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Saturday, September 13, 2003

September 14, 2003-Night Passage to Budi Budi



An island near the equator, white sand beach, two miles long, maybe, backed by palm trees and jungle foliage, and through the gaps, the blue ocean beyond. There are thatched huts on the beach, and we can hear the children laughing and playing in the sea. Where we are anchored, one half mile offshore, but within the protection of the reef and lagoon, there is calm azure blue water and a mild trade wind breeze blowing though our hatches.

Nice, very nice.

This is Budi Budi, 9 degress 17 minutes South, 153 degrees, 41 minutes East, the farthest outpost of Papua New Guinea. We arrived here this morning after a night passage from Misima having left the port of Bwagaoia at 5:00 pm the night before. Dusk found us beating around the eastern corner of Misima Island, and then we bore off and settled down for the long reach up to Budi Budi, 100 miles distant. With the wind vane steering, and a nice steady breeze, there wasn't much to do on our three hour watches except wait for the moon to come up, and when it did, we had light. A good sail.

At dawn we felt our way into the lagoon at Budi Budi and dropped anchor off the village. Several canoes came out while we were anchoring, and several naked boys on foam boogie boards paddled up, and after we anchored one man introduced himself as William.

"Hello" I said as I leaned over the side to shake his hand, "Nice to meet you. Can we stay here?"

"Yes", he answered.

I told him we wanted to eat and get some rest. He said, "OK", and they all disappeared.

We had the day to ourselves and we napped and swam off the boat in warm, crystal clear water. In the distance we could hear the surf pounding on the far side of the island.

Tomorrow we'll go ashore on Budi Budi.

MV Muyuwa, Local vessel returns from Woodlark Island, 40 miles distant.



Fred & Judy, SV WINGS, Papua New Guinea

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