MORE ADVENTURES.

 10/08/2013

 

  

 

To update our adventures I have to go back to 2009 when we returned to Australia from PNG.

We go back to Thursday Island ….on returning to Australia we ran head first into the Aussie customs you have to advise them of you intentions to return we had advised them as requested 24 hrs. of leaving POM 

On our return from Port Moresby   they advised that we - myself and the kids, were ok but Joanne was a NZ Citizen and that they were going to deport her AND the ONLY option was to clear in Cairns that was not an option as the weather was at 25 -- 30 knots at that time of year and would stay that way for many weeks to come yet.

It was decided to put Joanne on a domestic plane and stay at the international airport to clear customs in and then come home this put some pressure on my relationship with Aussie customs however .later they saw the reason and now we are ok.

This allowed us to spend several weeks travelling down the QLD  coast and doing our favourite past time beachcombing - on the beach there is more valued items  on a level of one to ten plastic buoys as benign one to message in a bottle 10 and glass bottle old ones at a 5 glass floats are right up there on that trip we found our first message in a bottle with a name and money in it to return the mail Joanne spent many days trying to un ravel the message but it had been saturated with water , if you ever put message in a bottle the condensation that gets in even through the most water tight bottle destroys  the message so put it a snap lock bag first then use e cork bottle as the screw tops are usually alloy and corrosion gets in and all over we have now found 3 messages in bottle over  a 15 year period …THE MESSAGE READ ..MY NAME IS KEN MACKINTIRE

FROM VESSEL...none readable …MY ADDRESS IS...totally distorted...PLEASE CONTACT ME … and left in the bottle  a $5 U S NOTE     we spent Xmas in Escape river fishing and coming the beaches as the weather still had not come down 3 weeks later we were able to travel we walked around all the island now  on the east coast and a great deal of the coast line some own the coast can only be available to vessels at the worst time of the yard and that is during cyclone seasons …from Margaret Bay north is amazing fresh water everywhere. This area is still not approachable by man easily as we found out this last time up there. 2012

 Back to 2009 on reaching cairns I did not contact my guys at the yard, I  just was Going to slip the boat and refit and head off again but fate has it and I am sure it is a conspiracy  of the system to indoctrinate  you to stay …During that year in cairns .of going mad and trying to go on another adventure I had decided to go back up north in the school holidays and go gold prospecting with the quad bikes and a large tow vessel we called    ''ITS BUFF '' 21 old Haines hunter Bertram ..refitted with 600 lyres fuel raised floor we too all the toys guns quad bikes and metal  detectors   and headed up to Princess Charlotte bay and right up to night island heady for stony creek .the old Butane mine base not been worked since the start of WW2 and all the old machinery permission is required to get in there are some shacks there from either Coen or Lockhart river but the is gold there spectacular  country wild and extremely rough the weather was deplorable we had to anchor the Emily off Treat reef 3 nm off shore with little or no protection and the BUFF HAD TO TRANS PORT ALL OUR GEAR TO SHORE …rough trip /...very dangerous  .remember  my crew is 10 yrs. 12yrs and one Joanne and me you really could not do this if your crew was not used to extreme conditions does not mean we like it ..We got most of the gear ashore and with little damage or loss of gear the bike had to put ashore with surf breaking across the vessel and breaking overall...so after that and setting up camp in an old shed we did not feel like doing anything

we had one new quad bike and one old one Chinese made and a Canam 400 the last time we were here we brought 2 new motor bikes and they never came back

Both broke down and we had to walk out 22 KS from the sights so this time we wanted more luck …but after only one day of adventure...

