I'm at liberty to say that Zane and Briar are about to leave or are in fact on their way from Takuu as I write this. After much fitting and starting, as usual, the Sankamap has finally begun its journey up the line of atolls, and when I last got word from the island it was moored in the lagoon (as pictured) waiting to complete the round trip. In fact on Tuesday Zane wrote:
"Hey Lyn - as I type the Sankamap is sitting in the lagoon not far out side our house, unloading as quick as it can. If it leaves today for Tasman (unlikely due to it getting late and they don't risk the reef passage in the dark), it will be back Thursday and we'll leave then and be in Buka on Friday - more likely we'll be there Saturday."
This means that there's probably only another two weeks to go before B and Z are finally going to be touching down on NZ soil again, although everything in PNG is always subject to confirmation, and this date is no exception.
And this LITERALLY just to hand from Zane!! (Seriously - I was typing this entry when it arrived in my in-box) -
It is Thursday the 25th and this might be my last entry from Nukutoa Island on the Takuu Atoll. It's been great living here and as long as you don't mind the odd bug on your face in the night, ceaseless chicken noise or communal toilet areas I definitely recommend anyone try it, god knows the Island needs the tourist dollars.
I think I can safely say that I have eaten the entire cast of Finding Nemo while we've been here (yes even the cute sea turtles) the final addition being shark which we had the other night. Briar and I have probably become fish addicts for life as one of the greatest pleasures here is coming home after a long day in the heat and finding dinner on the table. Dinner usually comprises of two whole fish and two bowls of white rice. The first few weeks we did our best and picked through the fish...Now we just massacre them, any semblence of western ettiquitte is gone as we tear the fishes with our bare hands spitting out bones and scales (well Briar actually chews and swallows her bones for the calcium) as we go.
We have made some good friends here. Among my favourites are Telo our hardcase gardening expert, Rosetta who helps care for us (and will be leaving with us on the boat as she lives in Rabaul and is only here for the holidays), and also Satty a 28 year old local who dreams of bigger things and has seen every movie known to man (well except for all the movies Briar likes :-P). I hope to keep in touch with these guys somehow and Briar and I have decided we would like to do our best to help Rose who lost both her parents in the last few years, wasn't able to complete high school due to the volcano in Rabaul blowing up, has lost her faith in christianity and now dreams of becoming a nurse and being able to travel. We'll see what we can do, first step is we've agreed to take the few photos she has of her parents away to be cleaned up and enlarged (any suggestions on good people to do this would be apreciated).
All that said I'm begining to fantasize about my first cold drink in nearly six weeks. This will hopefully happen on the Sankamap which (despite being the rustbucket it is) will hopefully be back here on Saturday to pick us up and deliver us to Buka for the next stage of our journey....I can already smell the cool dewy drops of condensation on the cans of fizzy drink in the ship's fridge.
Rose has just carried in lunch so I shall adjourn briefly.....
Here is a pic of Rose having lunch with us. At this particular moment she is captivated by Briar discussing the benefits of tea
Back, lunch was baked sweet potato and fish in tomato sauce (herring or mackeral). Yesterday we filmed Satty and his band singing a song he had written, hopefully we can make it into some kind of music video to send back to them and maybe even send it to Papau New Guinea TV and see if they're keen. For anyone geeky enough to be interested, the playback medium of choice in Nukutoa is Video CD I'm guessing Buka probably uses it too. Not sure why it's so popular here since I can't imagine it to be cheaper than DVD, but maybe VHS players are no good here due to the humidity etc... and maybe video CD took over before DVD came along. I know how interested you all are so I'll try and find the answers to these intriguing questions in Buka.
All our gear is still working a treat with no major...in fact with no real problems at all. Cinestuff's lights have proven to be a very useful asset here. While we have done little night shooting we have ended up using the lights to light our workbench and office at nights. The kerosene lamp, while it has a kind of old world charm, is not very good when trying to get gear prepared for the next day's shoot or to find a screw dropped on the coral sand floor. Meanwhile the case given to us by Rocket is our only airtight humidity haven in which our tapes and electronics hide, kept snugly dry by the dessicants given by Caterina De Nave. Fiona Samuel's 12V battery charger is our main source of power for our HDV camera. So to each and every supporter who has given us gear (even the ones I'm forgetting right now) thank you and rest assured your contribution has been invaluable because there is nothing here we could do without. Special thanks to mum and dad for the stuff they gave - clothes, tools and bags have all been put to good use (although I've basically given up on western clothes till I see tar seal again!). John the mosquito net has proven to be an oasis of peace and tranquility on the nights when the wind blows the hordes of mosquitos from the Taro swamps on Takuu Island over to our Island. TM - congratulations on the big movie role, I hope you enjoyed working with Luc!
Nick (Braxton at Oxfam) I never did write a sentence each day to remind myself of the trip but I figure between these blogs and the 100+ tapes we have now shot I'm in no danger of forgetting things. However it is the unrecorded moments I will cherish the most, like last night after sunset sitting in waist deep water just off the nothern point of the Island letting myself unwind by watching distant lightning storms and moving between the warm currents coming from the lagoon and the refreshing ones coming from the ocean which were only metres apart. All this under a cresent moon that sent shafts of moonlight through the scattered silver clouds...This place definitely has its moments. Then I walked home and went to go to sleep to the sounds of Briar singing along to her ipod. I like to think our gift to the Island is the concept of irony ;-)
That's me about done for this entry, will log onto the internet in a moment (using our PanasonicToughbook computer and Rocom satellite conection) and depending what Lyn sends us of your feedback I may send another before we leave, otherwise my next update will be from Buka just north of everyone's favourite wartorn province...Bougainville!