A couple of months ago, MY Orion completed its first expedition cruise to Papua New Guinea and the voyage log [extracts of which I append] has just appeared on the Internet. My wife Ingrid and I will be cruising PNG on the Orion in October-November and, during that voyage, I look forward to sharing with you my experiences of revisiting a place I haven’t seen since leaving more than 30 years ago.
Tuesday 21 March: Nivani Island, Deboyne Lagoon, Lat 10°46’S, Long 152°24’E. This morning we anchored off the island of Nivani in the Deboyne Lagoon. Upon arrival a scout boat was sent ashore. Within a few minutes a report came back indicating conditions were good and a landing would be possible. Once ashore we realised we had discovered a bit of paradise: coconut trees, white sand, crystal clear water. On offer was swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Many of us made our way to the WW2 Zero in just two metres of water. It was in perfect condition and home to a variety of fish and corals.
Friday 31 March: Watam Village, Sepik River, Lat 3°54’S, Long 144°32’E. Within minutes of arriving in the Sepik, we could see the scout boat shoot off in the direction of Watam. It reported favourable conditions for a landing and without hesitation we loaded into Zodiacs and went ashore. We were greeted by dancing, singing and laughter and, until the moment we left, treated like royalty by people who had never met us but acted like they were our long lost friends. We were shown around the village with stops at the school and the church. The rest of the morning was spent talking to locals and observing basket weaving and sago making. Every one of us left Watam marked with red dye on our cheeks and with an experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
Photo: Orion Expedition Cruises