Flat tyres on the new quads punchers so I spent days repairing tyres by manufacture a bead breaker on board the Emily then using sick and patches inside the tyres

After several days we had to abandon the trip for 3 days we had to go back to the boat and move the vessel to a more secure anchorage 3 miles away behind the island ….I keep looking for a secure anchorage --that is when I push the Envelope too much it is the closest I have come to losing the boat in a long time

I had a lee shore at 20 knots and still I pushed the boat close to the coast looking for an isolated reef that could give us shelter after only 200 metres from the beach with only 1 metre of water under the boat I pushed the Emily back out sea through a surf that had developed dew to the shallow water. So we abandoned that trip...licked our wounds .and headed for more favourable waters loaded up all our gear and headed further north to Portland Roads where I sold the remainder of the fuel to the shop lighten up the BUFF as it wanted to turn over with all the weight and the self-draining decks were not quite right and it was caring over 2.5 tons of gear all so heading back we were punching a sea so plenty of water coming over the top

We covered the vessel with tarps and screwed down with battens so now we headed down to Princess Charlotte bay to more sheltered waters and rest

I have said this many times no one can prepare you for the east coast when it is bad weather...shallow water compounded with high wind and then combine that with current flow that is recipe for catastrophe ..

Now safely at Princess Charlotte bay We were able to anchor 200 metres from the beach And I KID YOU NOT .the wind was so strong we stretched our 1/2 inch chain all so from the beach to the boat there was 3/4 metre surface wave breaking on the bow of the Emily …BUT we were determined to have a good time

So off we went and put the NOW ONE QUAD BIKE LEFT on the beach...Within half an hour more flat tyres but I am now an expert repaired and back on the road again with an oxy bottle strapped to the bike to keep the tyres up …

That covered us up to January of 2011…the next

THE next adventure cam by accident …We had been asked to deliver A house boat to Port Moresby...Now that was not just a walk up start all sorts of issues came up   Ships registration aussie registration file consumptions and crew ..I intended to take both boats ''Lady Emily' and the now called ''Dream Time''

This was A 17 metre 2story luxury cruiser but not really suited for open sea travel ….all so insurance was an issue …

I co-ordinated the people ALL the necessary paper work …All so the crew was going to be caption My son Travis Lee who was a 19 yr. old class 5 skipper currently operating on white boats in Darwin and peg leg Patrick an eccentric boat builder all Soren Christianson an amazing electrician and very keen Tavis -lee had time off during June

There was a 10 day window to one co-ordinate 2 international vessels to go to sea at the same time with crew and stores and fuel and arrange air flights out of

P O M and then there was always the weather

So off we go ….first 24 hrs. All is ok …head to Lizard Island and we are faster than Dreamtime only by 3 hrs. But Lady Emily was not ready for the crossing

So I waited for the Engine room was all locked down and I was happy with the vessel THE weather report was to fair conditions and really we should

Had 15 knots on our stern quarter …..

BUT this was not the case the ''Dream Time'' was just on my radar and we had some radio coverage but the weather got the better of us

now half way across there was a 5 metre sea running on the beam lucky for us we could put one small sail up but this put a great deal of pressure on everybody

Remember my crew …13 14 and Joanne finally after 50 hrs. Of travel I went down for a sleep as soon as I was down engine room alarms going off every where

One of our recirculating pumps that cool the main engine got air in, due to the way we were pitching

 …NOW IT IS DOWN WIND for hours while I repair the damage in the engine room no sign of ''Dream Time’’ it’s now on the home stretch P O M and the weather settled down a bit

''Lady Emily '' arrived in pom at about 730 PM    no signs of my son or his crew …2 AM in the morning the sweetest sound I have ever heard ….""Lady Emily ''

""Lady Emily ‘‘“"dreamtime '' ""Dreamtime’’ coming through the opining I am doing 2 knots  ...I knew he had had trouble but they were here

Well the vessel tied up alongside the Emily and when we saw the damage it was amazing the weather had torn holes in the inside of the vessel up 1 metre square and lucky for water tight bulkheads the stories were told how they had to have 240 volt mechanical pumps going all the time

 Cutting holes through the inside cabin to access the hulls to make repairs on the run all the while shoring up the broken frames.

