pos 4:12.50S 152:10.61E
19/11 After three days of sailing we finally came to Rabaul! We entered the bay just before midnight; had some dinner and then we went to bed. Our first long and successful sailing was done and a total distance of around 370 nautical miles was completed, similar to the trip Gothenburg to England.
20/11 Next morning we started up with a trip to the local customs and immigration office, but as for normal routines they said that the manager would come in 20 min, three minutes later this 20 min became 2-3h isch. We decided to go back to the boat, gather the crew and then head of to the yacht club and Rabaul´s museum and the Japanize bunkers.
The museum was an interesting place with a lot of texts/pictures describing the different times with different occupiers. With this history in mind you get a bit surprised by how friendly the locals are, everyone says hi, god afternoon or something else and this counts for the hole stay on PNG main land. Now we are a bit sweaty after some hours in the sun, let´s go for a swim (this is a very common _expression_ by our captain Lars) so we went back to the boat, reloaded and went off for the market and some fresh fruits, the ATM and some internet. And it is first when you come to countries like this that you realize how hard it is to find good internet or any internet at all. In this case they only had internet cafes and wifi in Kokopo, which is a city one hour away with the car.
After some shopping we went back to the boat and started to prepare for the dinner at the yacht club. Our preparations consisted of some swimming, reading and happy hour with the mandatory Gin and Tonic (GT). And having dinner at the yacht club may sound a bit fancy, so I have to describe the place, a bar, a big concrete floor with roof and two sides of wall, simple and very nice. The food was great and so was the company with mainly expats and some other sailors.
21/11 Day started early, at least for me, and we left the boat at 9am to get to Kokopo for shopping for the next weekly sailing. It was a nice ride which started with a local tradesman who found us on the street and then we continued with the local bus. Which was an pleasant journey. The local guys in the bus told us everything can has to be known for the area and one of them had the most wonderful smile, you just had to look at him and you became happy . The market was large and they had beautiful mix of all kinds of fruits. Then we went to the supermarket and the Kokopo resort which had wifi and very nice lunches.
After a full day of shopping we came bad to the boat and had a traditional swim, Kenneth and Lars went in to the yacht club to have a chat with the Commandoor. A chat became a couple of beers and what I understand; afterwards, both K and L had difficulties to understand the Commander. But the got some facts after two hours of talking. The Commandoor didn´t like Amerika, he didn´t want to be the Commandoor (this was he´s 15th year), he had plenty of business card and he liked to drink beer.
22/11 Sunday and our plan was to fill water and the leave for Duke of York Islands which is located outside Kokopo. We decided to skip the immigration as we couldn´t find them even after 3 visits. While filling water Lars went in to the bar and traded some Tonic, he was promised a box for net price the day before. And to make you understand, it should be said that we went around with the cab to 7 different shops the day before to find this Tonic (an important part of the daily GT). ON our hunt the day before it ended up with us buying 7up as no one could provide it.
On the way out from Rabaul we watch the beautiful and active volcano that some years before covered half of Rabaul in three meters of ash.
Heading off to Duke of Yourk Islands for some snorkeling!
Jonathan with crew