TONIGHT Ingrid and I depart these sun-drenched Queensland shores for Dubai, where we will meet up with MV Nautica for a long cruise along India’s coast across to my old Maldives stamping ground and on to Africa.
The five-week voyage will conclude with a few days in Cape Town from where an arduous string of flights will, 35 hours later, deposit us in Orange NSW for the wedding of Ingrid’s first son, Evan, a medical student.
This period away from my desk will, of course, have an impact on the production of PNG Attitude although, on previous sojourns afloat or in hospital or on long treks, I have somehow managed to produce the blog regularly and, as usual, my email remains open to you.
But I should let you know these things so that, if a beat is skipped here or there, you’ll understand why.
And if your comment is delayed in its appearance, you’ll know it is awaiting editorial approval because – when you write it – I may be asleep on a bunk somewhere.
I want to encourage contributors and commenters to continue what is always a well-received flow of information to PNG Attitude and you have my assurances that, as usual, all that is worth publishing will appear, it just may be a little delayed.
There’s much about our time away I’m looking forward to. A highlight will be my return to the Maldive Islands where I spent two years of my life after leaving PNG in the 1970s and which I last visited on a broadcasting assignment in 1986.
My Moslem mates Badru Naseer, Hussain Mohamed, Maizan Ali Manik and Zahir Hussain have all had distinguished careers in their country’s service and I’m looking forward to seeing them again in Malé.
The fellas and I shared many exploits back then, most of them involving workboats, misadventure and the Indian Ocean, and we’ll have much to reminisce about.
And, with a bit of luck, in Mombasa I'll enjoy a long lunch with former AAP PNG correspondent, Ilya Gridneff, who is now reporting on bandits, infidels and separatists in what was once known as the Dark Continent.
And if I learn or experience anything of interest, you'll be the first to know about it.