We pumped 20 tons of water out of that vessel that night

No one had had any sleep yet and still we had a hole in the hull more than a mitre square /.Travis -Lee was on a plane the next day to Thailand...GOOD JOB WELL DONE SON

We had friends in POM and Stuart Honey and Tony who owned the ply wood factory in POM still need air tools to repair the damage under water as there were no slipping facilities at the moment …..I managed to prepare and repairs the broken frames and re build part of the vessel under the water

then replace the ply wood by using no more gaps and water proof silicone all so space invader the plumbing product ..Roofing screws fastened the ply wood

This was very successful and after we pumped the rest of the water out of the vessel …and the put the vessel back to its magnificent self and finally get TO the club for a well-earned DRINK for all

SO now we are on to the next adventure...we delivered the vessel to the new owner and he employed us to slip the vessel for him and using his infrastructure  to finalise the repairs while doing this .The weather was most foul The Dreamtime had to be tied alongside the Emily Also my Visa had expired so I had to Jump on a plain and head back to Australia for a few Days Joanne and the Kids were on the boat alone with 2 boat boys from dreamtime in the middle of Moresby harbour  late at night some Rascals Came on board  and   SHOT THE BOAT BOY WITH A HOME MADE GUN AND STOLE THE DINGYS BLOOD EVERY WHERE Joanne rings me in cairns at 3 am in the morning tells me this Port Moresby harbour would have at  any one time 100 commercial shipping and the Australian navy as well …..NOW MY KIDDS ARE TRAINED THAY SET OFF NO LESS THAN 12 FLARES AND CALLED MAY DAY FOR OVER 10 MINUITES

AND NO ONE CAME OR ANNY ONE ANSWERED THE RADIO EVENTUALLY THE HABOUR PILOT CAME

We were able to retrieve the stolen dingos and the out board motors I returned to Moresby the next afternoon     

 There were plenty of people were asking me to stay in Port Moresby to help with their numerous   issues with their boats

Tony Honey had been trying to refit a Cougar cat for a number of years and could not get it going …so he asked me to help

This was a massive under taking in a very challenging  part of the world There was nothing in the boat I-had to designee Exhaust systems Electrical systems and re designee the vessel so it would be successful .and of course the whole family gets involved

Joanne is my right hand man and loves getting dirty pulling wires to cleaning bilges she is a great plumber

Seven months later the contract was over and we had the vessel to a stage ready for the water and Toni is now running around in his very successful

Pleasure ---The other boats I had under my control at the same time ''Sun runner'' Cord constructions Mike Comerford...Amazing man

''Alarm ‘‘Matthew Rife. What a guy computer wizard and IT designer for the bank

"Golden Dawn '' is not a vessel I worked on but we were tyre up beside him and his hospitality is memorable all Craig and I just hit it off Jason -Jack my son was invited on board and Craig took him out on vessel numerous time as crew the ''Golden Dawn '' was a 30 metre international charter boat and Jason jack was able to achieve his dive open water certs as Craig is Dive Master and has Paddy certified

 

Back to Australia it is now November 2011and the weather should have given us a clear run back to Thursday Island it took 2 weeks to get the ''Lady Emily ready for sea again and as all ways there are the knockers ..You have to realise that 99 % of all the boats in the Port Moresby yacht club

Have never been to sea or have not got there decks wet for several years

We have now been across the Coral Sea 8 times with ‘‘Lady Emily '' we were really looking forward to some private time but during our time there

We made some great friends

 We spent 10 Days crossing the stopping off at Eastern fields for several days just fishing and relaxing all so charting some of the reefs entrances  Eastern fields is 1 nm off as per the charts all so it is un surveyed so the mine field that is inside is amazing

We have been very lucky or good management I would like think the latter

The crossing sort of goes like this Eastern fields Ashmore Boot Murray island this track is not very common but we like it allows you to just do day trips and sleep over night and still get to where you are going I call that cursing not just going to one port to the next

Back on the east coast and fishing is just great and back to mackerel steaks daily When we do this cairns journey it is never done in a hurry what is there to go back to there is only Work commitments and bureaucracy to gets you back into the designee of the system and all the costs of being back is amazing …

  

Again I was never going to stay it was slip paint repair back to sea back to P N G and beyond...BUT >>BUT<<is never works out that way

It is now January 2012 MAX REILIGH goes back to school

Jason -Jack starts TAFE College all so finished his dive tickets …heading down the road to becoming a marine engineer and commercial skipper

