Since I last wrote we have been having lots of fun interacting with the
natives, swimming and trading goods. We have had so many crayfish that they
are coming out of our ears, and they have been big too around 1.5-2kg each!
We entered Panasia Island lagoon 11.07.89s 152.20.10e in reasonable light to
be able to pick our way through the coral heads, where we were visited by
John, the village chief, who has strategically positioned his house by the
anchorage to make the most from all the boats that come in, he certainly
knew how to pull on one's heart strings, all that said he is a very nice guy
and speaks good English. There are about 90 inhabitants on the island, so
not a very large community. Quiet an amusing little story we asked if they
minded if we had a little BBQ on one of the beaches opposite our boat, we
were told that the man who lived there had not gone to school and was
frightened of white men so it was better if we did not! We ended up having
it with the Chief John on his section of beach. Another Yachtie to visit
was Warren off a boat called Enchantress. He was a driver for the
Quicksilver ferry company in Cairns and also an entertainer for them, after
our BBQ we alee retired to Kanaloa for a little glass of wine while Warren
entertained us on the guitar, mouth organ and ukulele he had a lovely voice
and got us all to sing along a great time was had by all. The island
reminded us a little of .
We tore ourselves away from there last Wednesday and headed for the island
of Utian , known locally as Baggerman Island 11.02.84s 152.26.79e (
positions given just in case you want to look it up on Google Earth, by the
way Valerie will be writing a much travel log with photos and posting it on
this site when we get an internet connection)
The trip proved to be somewhat interesting as our companion boat Swanky, who
we were following got a little disorientated and missed the passage to the
reef pass, however after another try we found it and we ended up leading the
way through the pass, it was somewhat twisty once through and required good
light to see our way through all the coral. Unfortunately Swanky hit a
couple on the way in, but no serious damage done.
The island proved to be great fun with lots of locals, about 300 and a
constant procession of canoes lining up to trade with us for fruit and veg.,
they were all very friendly and good fun. Our trip ashore was great we
visited the local school and were escorted by about 50 happy, laughing and
dancing children everywhere we went.
We decided to leave early this morning (Friday) whilst the tide was a little
higher to enable us to have an easier exit, poor Swanky still managed to hit
the coral once on the way out. We were luckier the shallowest we saw was
3.9 metres - we need a minimum of 2.5 metres to float.
The rest of the trip was interesting as the islands are where they are shown
on the chart so it is all eyeball navigation and try to read the situation.
We arrived here at about 0830 in the morning and after anchoring promptly
jumped over the side to see some of the most magnificent coral and sea life
that we have seen for a long time! More canoes a little boy who's eye
needed dressing, and an offer of a guided tour of the island village.