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

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