He is just 15 TOO YOUNG yet for sea time ALL the while I am planning the next adventure THIS WAS A HARD SELL TO MY NOW LAND LUBBER CREW

WE ARE OFF TO THE PACIFIC DESTINATION PALAU

 

NEXT ADVENTURE

PNG   FEDERATIATED STATES MICRONESIA PALAU

For years I have seen planning to get to Palau the issue was the big runs from Keaviang to Pohnpei this was not on the preferred travel list very unusual

As u had to travel in the summer months when cyclones and UN predicable weather patterns but as is my preferred times to travel .we like the doldrums

As we don't sail very much or at all our Gardner Engine runs all the time and we love it preparing a vessel for a trip like this is all was very exciting

Store the vessel of 8 months at sea everything from toilet paper to Red meat 200 rolls of toilet paper 1000 kgs of red meat yes we are a small ship

We have 3000 litres of freezer

Also 1000 litres of utec freezer

3000 litres of chillier capacity

4000 litres water 3000 litres fuel

24 volt frozen 24 domestic fridges

2 auxiliaries 14 kiva and 12 kiva both Isuzu

And a cruse alternator off the main engine

All this machinery needs spare parts oil changes

The last slipping was in December 2012 and final stores put on and all ways there is issues with things dew to the fuel issues I did this

Changed the AC unites to inverter units and amazing bought a new Honda 2.5 kiva for the top deck .This unit was purchased as an outdoor unit however the first time it rained it stopped working, So we rang the after sales NON service and he promptly told me it was not to be left out side what do we do when we go camping????????? Build a house for it Any way it came good and now we just monitor its use and made a house for it on the top deck 

We carry 200 litres of petrol any way under the duck board I found that this small genet allowed me to run AC units in the make cabin and work in the engine room with no noise of AUX

WE FITTED  " A I S " TO THE ELECTRONICS mac computer systems coupled up to hard drive moves and education programmes   I am not coming back for possibly 2 years and the kids have to educated we are going into that tropics and health issues are a priority  sat phone and so again

We are loaded and we are off

Dew to the fact that we have travel the East coast dozens of times we have our favourite stops and dew the fact that we all have get back into the rhythm of boat life ,this usually takes 30 days or more so I plan to stay on the east coast for 3 weeks away from any people at all .

First stop hope islands at this stage checking all equipment and programs are working as we still have phone coverage so far so good

The boys are just loving there new AC unites and Sooooo cold all so it keep the boat in good cond.

Princess Charlotte Bay well that is where it all changed

1 our little Honda NEW just did not work

2our weather fax JUST did not work

3 could not get any H F radio

4 SAT PH did not work

5 2 Cyclones coming

6 my barometer was not working

Weather was very cyclonic...as I have done 11 cyclones and 4 at sea I have a great deal of respect for them and here we are stuck in a not very good spot

I needed my barometer so pulled it apart and yes it worked finally got HF Radio reports and got some sat phone coverage my weather fax

Which is the main one `was still down

IT all started on the afternoon mid-March the wind came from the north witch was ok for the anchorage but I knew that if it came from the west war were in big trouble and the broomier fell dramatically from 1010 to 990 that’s it is on top of us but weather bureau said it was north of us by 100 miles they had no idea where it was we had it.

Understand this strong winds...cyclonic on a lee shore 2 am in the morning my crew my family now 14 15 lifting the anchor with waves breaking over them on the front deck Jason jack had to lash himself to the rail to privet going over the side nil visibility driving by radar only 200 metres of room to move guess what

there is a 4.5 knot current this where nothing can go wrong everyone has a job Joanne keep look out towing dingy and on the boys it is pissing down rain that is horizontal  to the water we are less that 40 metres off the rocks …..The next issue is where we are going the middle of Owen channel is not the best anchorage

we moved about a mile into the channel dropped the pick the did was still there but no sea to go with it there was no real way to see just how close I had put

''Lady Emily ''  no sleep all on watch at day break it was clear still howling when we swing around toward the beach I was 5 metres off the reef

