purpledot Introduction

purpledot About Moet

purpledot About us

purpledot Recent Sailing Adventures and Photos

Solomon Islands 2003

All good things must come to an end and last week we said goodbye to the crew as they went their separate ways. They spent 4 months living the life of South Pacific nomads and sailing the warm waters of the friendly ocean. Who knows, maybe they'll be back with their own boats someday. In any case Rob and Anna haven't gone too far, swapping one floating home for another and shunning the landlubbers life a while longer. Rob is sailing to Kiribati with Tank Girl and Anna (with her cello) is crewing on Guinevere (a little 28-footer) exploring more of the Solomons before heading to New Zealand. As for Geoff and Nils, a short stop in Fiji for them both before Geoff heads to Australia and Nils goes back to Holland. New adventures all round. And Moet? We set sail for Papua New Guinea next week, just myself and Frans, heading for the Louisiade and Trobriand Islands.

Geoff makes friends with the local birdlife

Solomon islands climbing frame

The hurricane that struck the Santa Cruz islands of Tikopia and Anuta has been big news worldwide and has brought the Solomon Islands to global attention. It was a big hurricane, even for these waters and only a month earlier there was a supertyphoon just north of the equator in Guam. The weather patterns have been disturbed this year. The islanders are prepared for these winds and headed for shelter in mountain caves which protected them while their trees and houses were flattened. We had been in the neighbouring Santa Cruz island of Vanikolo only a few weeks earlier and made some good friends there. We were saddened to hear Vanikolo was also badly hit and are waiting to hear news from Faithful.

The western province of the Solomon Islands (where we have been since early December) is far enough west to be hurricane-free and since the hurricane season starts in December we have been well out of the danger zone. Though for our families back home hearing of a hurricane anywhere in the Solomons while we were sailing there was pretty disturbing. Lola Island received many phone calls from worried parents, Yes, we're all right. We knew about the hurricane, we had been watching it approach on the weatherfax on the previous few days as it gathered in strength and we sat about the bar speculating as to where it would hit. A hurricane is one of the sailing commuinties biggest fears and at this time of year it is a big topic of conversation. "Did you see that low developing over Tuvalu? Think it might worsen and move South?" Most of the time it amounts to nothing, but occasionally a big one strikes. And because of these sporadic tropical disturbances the cruising schedule of hundreds of sailing boats is determined - the mass migration in October and November away from the central South Pacific and the re-emergence of the cruising fleet in May the next year. Until recently the Western Solomons were a popular cruising ground to spend the hurricane season, but with the bad press the country has received (much exaggerated I must add) yachts go to Australia or New Zealand instead.

Tikopia and Anuta are small islands with small populations. If islands have been too badly damaged by a hurricane then people may have to move to other islands and set up new homes there. The weather dictates a lot about peoples lives in the Pacific. Over the coming few years the entire population of Tuvalu will be relocated to New Zealand as the sea levels rise and swamp these tiny atolls. For whatever the reason, the planet is definitely heating up and the consequences can be felt distinctly here.

That's all for now, we'll keep updating this every so often for those interested in our progress. Come and join us when you can!