position S10 44.900 E152 23.900

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Tue 2 Jul 2019 12:07

Tuesday 2nd July

Misima Island was visible in the morning but still a good way off as the progress overnight was slow. I was surprised to see our feathered hitch hiker still riding on spray hood.  It had made such a mess on the solar panels that the sun wouldn't be able to penetrate. I pointed at the island and politely suggested it might like to fly the last 20 miles or so and it took off without so much as a goodbye or thanks for the ride.
As we approached the steep hilly island with either high cliffs or rocky shoreline it was apparent that the anchorages marked on the chart are not suitable for yachts. Some of the anchorages are clearly for ships with several 100m of chain rather than our 50m.  The hills were topped with cloud and the hillsides striped with streams and waterfalls. In several places terracing for growing crops was visible on impossibly steep looking slopes.
Plan B  was Panapompom island a little further west but in order to make the shallow pass into a lagoon in daylight we had to get a shift on so the engine went on for the afternoon. We started seeing sails in the distance and wondered if we were back on the yacht route, not having seen any since we parted with the Norwegians in Vanuatu. With binoculars we could make out a shiny black sail approaching and we speculated about pirates and then wondered if there was some sort of inter island race on as we were seeing so many sails. Soon however a large egyptian felucia style sailing vessel with outrigger passed by with 6 crew and gave a friendly wave.  The sail appeared to be made of black plastic sheet but was very well cut and was pulling well in the light breeze. A couple more of similar design passed by and there were several more dotted around the islands, one with a bright blue sail and a couple  with conventional white cloth sails.
The pass is shallow and expecting coral heads Diana took watch on the bow while I monitored the depth guage. We crawled through on dead slow in calm water  as the sun went down, aware that our record of shallow passes so far  is 2 out of 2 groundings . We did have one small bump, Diana too mesmerised by the pretty coral to give advance warning and the depth guage changing too quickly to apply reverse in time. Fortunately we came back off O.K. and are now anchored off Panapompom in 5m depth.