Cruisers will receive a warm welcome in Lae
Published: 2013-10-16 00:00:00
Countries: Papua New Guinea
We sailed from Madang to Lae in August of this year (2013) where we were warmly welcomed by marina management and dock hands upon arrival and directed to a berth. The entry was easy, depths good and the marina is well protected by a break wall.
Lae is considered by many to be the wild west of PNG, but inside the protected marina grounds it is a small haven. They have a great bar and restaurant with regular events. The locals are friendly and the Game Fishing Club is extremely active attracting many boaties and fisherman at the weekend.
The boats and grounds are well maintained, there is a very good fuel dock and power and water to all berths. There is shower facilities and the ladies at the laundry are happy to help with washing for a small charge.
Although I wouldn't recommend walking the streets, the marina is more than happy to shuttle you to shops, banks and suppliers when they are making their daily rounds. Lae has some great grocery stores and a very cheap fresh food market.
Being the main supply port to the highlands, all major service suppliers seem to be available. Welding, diesel mechanics, paint suppliers, large hardwares, international couriers - Lae seems to have a lot to offer a sailor in need. The only haul out facilities though are Port Moresby, Rabaul and Madang.
The security companies run reasonable shuttles to and from the airport making it a potential stop for a crew change.
I did get restless staying there for a few weeks and the secure walking path along the breakwall came in handy. Salamoa, a nice island with good underwater attractions, nice beaches and a favourite weekend haunt with locals is also a nice escape. Locals will have some great advice for surrounding islands as well.
The overwhelming memory though is of the staff and manager. Nothing is a bother, they bend over backwards to make you welcome and look after you. They truly know the meaning of hospitality and really for this reason I can highly recommend a stop over at Lae Yacht Club for the weary sailor.
They respond promptly to email on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on +675 472 4091 or +675 472 4909.
We've left our yacht Thyme there for a number of months now and are confident it is in good hands. Oh, by the way the rates are very reasonable!
Simon and Amanda
Simon and Amanda spent 6 months in Madang. See their report here.