SV Ah Ma

On to Moresby

Leaving the Pacific on the 4th of July, we sailed toward Asia, passing through the channel between Kolombangara and New Georgia. Laden cargo vessels navigated the busy waters, transporting timber from Kolombangara’s ancient volcano. With favorable winds, we smoothly crossed the Ferguson passage, sailing through open oceans until the distant lighthouse on Pananiu Island appeared on the horizon.

Our journey along the shores of Papua New Guinea brought challenges. Navigating the shallows beneath the tip, where depths fluctuated from 1500 to 20 meters, stirred a touch of nervousness. Unreliable charts heightened our caution as we closely monitored the depth meter.
Daytime encounters with occasional fishing vessels turned into nocturnal challenges, maneuvering through strings of illuminated AIS targets marking expansive fishing nets.

As we approached Moresby, winds intensified, requiring sail adjustments. By early morning on July 10th, we navigated the entrance successfully, dropping anchor in front of the Papua Royal Yacht Club. Despite its colonial charm, the marina’s peculiar mix of friendly staff and snobbish local clientele hinted at the complexities awaiting beyond its gates in the urban jungle of Port Moresby.

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Roderick Bay and a squall

After reveling in Santo’s charms, preparing Ah Ma with fuel and goods, we set sail on June 24th towards the Solomon Islands, targeting the humble port of Honiara, a relaxed 4 to 5 days downwind journey away. The sail was serene, a mix of sporadic light rain and favorable winds propelling us at a constant 7 knots, covering 180 miles a day.

With Alma aboard and the previous problematic passenger gone, our spirits soared, operating in a smooth rhythm, like a well-oiled machine. We landed in Honiara on June 28th, enduring the usual paperwork rituals in the island’s laid-back manner. The town streets, unfortunately, were marked by red betel nut spit, giving a somewhat lackluster vibe.

Off to Roderick Bay on Ngella Island, our next stop. Advertised as a welcoming and secure anchorage, local kids guided us in, and the village chief, John, extended his warm hospitality.

At the Bay, days were spent snorkeling, working on the boat, and enjoying the laid-back island routine. But schedules beckoned, nudging us to leave the peaceful bay on July 3rd, heading to Noro, an industrial tuna harbor. The port’s reality was far from inviting, driving us to hasten our departure.

Our sights were now set on Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, contemplating the unforeseen challenges that awaited us on the journey ahead..

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