Dictated by Roz at 21:32 local (Madang) time and transcribed by her mother Rita Savage.
Position: -05.47589 146.30901
I had visitors this afternoon. I had spoken earlier today with Sir Peter Barter, former Governor of Papua New Guinea, who has been so helpful in arranging local arrival logistics for me. He warned me that he would be dropping in this afternoon in his helicopter to make a delivery. So about 4.30 I was on the alert and listening out for it when the small helicopter loomed into view from the blue sky. They lowered a bucket, just out of reach of my boat hook. I know that I promised never to go more than an arm’s length from my boat ever again but this one was important – there were beers at stake, so I quickly dived in and made my way over to the bucket while they hovered overhead, in confidence that they would not let me drown having come this far. I got to the bucket and with a few strokes managed to make it back to the boat safely.
I waved goodbye to Sir Peter, and I am looking forward to seeing him again tomorrow. Inside the bucket was an assortment of goodies: mobile phone with a local SIM card in it, so that we can liaise on final arrangements; three beers as promised; a ham and cheese sandwich, made by Sir Peter himself, I believe; and some information about the Madang Resort which is going to be my home for the next four weeks. There was also an assortment of local information, a newspaper announcing my arrival, and a letter from Sir Peter himself. It was a bit like Christmas, opening up my stocking-full of goodies and everything in it was extremely welcome, especially the beers which had been very thoughtfully packed in ice, so they were still nice and cold.
While I sipped my beer I read through all the information, including the stuff about the Madang resort which looks absolutely gorgeous and I am very much looking forward to making its acquaintance. So, now all I have to do is get there. A slight hitch there is that the conditions here have really calmed down. The winds and the currents have died away since yesterday, so far from having to drag my oars metaphorically to delay my arrival until Thursday afternoon, I am now actually having to row through the night in order to get there in time! But from what I’ve seen of the Madang Resort, it is going to well worth the extra effort. I am stoking myself with chocolate-coffee-flavoured Larabars, the only form of caffeine I have on board, and in for the long haul. Now 33 miles away from Madang, and will keep rowing until I get to about 20 or so miles away, and if there is any time between then and the time I have to get up I will have a quick kip at that point.
Now I am well and truly into the home stretch, and apparently a great welcome awaits me in Papua New Guinea, with Jan Messersmith, a photographer, and local canoeists due to come out, and hopefully a few people coming down to wave to me as I approach the Medang Resort. Am now really looking forward to making landfall and after a full night of rowing it is going to be a very welcome sight.
For more pictures see: http://malumnalu.blogspot.com/
PS Request from Roz: As she does not have voicemail set up for the satphone, please do not try to leave messages for her – she won’t receive them.
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