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Greetings Fred and Rebecca,

The passage from Cairns to the Louisiades is pretty straight forward although the wind can get a bit fine on if the NW setting current is strong as you get closer to PNG. We find the best time to leave Australia is just as the front of the high is leaving the Australian coast as this gives more southerly in the wind. The further off the coast the high goes the more east the wind goes which can be a problem for tha last 100 miles or so. Make as much easting as possible when you leave Cairns just in case the current is strong (it varies).

At the moment the only place to clear customs is a Samarai or Alotau. You may be able to clear at Misima when the rally is there. However, the quarantine officer at Misima was telling me he was going to try to clear the rally at Pana Pom Pom. At the moment anything could happen!!

Re going back to Australia: If you want to go direct to Brisbane it will be difficult due to the angle. The best we have done is Rossel Island to Bundaberg. We needed six days of ESE-E winds and got 5 1/2 days of it. The best time to leave is just before the middle of the high leaves Australia as this gives more east in the wind. Misima to Townsville is an easy trip with the wind usually just forward of the beam for us. However this can sometimes mean you run out of wind on the last day.

Going south along the Queensland coast at that time of the year (October November) can be lousy due to the prevailing SE winds. Northerlies are rare. That is the reason we don’t go any further south than Bundaberg. Even the passage from Townsville to Bundaberg has taken us anything from four days to three weeks — usually closer to the latter!!

Trust his is of some help to you. We might see you over here.

God bless,

Phil

From the Administrator: This was addressed to the crew of “Tonga Moon” when enquiring about sailing to and from Australia. I’ve added this reply because it contains comments that my help others planning the same trip. 

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Greetings Wayne and Josene,

I’m glad you got some help from our webpage.  That’s what it is there for!!

We have just returned to Bundaberg from the Louisiades – it was a short season for us this year as we have to go to a conference in Adelaide at the end of September.  Also, our three year visa has to be renewed.

Regarding distributing goods – it is a difficult thing to do it fairly as many of the councillors/leaders/ elders/ pastors are not always impartial in their distributing.  Most yachts only go as far east as Nimoa so the islands west of there, especially around Bagaman, Motorina, etc get the majority of the largess.  Sudest and Rossel usually miss out.

The south coast of Sudest, which has few decent anchorages, is very isolated.  Last year we took, among other things, some small soaps that you get at motels, etc.  The response was. “Soap.  We haven’t seen that for years.”  There is no-one on the north coast of Sudest that we could recommend.

Also, Rossel, especially the east point and south coast receive very little.  However, at Tryon Bay there is a Pastor Sigi (everyone knows him) who is probably the most generous, humble and giving man you would ever meet.  If you leave stuff with him he will see that it goes to those in need.  He never keeps anything for himself or his family.  He even takes it on the three day walk to the east end of the island to give to the people there who are very poor.  We have been there with him and have seen just how bad things are at that end.  An example of what he is like – last year he built shelters (houses) for 17 students from other parts of the island who were schooling at Damunu.  Then he fed them, sometimes clothed them and generally fathered them for the year.  None of them was related to him.

At Yonga Bay on Rossel the principal of the small Bible College, Pastor Sai loa is honest.

At Pana Pom Pom I would recommend  Pastor Mila and wife Julie on the Nivani side.  If you get to Panaeati then either Pastors Pete Joe or Steven are honest men.

At Misima Pastor Kingsford at Bwagaoia or on the north coast elder Ganta at Siagara or Councillor /elder Arnold at Liak.  At Kimuta Pastor Palaimo is honest.

These are all people that we are happy to leave goods with to see that they are distributed fairly and not just to their “onetok”.  Some have lived on board with us for  several months at a time and we know their integrity.

However, if you go to Rossel and Sudest I suggest you keep most of the goods for them as they need them most.

Unfortunately many of the yacht get totally conned by many of the leader and pastors and the gear doesn’t go any further than their onetok.

Regarding school books etc.  If you give them to the school direct they usually get distributed fairly.  Again, the school at Damunu on Rossel is “the end of the line” as far as resources from the government goes.

I trust this has been of some use to you.  Have a great time over there.  It certainly is a top spot.  Rossel is our favourite island – we usually spend 6-8 weeks there each year.  Sorry we won’t see you there as we could have shown you some of the lesser seen places.

God bless,

Phil and Pam

This email published for the benefit of other yachties if they want to do something similar .. Administrator

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Hi to Phil and Pam;

I’ve just come across your website in planning my voyage to the
Louisiades for next winter.  What a beautiful relationship you have
with the people there!

I live on the central coast (Killarney Vale) and I sail an S&S 34
called Lorelei.  I’ve sailed up to FNQ 3 times now, and once to Lord
Howe in preparation for voyaging further off shore.

I wonder if you have a spreadsheet with your waypoints for various
anchorages and passages in the Louisiades – it would be more accurate
and easier than copying and pasting from your website.  Please don’t
go to any great bother with this request, but, if it is easy….

If there is any local help I can be to you, please don’t hesitate to
ask.

Thanks to weddingstills for stripping and forwarding this.

Kind regards,
Steve Middendorf

NOTE FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR:
Yes Steve, I’ve emailed you a number of Word docs with the waypoints listed on this site and included a set of waypoints for navigating from Townsville to PNG and back. These will be added to the site in the near future. Thank you for your kind comments and I hope you catch up with Phil and Pam while you are up there.

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