Too close but no damage

Getting harder to sell this romantic voyage we stayed there for 7 days before the weather came down enough to sail from there we headed to mar great bay

and to haggis ton island our friend needed parts that we transported for him and again the weather was rough and totally un approachable so we tied the parts to a float and sent it adrift but Fred was able to get a box of beer on the boat for us  the weather patterns on the coast changes as you go north if you go right in close you can escape the wind strange thing close is up to 50 metres off great for beach coming the boys took off the dingy and I kept going and then they

Would catch up and night time catching squid the bright lights and big gummy sharks kiss and realise we spent 14 days cursing the east coast to Thursday Island that’s what I call home

 Thursday Island to POM

Thursday Island is a place where you can get fuel stores and parts flown in great facilities and the best take away food in Australia

had to get the things that did not work going again so now it id weather fax and Grant sorted it out as when he installed the AIS he did not turn on the FAX again

ALL TOO LATE NOW...but happy to get it going again

TIME LINES ---Remember  that the time lines to do this trip is gaged on the weather and when the trades come they come with vengeance and it does not matter how big your boat is you know  all about it and I am 30 days behind time so get going 5 days later we are in POM no dramas   but the weather did not give us a break and again we are in Port Moresby with freight for our friends parts for our friend '' Golden Dawn'' and a kick ass BBQ for DREAMTIME this thing was 300 kgs. And all SS we were so glad to one get off the boat took up Sooo much room on the front deck ….so off we go again to next stop Alotau samurai

And off to pick up our Polly barge we left at Trobriand Islands in 2008 with our good friend Willy Rogers from Kula gold

We had been in touch with willy rogers several times and we were in anticipation of the condition of the barge Trobriand is 140 miles from Alotau that was a 300 mile round trip and most promptly 10 days by the time we get there and then do the meet and greet also there is the payment for the keeping our things in good order the trip over was mostly fine and fairly calm but not the weather we should have had at that time of year it should have been flat calm but no the dal

Doldrums had not come yet screaming northerly   wood lark is the best anchorage anywhere never any wind good holding and also no security issues

no phone coverage no internet no stores no file no facilities at all you are on your own here but we knew this any way so we spent our time repairing our barge and setting up the tow lines

Our friend Willy Rogers gave us a great time and treated us with a grand tour of the facilities Kula gold is waiting for the last part before mining to start

All the research has been done during that time we were able to use the emails at Kula gold to check the weather as it has been totally un-predictable so far

OFF WE GO AGAIN

every trip is an adventure and it has it challengers not only the navigation of it all but usually the Weather has a great part of it as there is nowhere to run to

there is 10000 feet of water to dry land straight up and I never get used to it you hart is in your mouth

SO NOW what to do with the barge I don't want to take it with us all the way so the options were to pass it on to the golden dawn as another dive vessel

And as it turns out we were going to pass it on to samurai but now we have this thing as an appendage …

Again the weather took its toll on us there was no rhyme or reason to it Alotau is a great place fuel water good stores taxi is 2k per ride banking and a really big slipway up to 1000 tons we anchored at the main part but the anchorage is only very small area and if the wind comes from the west it can be very uncomfortable and dangerous that you end up on the bricks

At the time the Golden Dawn was doing a charter from POM to Alotau and they needed oil and stores so we needed to buy these things for the golden dawn

IN PNQ you have Digicell and the communications are great you can be in the middle of nowhere and you have Digicell really amazing

During our time at Milne bay as we were there for 5 weeks due to weather running and hiding all most to the point we had to get more fuel but we found some great Anchorage's                  

          



