PNG Ferry disaster
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Feb 5, 2012 5:00 AM Last Post By: Watsoff
Feb 2, 2012 4:05 AM
Feb 2, 2012 9:41 AM
1That actually hit our news this morning ... how awful! I'm in the same boat as you, only once ran into another foreigner on a ferry in Solomons; he was living in a village at the head road in W. Are'Are. I nearly took the ill-fated ferry to Lata in 2002, the one that got grounded. Not sure how I'll get to Malaita next visit, guess I'll fly (but I'm a white knuckle flier on small planes).
Feb 3, 2012 4:52 AM
2You don't have to fly any more. There is a really nice new boat called 360 Discovery that does daily return trips to Auki. You even have to book in advance, so it never gets overloaded. (Unless of course you want to fly to Atoifi).
Feb 3, 2012 9:25 AM
3Yep, I'll take the ferry, I haven't tried the Discovery yet - but by gosh do I miss the old Compass Rose I. Hands down my favourite ferry of all time. It's Lata that presents the problem - I get seasick so I think it'd be best to fly.
We tried to take the ferry to Atoifi and back, on the last trip - my family wanted us to bring back a pig - but the schedule was so unreliable we had to fly, otherwise we could have been stuck in E. Kwaio for a month or more. That suited me fine, but not my family; we never did get the pig, which is a good thing because I would have made a pet of it and then no-one would get the anticipated feast.
And come to think of it, not sure how we could get the pig from Ninifae or Sinaraggu to Atoifi in the first place. Too long to walk (for me), and the canoes were quite small and always overloaded.
Edited by: Watsoff
Feb 4, 2012 4:15 AM
4Discovery even has a canteen that sells other things besides navy biscuits and taiyo. LOL at the pig. Reminds me of the time we took a kitten from Wairokae to Honiara on Ramos 2, and spent half the trip searching for it because it escaped from the box the menfolk put it in.
I miss the Ramos ships.
And yes, I have only ever got to Lata by plane. Did have an interesting trip back from the Reefs in the Bishop's outboard though - we ditched several large sacks of dried breadfruit (for some silly reason the name has slipped my mind). the local women reckon I was the only one not scared.
Feb 4, 2012 9:11 AM
5Ah, good old Ramos 2. I was so seasick on one crossing (just released from a week at No. 9) that one helpful passenger ripped out a bolted chair so I could sit while barfing overboard. Then, of course, the whole west coast of Malaita heard about it, and I'd be asked, weeks, even months, later, as to how I was feeling, by total strangers. With the accompanying giggles, of course. I wasn't overly fond of Ramos, it wasn't as 'airy' as Compass Rose, but the passengers were just as friendly and helpful, as is only to be expected out there. So sad to hear my Compass Rose is now at the bottom of the ocean.
The David V. warned me off taking the ferry to Lata, mostly because of the sanitary conditions on board (or lack of them). As he's not from Malaita it was okay for him to warn me :-)) And then he couldn't get back because of the lack of Twin Otters at the time; there was only one, which had to cover the whole country.
But, more importantly, did you find the kitten?
Coober PedyBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$150.78 per night
Port MacquarieBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.66 per night
Fraser IslandBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$116.10 per night