Madang to Cairns
13 October 2008 | Cairns
Pic of Irene in Cairns Marine. Made it and got the T shirt, forgot the hairbrush as usual ;)
Trip back to Cairns.
After being fairly diligent for the project I am feeling a bit blogged out and there is so much organising for our next project that I am struggling to find time so this will be brief.
We left Madang after a couple of meetings, a few hours on the Internet and filling with diesel and water. The trip to our next diesel stop, Alotau was fairly uneventful and slow due to head winds and currents but Magic Roundabout sails well to windward so it was fun at times. Irene and I were lucky enough to see a huge shooting star one night. It traversed a large sector of the sky changing from orange to a bright green as it did so
We took 5 days to get there, longer than I had planned but not too bad.
Alotau had a reputation of being pretty but it was hard to tell as it rained 24/7. Occasionally the clouds lifted a little to give us a glimpse of the very green, conical hills and a waterfall in the distance. Alotau's other reputation was of being very safe so our guard was down rather. Unfortunately this was taken full advantage of and Leila had her bag snatched. As it was attached around her body she was pulled onto the ground and cut when the guy slashed the strap. It was a very bad cut but the local hospital was very good and had her stitched up very quickly. We hope she will soon be better and back diving again!
After meeting so many fantastic people in PNG this was a really upsetting incident and has certainly given us a serious decision to make about going back there.
After a night at hotel looking after Leila and trying to feel safe and relaxed we visited the police again to fill in a few forms where we met Leila's robber who had just been brought in. We were asked if we wanted to say anything before he was locked up for several years! Leila got her camera back, which had some nice pictures on it of the guy who stole it and his mates that the police were very thankful for!
We set off that night and entered the China Strait at dawn. The China Strait is a narrow passage between the mainland and several close by Islands. We had the tide with us luckily as it can reach 7 knots at times. Soon after leaving the strait we caught our first fish, another Spanish Mackerel, much to Irene's disappointment as she had ordered Tuna!
The trip to Cairns was rather uneventful but fast with beam winds of 10-20 knots all the way. We arrived here on the 7th and crew departed the 8th. I have been here since working on getting the boat prepared and also organising the trip and crew with OceansWatch Australia representative Melinda Taylor.