Friday, 19 August 2016

18th-20th August 2016 - Duke of York Islands

Thursday and Friday 18th and 19th August 2016

04 degrees.13.959S
152 degrees 27.072E
Mioko Island
7.9 metres

It was only a few hours from  Rapopo Bay to Mioko Island (Duke of York group.)  Our anchorage was just beautiful, right up close to the beach with its glorious big shady trees, and with a big surf break just around the corner.

James, the local chief, came to visit.  He has banned all of the islanders from visiting and coming aboard 2XS unless specifically invited…This is  direct result of the theft of Peter Frappell’s iphone.  It made for a very peaceful time on Mioko Island…

We went for a long walk through the village, trailed and accompanied all the way by darling Jacqui with her little sister (Nora?) and a friend/cousin, not sure of her name…When we finally got back to 2XS, Jacqui said, very confidently, “We come to your boat.”  And so they did, riding triumphantly in the dinghy.  We gave them lunch, cold drinks, bracelets, and one new item of clothing each.  They were hysterical with joy…

Mioko is very heavily populated – around 5,000 people.  Lots of gorgeous hair – red, golden blonde, black, brown.

Lots of people stopped us for a chat, and we asked permission to take photos, for example, of the local beauty salon…

At the school  we met a wonderful, dignified lady called Dora, whose daughter Janice teaches Grade Seven.  Dora, I think, sits under a shady tree and acts as babysitter and teachers’ aide.  She was, she said, educated by Australian teachers, and she loved them.  She spoke beautiful Englsih.

Joseph, a Grade Seven student, designated himself as our tour guide.  He took us solemnly through school and to the beach – how lovely this island, is for the children, with its clear blue water, white beaches, shady trees!

We stopped by a gravestone or two for a photo opp

And then back to the schoolrooms.  Joseph said, very solemnly, “And now it is the conclusion of our observations.”

We visited the Grade Seven classroom in the afternoon.  Pete gave a brief talk and I read a kiddiebook about Australian wildflife, which they seemed to enjoy.  Grade Seven students are much older here than in Australia – some of them are strapping young things, at least sixteen years old or more…

Saturday 20th August

04 degrees 08.1777S
152 degrees.26.829E
Makana Harbour
5.8 metres

We left Mioko Island after breakfast and are anchored in a tranquil bay in clear shallow water off a large village on one of the other Duke of York Islands.  I think we have to leave in an hour or so – Pete has holes in his feet (flipper wounds) and we need more antibiotics to stop them going totally festy…

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