FISHERMAN’S ISLAND

I just completed a short break back in Canada, which was delightful, and this week I returned to PNG. Just before I took my vacation, I was given a unique opportunity – some friends invited me to go for a day trip with them on their boat.

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Well they called it a boat and so I assumed something a few metres long like a banana boat. But “yacht” might be a better way to describe this craft. I haven’t spent much time on boats, having never shown much interest. So this was the first time that I had ever been on such a large private boat.

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We set off in the morning – destination “Fisherman’s Island”. We weren’t the only ones with this idea. This large yacht followed us all the way there – a journey of about an hour.

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As we left Port Moresby, our unique position allowed for some interesting views of the city. Here is the Port and the hill on which I live.

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The journey was very comfortable. The boat is well-equipped with washrooms, showers and a full kitchen.

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The crew consists of the captain and two assistants who manage the food and drink service.

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Here is a photo of the crew hard at work:

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After some relaxing over a drink or two, we arrived at Fisherman’s Island.

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It is a small island with a handful of inhabitants on one end and a beautiful beach on the other.

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The long section to the left includes an airstrip that was set up by the Americans during World War II and is still serviceable.

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The island is only accessible by boat. Dozens of other craft ventured out that day – all seeking a relaxing outting at this glorious little island.

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The boat that had followed us arrived and began setting up for their island fun.

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Which included a jetski, naturally.

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They were having a fantastic time, buzzing around in the pristine water.

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We took a dinghy onto the island and enjoyed some time relaxing on the beach.

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These starfish were quite close to shore.

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Not all the visitors came to the island in luxury yachts.

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A number of the vessels were commercial fishing boats requisitioned for a day of fun.

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Then it was back to the boat for a bite of lunch.

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Mmm…baked ham.

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And a glass of wine or two.

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After a few hours of chilling on the boat, the wind picked up and it was time to head home.

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The trip back was glorious – with the setting sun behind us lighting our path.

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We arrived back in Port Moresby and passed Paga Hill – the site of a ‘settlement’ that was going to be flattened for a development. However, some politicians became involved and they are still there and have founded an arts group to raise awareness for their situation.

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Here is a great view of ‘Town’ (the CBD or ‘downtown’ area) of Port Moresby.

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We arrived back at the Royal Papua Yacht Club in style, just as the sun was setting. It was an incredible day and I was very grateful to have been invited. I felt like I had a small glimpse of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. I could see how someone could get used to this.

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When I was flying back to PNG a few days ago, I captured this photo of the sun setting above the clouds. The camera simply can’t do the scene justice; it was staggeringly beautiful. It occurred to me that I had no right to be seeing the sun set above the clouds. I am a biped. No wings. But humans are clever folks and science has figured out a way to allow us to fly. The awesomeness of this struck me and I found it quite moving. Go science!

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PNG moment of the week. I was at the cinema watching “Gravity” when suddenly the movie stopped. An usher came in and announced that there were people who were not sitting in their allocated seats. So everybody had to get up and leave the cinema and queue up outside again.

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Then they let us back in one by one, checking our tickets and sending us to the proper allocated seat (in which I had already been sitting).

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The thing that both amused and frustrated me most about this bizarre experience was that before they stopped the film and for the entire film afterwards, people talked over the audio. Constantly. The movie is quite intense and some of the atmosphere was killed by the constant background chatter, about which the ushers did nothing. But they did make sure that the people who were talking rudely were sitting in the right seat.

Only in PNG.

Until next postcard…

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