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Checking in at the Loisade Archipelago, Papua New Guinea

By Val Ellis last modified Nov 15, 2011 11:46 AM

Published: 2011-11-15 11:46:48
Countries: Papua New Guinea

This information was originally posted on the Noonsite forum by Paul Tudor-Stack on 13th November 2011

We were in the Louisiades last year and at that time it was possible to check in in the archipelago itself. However I must stress, that could change at any time. You will need to obtain your visa for PNG before arriving otherwize it becomes problematic.

You cannot do your practique and customs at the same location - you will need to go to Bwagaoia on Misima for quarantine. The quarantine person there was named "John" you will have to make it known that you want him to come to your boat. Speak to people in the harbour and see if you can get a message to him. He does not have radio communications. The fee is not certain. When we were there it was only about 50K but there was talk of them putting it up significantly.

Once you have obtained your certificate you can head over to Panapompom Island, 30 miles to the west. At a position of 10°46.3S, 152°22.4E, you should find an old Chinese fishing boat - which appears to be little more than a rusting hulk. This is actually owned by an Australian businessman and leased by PNG Customs.

Tankers etc. that transit PNG waters from ports north bound for the inside route of the Great Barrier Reef require a maritime pilot on board their vessel. This where they either pick up or drop off the pilots. The pilots fly into or out of Misima and are taken by launch to the fishing boat/customs base and from there are conveyed out to the ships. They are contactable on channel 16. They were quite helpful and, although clearing yachts wasn't their primary function they were willing to do this as yachties often provided aid to the island people.

If, for whatever reason you cannot clear in here then you have lost nothing as you will simply have to head towards either Samuari or Alotau to clear in. Haven't been to Samuari but Alotau isn't much of an anchorage and it isn't the sort of place I would recommend you hang around any longer than necessary. It is not connected via road to Port Moresby but sometimes Rascals find their way there and may find a western yacht a rather attractive target. The islands themselves are wonderful and the people are very friendly and honest.

Paul Tudor-Stack