I have not kept this up to date so now I will try to catch up after we came back from the Solomon's. It was back to work and the business of living in Australia, our intentions were to get out before the system got hold of me again--- but now a year on we are still here. BUT IT IS NOW CLOSE FOR US TO LEAVE AGAIN. To cut our teeth back into the boating life we took on an adventure of prospecting up north, close to the Nesbit River. I took 4 months to plan this endeavor and accumulate the equipment, beg and borrow to put it all together with as little money out lay as possible.- The point was to get quads and look for some lost gold mines that we looked for before and failed to find. We had some great gold stories to give us enthusiasm. How to get the quad bikes ashore was the problem and not to destroy the equipment on the way, as it was the wrong time of year to do this, lots of wind, and where to anchor the Lady Emily, many things to think about and remember my crew are 10, 12, a female and me. Our towing vessel was a gutted out 6.3mtr Bertram which I fiber glassed a new floor in and raised the floor to put in a 500ltr fuel tank. Installed ramps to drive the quads in and out and found a 50HP Mariner, just an old one. So fully loaded weighed up to 2+ Tons, see photos. Then the towing points had to be super strong with 20 mil rope bolted to each side so that the weight was evenly distributed. All had to be tested and tried, modified and sorted to even out the balance as I knew the weather conditions were going to be extreme with constant wind and the weather that goes with this coast at this time of year, again lots of photos.
I am lucky that my crew are well seasoned,--- Imagine asking your 10 and 12 year old boys to go start the auxiliary, check the bulge pumps, grab the tow lineout of the prop, lift the anchor gear, or to get on the roof and lash the boom all done in 30 knot winds at 3 o'clock in the morning while the anchor is dragging with an onshore wind and the very life of the ship depends on the actions of my children.--- Lucky they have done all this many times before in much calmer weather, so the training is not lost when it is needed most, and Joanne is just the best sport pulling ropes and continuously watching the tow and relaying information that is required for the individual tasks. When we finally got to our destination and finally found a half reasonable anchorage it was 3 nautical miles off shore and still blowing 20+ knots. The plan was to get the gear ashore and see what happens. We have been here before so had a good idea of what's what. But the weather was much worse this time than I expected, so by the time we got close to the beach we had a surf to deal with as well. The boat called, '' IT'S BUFF " was very heavy and unmanageable with out the strength of MEN, But my little crew took to the task like bullterriers and we were successful in unloading the quads and gear with no property or human damage, just a great story to tell around the camp fire that night and the wonder of riding our quads in the totally uninhabited places miles and miles from anywhere. Unbelievable sensation, again the photos will show you. So we had the task of setting up camp and rolling out the swags. First priority was to find water so that the adventure could become commercial. The risk of machinery failure has plagued us before and the quad is all new but this does not seem to matter. Unforeseen challenges always come up. We finally load up the quad and get going, and not 500mtrs down the track there are trees across the road. So cutting a new track through and get going again. There has been a lot of rain prior to our arrival so we expect to come across lots of wash outs. Some were very deep but we have negotiated them. We had traveled for about 3 hours but had only covered 8 kms. Could have walked faster but as luck had it someone else had been here, driven in from Coan and pushed a lot of the track with chainsaws and large 4x4's so from there on we made great progress. By 4 o'clock we had the map out with our 3 hand held GPS's and were able to plot our progress on the GO maps and get some idea as to where we were. By now it was getting dark so it was back to camp unload and back to the boat, sitting out there in the shitty weather. The trip back to the Emily was very rough and wet. We had by now changed boats. We had left the Buff on the beach and were using the poly to travel back and forth. The poly is our tender, 3.1 mtr polycraft fully surveyed and totally unsinkable. This we have proved many times this trip. It still took us over an hour to do 3 miles. I love my 18HP Tohatsu, this engine would run under water I am sure of it. After our very wet ride we were all looking forward to a hot shower and a warm bed. One would question whether we found any gold. It does not matter what I say there as no one believes me anyway, lets just say there is a lot more to it and there is a great deal of dirt there as well. The sheer adventure of it is amazing, we saw things and did things this trip that only dreams are made of. Extreme weather restricted this trip, it was planed for a total of 7 weeks and we only got 6 days ashore at our designated location as the weather made it just to dangerous to continue. We had weather fax onboard but NO INTERNET coverage so the weather was left up to my interpretation of the weather fax. I love that machine as it keeps my vessel out of bad weather if I can help it. We had a 24 hour break in the weather so we took advantage and packed up and ran away up to Knight Island then off to vote at Lockhart River. Parked up there for a few days then off around the corner to Portland Roads to meet the Barge, Emu Bay to pick-up our pre-ordered fresh veges and fuel and water. And of coarse some chocolate, very important stuff. We caught some great fish there just off the back deck of the Emily. See photos. The biggest issue we had now was to make the Buff seaworthy for the treacherous trip back to Cairns pounding into the most bastard weather. At Portland Roads we had internet so was able to check the weather, But it was not always correct for the area we were in as it changed up to 3 times a day?????? Could not pick it, but we did and took off like a scolded cat for Princess Charlotte Bay. Had a great run, took the outer reef track in case the weather went foul so I could run to shelter of the reef. 22 hours later we were anchored up near the monument at Cape Melville. Now get this, we anchored up close to the beach less than .5 of a mile and had 40+mtrs of 13 mil chain in 4 myrs of water and a 20mil nylon snubber at 6mtrs long. The wind gusts came in at 35 knots continuously for 2 weeks. There was a wind wave off the beach that only had half a mile to generate and it was .5 of a mtr by the time it got to us and the wind was blowing the tops fight off the waves and we were anchored behind a mountain range for shelter. The Emily weighs up to 45 Tons and it was blowing us around and on inspection of the chain we have defiantly stretched the chain to the point I must replace it, my chain is a genuine PWB survey chain. We spent a great deal of time ashore at Cape Melville. We took the Buff ashore again and off loaded the quad and its cargo on the beach and set up a camp. Stayed here for 2 weeks taking the quad along 4x4 tracks and exploring Cape Melville National Park complete with waterfalls and miles of white sandy beaches, and herds of wild pigs and cattle. An abundance of fish right off the beach also crayfish at low tide as there is reef in close and mud crabs everywhere. So we were doing it tuff! well you get the idea. Back to Cairns and I picked the weather, we got a break of 48 hours and made a run for it just before the next high pressure system moved in. CHECK OUT THE NEW PHOTOS BY CLICKING THE MORE PICS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

