Monday, April 18, 2011

Rain Date 4/9/2011

My first time out paddling since I got back over 1 week ago. Just too busy and too much stuff going on, also the weather had been bad.

It had rained all day, and I thought it was finally over, but of course as soon as I got out in the water it started to dump on me again.
It is so warm here, that it wasn’t a problem. I had a light jacket on, and got dumped on 2 times and still it wasn’t cold, quite a feat for a “chilly willy” like me.

I didn’t get around to releasing a message, and I didn’t stay out very long because I didn’t want to have to go through the surf in the dark.

I made it back to PNG successfully.

The airport was still closed when I arrived. There was a dispute between the local people and the government about a lot of money that the Government owed the traditional landowners when the town was built. This dispute went on for years and years, so the locals put a “Gor-Gor” on the airport. Basically they shut it down and post some branches from a special plant and nobody will dare cross it. Sort of like a curse. This is a very powerful mechanism, and the airport, which wasn’t even on disputed land was closed for 10 days. A big problem since there is only one airport on the island. This means no mail, no newspapers, 100 reservations a day canceled, if you run tourist business no customers, if you are on vacation no way home, etc etc…

I had arranged to get a lift with some friends who run a surf charter business. PNG Surfaris from the next island over.
I flew in Rabaul in New Britian where they were picking up some of their clients the next day.

There was an assortment of other lost souls going
to Kavieng. A pilot who lives in town, a dive tourist going to a resort, and some local guys coming back from a surf contest on the mainland of PNG. It was very luxurious, compared to the other option: an open crossing in a "banana boat", a trip through the hills, and then down the coast in a public mini bus. That would have been hot, dangerous, and exhausting.

I saw this big ship on my way back home.

It is run by a company called “Nautilis” they are doing deep sea mining. Everyone in the conservation community is worried about the impact it will have when it brings tons of silt up from the bottom. God knows what will happen deep down below 1,000 feet or more where they are sucking up all the dirt. Currently they are just doing testing. The ship doesn’t anchor it just hovers with a computer controlled positioning system using thrusters and GPS.
I passed it on the way back to Kavieng.

I didn't enjoy the cruise much because I was still getting over my cold,
was jetlagged, and just wanted to be back home. We were delayed one additional day by a cancelled flight of their paying customers, but finally left on Monday morning, and arrived in Kavieng the next morning. I think that makes a new record for a NYC->PNG leg of about 100 hours.

The drought broke when I was away, and it rained quite a bit. So everything is green again, and our water tank is full to overflowing.

The surf has died down, so it is not so noisy at our house, and it is
safe to get out by kayak or swim out to the ocean. There were a number of weeks where it was too dangerous to get out from our beach.

As we get toward the end of our stay I feel I need to do more outdoor
fun stuff because I know I will miss it when we go back home.

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