Weather or not — To Go!

After a few days rest we were nearly blown off anchor from strong trades howling the night before last. Good work for the storm anchor and full chain rode deployed in a sandy bottom. Yesterday morning we weighed anchor with the goal of knocking another 40 miles off the trip ahead. This brought us across the channel and well inside the Tawa Tawa Mal reef with its extensive lagoon.

There is a charted anchoring spot near Moturina Island where former SIL Wycliffe members had, some time ago, finished the Misima language scripture translations for both New and Old testaments. We knew there is a small village nearby so we prayed to catch some nice fish to bring for a gift, in addition to having a safe transit. As so there you have it, God provided a handsome Mahi Mahi before we reached mid channel. It took Colton some time to reel this one in. It measured just over 50 inches. The crew is becoming adept at landing fish, in the sea chop and wind. All hands were safe, except the fresh fish that came on board…well, reluctantly.

Upon arrival Colton and Jim headed over to the shore where a gaggle of kids (pikininis) were swimming and waving. Being shy, they moved westward 30 meters as the Sweet Dreams shore boat (newly named Moonshine) came up in the surf and was landed on the beach about as quickly as Navy Seals might handle it. Colton is quite strong and with the help of Moonshine’s stern-mounted wheels he and the Captain were able to beat the waves.

It was good timing as a young mother had come to fetch the children back to the village. The sun was setting. We made good talk as she was quite fluent in English, having been taught by a best friend who became a school teacher and went to mainland PNG to teach 10th grade. It is good to have friends! She accepted the gift on behalf of the headman, who was on the neighboring island fetching water from a well. It has not rained here in 6 months and the local residents are suffering from a water shortage. That aside, the shore party walked the distance around the corner to the main village where other family members quickly appeared.

They are very nice people and have a very tidy village. Some good story time was shared and it was agreed they could bring us some fresh fruits the next day. We had run out about 3 days ago. Pictured here is a gift basket with some nice fruit, along with seashells for Niki.

It’s hard to go when to find such a nice place to stay. But, the next adventure beckons us. Tomorrow we’ll set sail heading further SW 20 mile before getting back into open water on the Coral Sea. It’s time to check the forecasts as it is 4 full days and nights travel to the Great Barrier Reef entrance.

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