17/09/09
 Well more news from Lady Emily we finally had to leave the Solomon’s and travel back through PNG and again, a great trip the wind was from the south so our little ship had all the sales up for 3 days and arrived at Budi Budi Island. What a great stop over. The utmost extremity of PNG to the south very isolated. We had been there before and the locals remembered us, they did not hesitate to call us by our first names with out being introduced again. They made us feel very welcome so we left the last of our trade stuff there and promised to come back with more clothes for the kids and some timber for calving fish hooks. Plastic bottles for water are a very sought after item; I will never look at a plastic bottle the same again.

We left Budi in a strong wind warning and faced 5 meter seas all the way to Woodlark. The ship handled the weather like a true champion pedigree. The weather came down at last so we then headed to Alotau. This town is very friendly and has a great infrastructure loads of stores, meat, chicken, electrical equipment, people to fix stuff and a slip way for 40 ft ships ECT. We again found that we were welcome and were remembered. Our visa had expired and again they gave us no grief they let us travel through the country on route to Aus. We brought lots of carvings here and walking sticks out of ebony to sell back into Aus. The most magnificent pieces are now on board after almost a year at sea. We have need for a slip way and to unload our cargo of artifacts so if you want some gives us a call.

We then headed to Moresby this town is all so very grown up with a population of 800 000 people. Banks. Also Millions of dollars in infrastructure, gas pipe lines, personal Ex Pax you name it, it can be done here. Rite in the middle of all this is the Port Moresby Yacht Club run by Grant this facility has got to seen to be believed, it must compare on a world scale service. Social friendly nothing is too much trouble and totally secure and safe.

Left for Australians and we advised customs that we were on route to Australia to Thursday Island, did not know what to expect this time from Aussie customs. But we were pleasantly surprised that all went well thanks to the customs staff. Special thanks to Mathew, George and crew. Of coarse Andrew from immigration, for treating us so kindly, there were some issues with my wife as she is an N Z citizen and was therefore an ILLEGAL ALIEN but Andrew sorted it out with little fuss. I would not recommend coming to Thursday island before advising immigration well before you enter Australia. Our guns have been a small contribution to our entry; you need import and export for fire arms. But again all concerned have just been great and really helped sort out any issues that came up. T I police are the best in Australia. So that’s it for now we are heading back to PNG in November and hope fully we will have more stories to tell.



