Friday, April 19, 2019

Rendova and PT109 Base

April 17-18, 2019

After saying goodbye to Ocelot, who are headed back north a little ways to store their boat in Liapari for a couple of months, and Berzerker, who are hanging out in Munda waiting for brother Scott to fly in, Indigo and Soggy Paws headed out of Munda for the next island south, Rendova.

The North End of Rendova

It's only 5 miles as the crow flies from where we were anchored in Munda to where we anchored in Rendova, but it's 15 miles by boat, because there's a large reef system protecting Munda that has to be navigated around. It was an easy trip in flat calm windless conditions.

We had reports from cruisers around 2010-2011 about some armed boardings in the middle of the night, in Rendova Harbor. But inquiring with Dive Munda, before we left Munda, they didn’t know of any problems in recent years. So we anchored right in the harbor, next to the village. The only problem we had while there was too many friendly kids!

We dinghied ashore and met Daniel, who is the (expired) chief's son, and also the head man in the Catholic church. He was very friendly and spoke good English. The chief had recently died, and the village had not yet decided on a new chief.
(Apparently being chief in the Solomons is not hereditary).

The Church

Daniel and his Youngest Son

Daniel gave us a tour of his small village, and also took us to a man who had some World War II "relics". The American forces took Rendova in the fall of 1943.

World War II Stuff

Old Coke Bottles!

Old Coins!

Everywhere we went in the village, we were followed by a gaggle of kids.

Liz from Indigo, and our Gaggle

Our Gaggle, Assembled (mostly)

The next morning, we went in our dinghies to the World War II PT Boat Base on Lumbaria Island, where John F Kennedy was based on PT109 for a few months. The family that owns the island are trying to establish a museum and guesthouse there.

The Former PT Boat Base

A Memorial to JFK

Right now the museum is housed in an open building. The display items are meager because during "The Troubles" (in 1999-2003), the museum was destroyed and all the items stolen. So now they are trying to rebuild the museum. The owner, Mr Nicely Zongahiti, is now building a concrete block building that can be properly secured.

GI Helmets

Guns and Cartriges


Coke Bottles

For someone who wants to visit the museum that doesn't have their own boat, the best way is to go to the Agnes Hotel or Dive Munda, in Munda, and take a trip over with them.

The Grounds of the Island-Lovely Orchids

As we got ready to pull anchor to move to another anchorage, the kids came back! Liz generously handed out cookies in exchange for photos of the kids in their canoes.

The Kids and Their Canoes Getting Cookies from Indigo

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Few Days in Munda

We enjoyed our stay in Munda, Western Province, Solomon Islands. Munda is a small town--about 3 blocks wide and 3 deep, plus an airport. It's primary claim to fame is the airport, plus a road and water link to Noro. A couple of weeks ago they initiated the first direct flight from Brisbane, Australia to Munda, to try to encourage tourism in the Western Province.

Some of the Curious Kids at the Wharf in Munda

In Munda, the cruiser hangout is Agnes Lodge, a very cruiser-friendly/tolerant place. Steps out Agnes Lodge's front door is the local market, and up the main street are a number of small stores, where we were able to buy supplies, fresh bread, and top up our cell phones. We had a couple of happy hour evenings on the deck at Agnes Lodge, and dinner a couple of times too.

There is some diving in the lagoon (WW2 airplanes), but Dave has been fighting a suppurating tropical infection on his leg, and staying out of the water. So we skipped the diving for now.

We did fit in a fun half-day trip with Dive Munda to hike up to a waterfall.

Our Group Crossing the River

Like similar trips we have done recently, we expected a two hour easy hike and it turned out for us as a four hour difficult hike. We marveled at the young apprentice guides who came with us, skipping across the top of the rocks in the river in their flip-flops. Meanwhile, us old folks stumbled and slipped along in our $100 hiking shoes, unbalanced and fearful of breaking a leg 1000 miles from anywhere. We understand why these 2 hour hikes turn into 4 hour hikes. (They can't believe we are so slow, especially when the bird-watchers pull out their binoculars!).

We crossed this river 9 times going up and 9 times going down

Dave Enjoying the Fall
(Note stylish "Thailand Pants" to thwart mosquitos)

Dave Behind the Fall

A Massive Tree Next to the Swimming Hole

It was a fun hike, and it signaled the end of our 4 boat group that has been traveling together since January...

Berserker, Indigo II, Ocelot, & Soggy Paws Crews, looking at rusty bits in the jungle (again!)

The next day Ocelot headed north to park their boat in Liapari for a couple of months, for a trip back to the USA. Soggy Paws and Indigo headed south towards the Marovo Lagoon, and Berzerker stayed behind for a week to wait for Craig's brother to fly in.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

More Missing Updates!

Sad face. I have gotten really lame at doing regular blog updates. It's just so much easier to blast a few words and a picture on Facebook (and friend Pam Wilson has been Facebooking lots of our activities before I even get to them). Plus, I am spending a lot of time editing cruising details into my PNG Compendium and Solomons Compendium (cruising guide supplements for cruisers following in our wake).

So again, in an attempt to get going again, I'm going to list what we've been doing without a lot of explanation, and then try to do a post on what we have been up to in the last week.

My position reports via Winlink are now pretty much up to date, so you can see where we've been and where we are now.

Our Position Reports for the last few months

Follow our position reports in the future on this link:

Here are all my missing posts in the last month:

Mar 16-17 PNG, English Cove to Buka
Mar 18-19 PNG, Buka to Shortland Islands, Solomons
Mar 20 Solomons, Checking in to the Shortlands
Mar 20-25 Solomons, Fun in the Shortland Islands
Mar 26-27 Solomons, Sterling Island
Mar 28-30 Solomons, Sterling Island to Liapari
Mar 31-Apr 1 Solomons, Arrival in Gizo
Apr 2-13 Solomons, Exploring Vonavona Lagoon
Solomons, A Few Days in Noro