I’m back on a boat. I’ve got used to spending around 100 sea days each year, so it seems that the mere 46 days it took me to get from Tarawa to Papua New Guinea has left me wanting more. Fortunately this boat is a lot more comfortable than the Brocade (soon to be renamed to her original name of Sedna Solo, now that the Brocade-sponsored Pacific Ocean epic is over).

I am on board the Moksha, a 54 foot Hanse sailboat which is on loan to Oceanswatch, a marine conservation organisation specialising in reef monitoring and liaison with coastal communities to ensure responsible marine stewardship. I met them in Rabaul a couple of days ago (my luggage following on close behind, but not before several nerve-wracking hours had elapsed), and we sailed for about 36 hours across the Bismarck Sea to our current mooring in Walinda.

Gallery of underwater photos at the Walindi Resort

As I write this I am sitting in the breakfast room at the Walindi Resort, goosebumpy from over-enthusiastic aircon, admiring the huge library of diving books and magazines and a gallery of fabulous underwater photographs adorning the walls. For the sparkling Kimbe Bay outside the windows off to my right offers one of the most diverse marine environments in the world. A leading reef scientist, Professor Charlie Vernon, is quoted in the resort brochure as saying: “The coral reefs of Kimbe Bay take me back forty years, to a time when corals grew in lush profusion, untroubled by the problems that beset them today… I am hard pressed to think of anywhere on earth that has this combination of vibrant health, diversity and beauty”. Apparently half the coral species in the world are represented here.

So I’m just itching to get into the water. Hopefully this afternoon, if only for a snorkel, and hopefully again tomorrow for a dive with the local dive centre. It would seem that this year I have truly fallen in love with the sea. It has been a slow-developing relationship, like an arranged marriage, but we’re getting there…

Other Stuff:

There’s a good poster in the reception area of the resort, which at a glance looks like the usual chart of marine creatures, but on closer inspection actually shows the various kinds of trash that end up on reefs, and the damage that they cause. For example:

The Most Dangerous Species of our Coasts and Lagoons

The plastic bottle:

Origin – streets, streams, beaches and boats

Behaviour – can cause fatal intestinal blockages in marine animals that swallow it

Average lifespan – 300 to 500 years

The plastic bag:

Origin – streets, streams, beaches and boats

Behaviour – often mistaken for jellyfish, the favourite food of turtles. It causes severe, potentially fatal, intestinal blockages in marine animals that eat it

Average lifespan – 35 to 60 years

Other, Other Stuff:

I’ve been enjoying some fascinating conversations with Chris Bone, founder of Oceanswatch, during my time aboard. He is a member of an “intentional community” – a small settlement of 6 families living on 160 acres on New Zealand’s North Island. Each family has 2 acres to themselves, and the rest is communal and used for keeping livestock. He showed me photographs of their home, and it looks absolutely idyllic. I can imagine the potential issues that can arise in such communities, but theirs has found a modus operandi that is exceptionally stable. As I understand it, the only rules are around the introduction of new members to the community, and the absolute rule that no non-organic chemicals may be used on the land. Definitely a mode of living that I could contemplate at some point in the future, when I stop being a wandering nomad.

I’ve started reading a book I found on board, “The Deep Ecology Movement: An Introductory Anthology”, edited by Alan Drengson & Yuichi Inoue. Some of it is pretty heavy going with too much academic philosophical terminology, but generally I’m finding it fascinating. If you haven’t come across the concept of deep ecology before, check out the Wikipedia page.


  • Sounds like you are having a good time. Me, I have a tooth pain and it’s the 4th of July-a big holiday. So big, in fact, that it will repeat itself tomorrow as far as being a bank and dental holiday. OK. Have fun, be safe and do good works.

    Tomas A. Texino
    Captain (ret)

  • Wow dear Roz…. what an extra-ordinary precious place Walinda looks. It reminds me just a little of the luck I had to visit the Rowley Shoals – coral atols in the Indian Ocean 200 miles or so directly west of Broome in Western Australia. I had an experience of the coral and fish life there literally ‘blowing my mind’ and rendering me speechless. Wonder if the Oceanswatch folks have been there? En JOY dear friend….. and see you at home sometime + in Fremantle whenever you know the dates in March (my sister and family are all geared up for my next visit). xxx Romy (ps. do you know why when I enter my website in the website box it says ‘please enter a valid url?)

  • Steve T: Thanks for that link. I shall get a few copies of the original and spread them around locally.

  • roz,

    So glad you are sailing!
    Sailing is my passion. I am working towards a zero impact lifestyle, living self-sufficiently aboard a sailboat.

    In-fact, sailing is what led me to finding your website in the first place (searching out solo ocean crossings of course!).

    So just wanted to say hi (again) and thank you for your work. I say, stow them oars and keep sailing 🙂

  • Thanks, Roz. Just so you know, if you chat with Jan about it … I gave him credit in the border of the badge since I used four of his photos from his blog … hard to see, but it is there. Jan is such a wonderful photographer! And I put up the link to his “Plez Bilong Mi” bog as part of the Green Deed resource. Cheers!

  • “Stop drifting. Start rowing.” Of the two, that is. Not sure whether either are appropriate for us landlubbers.

  • Roz; I know it’s a metaphore! I just wondered whether there might be something equally apropriate and with more general appeal. But if everyone is happy then run with it. And be sure to keep your oars wet at all times!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *