Papua New Guinea: Notes on a Visit in May 2016
Published: 2016-07-25 00:00:00
Countries: Papua New Guinea
We felt absolutely safe in PNG and people were friendly wherever we anchored. That said, we never visited any of the bigger cities which all have 'rascal' problems except for Alotau. But be prepared for inquisitive, friendly visitors in canoes even in the most remote locations who want to trade veggies/fruit for fish hooks, lines etc. Occasionally villagers traded for money so bring small denomination notes of Kina. Visa are required for most foreigners. Two months visa are issued free of charge. A two month visa can only be extended one time for 30 days at a cost of Kina 400. Paperwork to extend is a hassle and not worth the trouble.
Below a short description of some of the places visited.
Reasonable to mediocre fresh market but several well stocked supermarkets.
Arrive with PNG visa and clear in with friendly Customs who can do full clearance in. If you arrive without visa it may be possible to fly to Rabaul for a day and get visa at Immigration in the airport (Mr. Lindsay).
Small private quay from KBSA at 05° 32.73'S 150° 08.69' E may be able to accommodate a visiting yacht. Good provisioning in town with well-stocked Anderson Supermarket. Good hardware shop on KBSA terrain. Otherwise Walindi Resort may have a mooring available but also has room to anchor at 05° 26.13' S 150° 05.32' E in 17m
Yachts are welcome at Walindi and water/fuel available. Many good dive sites in Kimbe Bay. Check with Walindi Resort.
Since the incident of 2012 reported in Noonsite, very few yachts have visited Garove. The incident was greatly regretted in Garove and the death of one of the attacker was felt as a relief as it was a 'bad boy' who put the community to shame. Garove is a beautful island with friendly people who welcome yachts. We anchored off Balangori village, got water with hose in the tank in Peter Haven and paid a short visit to PotPot, a gap in the coast reef at 04° 39.023' S 149° 31.475' E on the N coast of Garove. Here we were visited by the 'tourism chairman' and 'cultural chairman' who came to the boat to assure us we were safe and welcome in their village. They regretted seeing no more yachts since 2012.
We passed Dampier and Vitiaz Straits in the beginning of May when the SE monsoon had already set in. Vitiaz is in the major shipping route for ships from Australia to Asia and has a lot of ship traffic.
Very well protected anchorage in the small bay with famous Dreger Harbour High School with students from all over PNG who love to make contact with yachts. Unfortunately our 8HP outboard got stolen by a visiting banana boat when we did not lift it out of the water at night as we normally always do. There was no lock on the outboard. The school director Joe went out of his way to check for the outboard but most likely this was not stolen by locals. Otherwise a very nice and interesting visit. Small local supermarket in Gagidu some 5km.
The grey area in CMap charts directly N of Cape Nelson indicating unsurveyed seas, is navigable for a sailing yacht but it is strongly recommended to use Google Earth maps which indicate the submerged reefs well. Most of the reefs in this area are 5m or more below chart datum. Alternatively one can stay in the shipping lanes which have been surveyed.
Beautiful well protected bay with dive resort.
An ex-employee of the resort, John Thomas plans to lay moorings for visiting sailing yachts.
He can be contacted via email through the Tufi resort. Many good dive sites on the reefs outside of the bay.
Off Cape Vogel has good but deep (35m) anchorage in 9° 37.73'S 150° 01.21'E
Beautiful uninhabited island. Good diving/snorkelling. WWII airplane wreck ('Black Jack' in 50m) nearby but guide required.
Dive resort has wooden jetty where a yacht can tie up alongside in 10° 15.997'S 150° 46.61'E. Resort has laid FAD in 10° 15.8644' S, 150° 46.4499' E to keep fishermen out of house reef. Various excursion possibilities. Watch Bird of Paradise or Skul caves. Although a dive resort for Milne Bay, none of the dive sites are actually in Milne Bay.
Island just of East Cape with good anchorage in sand/coral boulders 5-7m in 10° 12.41'S 150° 54.34'E
Several good dive sites nearby. Check with Tawali Resort.
Friendly town. Safe anchorage off Airways Hotel in 10° 18.61'S 150° 26.99'E. Secure dinghy landing on slipway of hotel. Immigration and Customs offices close by in Business Center opposite gate of Airways Hotel. Good supermarkets nearby. Good market for fresh produce. Diesel and water from hose at small wooden jetty of Cheong Enterprises in Sanderson Bay.
Hans van Rijn