Briar and Zane along with Richard Moyle made the boat to Takuu on Saturday, after a series of incidents in which everything that could go wrong did go wrong and at the worst possible moment.
The crew managed to make the flight from New Zealand on Friday, carrying new portable solar panels delivered at the airport with a full 20 minutes to spare and newly-minted visas that arrived a nail-biting seven hours before departure. Despite the 2 hour delay in Brisbane (the plane broke), the connecting flight through to Buka was caught, and so the half-day delay that the good ship Sankamap had agreed to so that the crew could make the sailing wasn’t wasted. Weather for the boat-trip was great and there were dolphins and flying fish on the journey, which bodes well for the whole project.
Thanks to Chris Edwards for technical and communications assistance in late pre-production, Jim Robins at the National Research Institute, Port Moresby, for taking it upon himself to force PNG’s lumbering bureaucracy to yield the visas in time, the New Zealand Police stationed in Buka for shopping for us since Briar and Zane didn’t have time and for answering all questions no matter how random, and to UPS for letting us in at their airport terminal at 5.30am to get the solar panels that had just arrived from America. Thanks also to anyone else including parents and friends who packed for us, shopped for us and otherwise gave up their time and resources. We couldn’t have done it without you….
Zane and Briar about to depart: