Showing posts from November, 2017

Exploring the Mortlocks

On our first morning ashore, we are greeted by a gathering of school children, anxious to simply be with us. It is always very awkward to be the strange, new visitors to a place. No one is really sure what to do or what to say, and often, it is us trying to be friendly and act normal while we have hundreds of eyes looking at us with the precision and intensity of laser beams. I’d love to say it gets easier each time, but I still struggle.

All my insecurities surface and suddenly I’m not sure what to do with myself. With a smile, though, I fight the urge to clam up and stay stuck in my uncertain thoughts. Instead, I turn toward the faces surrounding me - the ears trained on my every word or sound, the eyes that follow my every move and gesture, the precious, curious kids whose every neuron is aimed in our direction.

Like a school of fish, we move across the beach, my tiniest action or word causing instant ripples of response throughout the crowd.

Usually, there are one or two children…

Mortlock Islands, PNG

Our first stop in PNG was a tiny remote group of islands called Mortlock Islands just northeast of Bouganville. It would be the first of many remote village islands we’d visit as we stayed clear of mainland PNG and all the crime associated with the busy port towns there. Matt on SV Perry had been in communication with a professor from Australia who had studied this particular island community, documenting their unique customs and language. Scientists have also been studying the effects of climate change on this island very closely. In the emails, Matt also found out that the people here didn’t have access to medical supplies, so while we were in Honiara waiting for one of our many shipments, we stocked up on some medical necessities and are excited to hand them over to the chiefs here.

The pass into the lagoon was deep and wide. A fish nabbed our lure right as we entered the pass, so I jumped up to helm while Mark dealt with the fish. Unfortunately, it was a big monster with sharp tee…