanoes up there. The other two are larger and
quieter. More comfortable you might say. Like old men they don't seem
to feel the need for all the showy posturing that comes from Tuvurvur.
Rabaul is a town right next to the volcanoes. It has a great deep port
in some very protected waters. It's also almost always covered in ash
from the volcano. The shore of Kokopo is covered with palm
plantations, a couple of resorts, and people having fun on the beach.
We were all a bit disappointed that we had to stay aboard until we
cleared the next day.
- We left Noro as early as possible after Chris cleared us
out of immigration. It seems that the
Australian government is having some sway in the ways that laws change
here and the officials are more officious than they really needed to be. Chris seemed happy to have been processed without any troubles but
I can't imagine that would be the case a year from now after the rules
have been in place for some time. We were not legally in the Solomon
Islands any longer so we set sail for PNG. I was excited to be
leaving. Aside from the relatively unremarkable place that Noro was, my
mind and body was filled with excitement to be heading to PNG for the
first time ever. The excitement soon faded and gave way to a special
form of maritime ennui. You see the sailing was slow and we had to use
the motor for some ways. We knew that we couldn't get to Kokopo in
Papua New Guinea before the immigrations office closed on Friday so we
sailed slowly intentionally. At times, being underway is boring
especially when sailing slowly. This is strikingly so when
intentionally sailing slowly. We motored and jib-sailed all the while
averaging about 3.5kts for most of the way. Despite our greatest
sandbagging efforts we still arrived Sunday afternoon.