14/08/09
So on my return by light aircraft back to Norro was a special flight over all the islands and surrounding area.

We also have been involved with some training of some of the local tradesmen in the areas of refrigeration and air-conditioning and then I have been invited to do some training at the cannery - SOLTAI. It is compairable to the largest cannery in the area and were given a guided tour which has now turned out to be an offer of employment to share some training techniques. In one week we have transformed some of the work areas and increased production. All good fun and adds to the adventure of it all.

We are due to leave the Solomons within 7 days now and are looking forward to going back to sea, heading back to PNG and to the Torres Straits will up-date website possibly from Alotau.
We have left our tow vessel with friends we have met in PNG at Wood Lark gold mine, Willy
and Stuart Honey have been so great. more to come .

25/7/09
 We are still in the Solomons presently. We met some young adventurers in a kayak travelling from Honiara to Choisal and around. We were very surprised to see these two Australians - Miles and Georgia just paddling around the Solomons living in the villages with the locals. They sure appreciated a hot shower and a warm bunk for a couple of nights while they shared their stories with us. Amazing ...just goes to show you that the Solomons is a safe place to travel.

The weather here is still great. No wind, a little rain every day, not much humidity and we are turning the aircon off at night time .We have found some wrecks of aeroplanes in the bush and due to the lack of tourists they have to refund every time so you pay a guide 40 sol a day to find the plane then you hack away at the undergrowth for a couple of hours then take the pics so we have taken GPS marks with a hand held and marked the ones that we have found and given it to the local guides and Simon Kfpl.

The boat Lady Emily needs to be slipped now and we found a great small slipway in as new cond. supported by the Seventh Day Adventist SDA .Have been able to aquire all necessary paints etc at Noro not really a walk up start but available. Slipway is at a village called Kukundu about 6 miles from Gizo on Kolunbungara. From there we will go to the Shortlands and Treasury group.

22/06/09
We have visited and stayed in many places including Roviana Lagoon and Vona Vona Lagoon , Blacket Straights , Kolombangara Island .
We are finding WWII sites which still have not been exploited by tourists and they are the real deal - without the fanfare.
Have been to unexplored places like Skull Caves where we are the first and only ones to see. This is the stuff adventure is made of.
Of all the publications there is very little info about where things are, and there are little or no charts to where we have been so we have charted these waters with GPS and plotter accurately. I am now going to open this site with info and pictures for all to see.
Gizo is a country town with a rustic atmosphere facilities are to my mind good, there is no hurry here.
Danny Kennedy is there as owner the local dive shop and has been there for 25 years.
Shane Kennedy (no relation to Danny) owns the Gizo Hotel he is a former Stradbroke Island lad so must be a good bloke.
Fat Boys is owned by his brother and run by his daughter and husband. I found my time here helping them out repairing equipment very enjoyable so I was privileged to see the nitty gritty of it all , at no time have we felt threatened or uncomfortable REMEMBER WE HAVE 6 OF US ON BOARD - TWO SMALL CHILDREN AND TWO 17 YEAR OLD BOY AND GIRL.
The weather here is the most pleasant thing the nights are cool to 25 degrees the days never go over 29 and there is a cloud cover to keep the sun off.
Wind speed is never over 10 knots and often less, so not much sailing here just driving on flat calm seas.
There is little or no current to speak of also the tide here is less than one metre rise and fall.
We are currently in Noro with good bitumen roads and a great infrastructure, phone, banks and there are some business people here from all parts of the world.
Our friend Alfredo owns Noro Deli - a general store and a supply shop.
Jimmy Crocket is an Aussie contractor here - just a great bloke. He has been here for years now and that says a lot about the Island's lifestyle and location.
There is fuel available here and the cheapest in the whole of Solomons, it is an international shipping port with the feel of a country town .
Munda is another unknown destination with WWII sites everywhere.





Emily underway


















Lady Emily

Email :  dpovis09@gmail.com








 

 

More info and pics here

 

 


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