Monday July 8, 2019
Where is Tim.
Time to depart Papua New Guinea. The plan is to actually depart tomorrow am. Still have to hang our main sail, stow the dinghy, attempt to unclutter the mooring lines (what a disaster, lines tied to more lines which twist around other lines), put away our groceries, fill out water tanks, and contact customs for our departure clearance. Oh, and pay our bill. My engine is still not 100% trustworthy, or I should rephrase, my drive shaft. Probably will not be able to 100% troubleshoot until Thailand. My parts, sent via the US Postal Service is still someplace in Hawaii. Not sure how long it might take to arrive, so I will make provision to have it forwarded. Pretty much means it will not catch up to me until Thailand also! I can remember the post “rain, sleet, snow and wind” slogan. Boy, have times changed!
The Marina is friendly, but not much to do here in PNG. I think most of the cruising boats will depart this week.
PNG is a young country. It has morphed from British New Guinea, German New Guinea and Papua into Australian New Guinea and the Australian New Guinea autonomous region and finally into an Australian territory (thanks in part to Australia’s white only policy of the early 20th century), and finally in 1975 into an independent Papua New Guinea. In the local language, “Papua” means “curly hair.” Imagine an entire country named after a hair style, the afro! Go figure. Of course, Indonesia has claim to 1/2 of this island, having had “ties” to this island (and the spice islands, now Indonesia) since the 14th century. It was Robert Kennedy in the 1960’s who spearheaded that determination with the help of the UN, otherwise that side would have been Dutch New Guinea. PNG exports oil, gold, copper and timber. All the big mega corporations are here, like Exxon, but the Chinese are not far behind. The Chinese already pretty much “own” Australia, New Zealand and all the islands in this hemisphere, with the exception of Japan. But that is another story.
Our route is basically west, about 1000 nm until we arrive into Saumlaki Indonesia. I expect winds averaging 17kts from the SE, with the currents in the Torres Straights between Australia and Indonesia. I expect to be buzzed several times by the Australian defense forces who seem concerned about an invasion by, well, everyone I guess. Another long, boring, passage.
More to come
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