Munda and Noro

Lars Alfredson
Wed 22 Jul 2015 10:57

pos 8:14.45S 157:11.75E



2015-07-19 Munda to Noro

We continue into the lagoon weaving between the islands and reefs that make up this fantastic area. What markers there are, are totally unreliable or underwater! Navigation is by eye and depth sounder. Even following our previous track is not always helpful as with these low tides what was passable then can now be an exposed reef.

The depth starts to reduce 10.9, 8.9, 8.5, 4, 3, 2.8 then 2.4 we draw 2.4, 2.3! Ah well, that’s a few less barnacles on the keel.

We anchor off a sandy beach with a building bearing the inscription H.G.H for Helena Goldie Hospital, yes it’s time for me to check in again as things don’t seem to be progressing too well. Inside a very third world set up we meet the “English  Doctor” Jenny.

As I lie their counting the cobwebs we have a long chat about things various and it transpires that Dr Jenny’s mother is Welsh and from Llanelli. She is also the lady who treated both Thomas and his daughter Sanna for similar infection. In recognition of services to “Dawnbreaker” we decide to make her an honorary crew member and give her one of our new crew T-shirts, along with some pens and pencils which seem to be in short supply. As are most other supplies from what she told us.

A trip to a nearby reef for a cooling swim, I can’t resist going in and am allowed 30 minutes only from the ships nurse and her who shall be obeyed!

After lunch we set off for Noro up the Lucas Channel. Talk about going up the Amazon! In the narrow confines of the channel a mere 200 metres wide at best the trees and mangroves come down to the water edge creating a green impenetrable mass fringed with a yellow tinged reef.

As we weave our way along we pass settlements of varying sizes from single huts to small village cut into the jungle. Eventually it opens out into a wide harbour with the sea at the far end. Inside are a vast array of ship of all sorts and sizes.

The fishing fleet with their large sleek hulls, inter island passenger/freight ships and further out the enormous freighters of the logging companies, loaded deck high with their cargoes of ebony, mahogany and teak that they are busy stripping from the islands jungles.

Carefully we weave our way through a reef that parallels the coast line and despite the marker being on the opposite side of the channel to what is indicated on the chart (only trust eyeballs) we find the 10 metres deep spot and anchor across from a small settlement.

This is the big city, street lights, road traffic, crowds on the dockside waiting to board and a banana boat fleet busying ferrying them and running at full speed giving  a continuous buzz of outboard engines for background music.

Bob the Blog