"" Writer's Wanderings: Papua New Guinea

Monday, April 24, 2006

Papua New Guinea

The following is a sample story from my newsletter, JOURNEYS.

“Shout our name from the mountains to seas, Papua New Guinea.” The strains of their national anthem still play in my mind. I expected a great dive adventure. I didn’t expect to fall in love.

Perhaps it was waking anchored in calm inlets to hazy purplish sunrises with the distant call of exotic birds, or looking out at the lush green islands of Milne Bay that contrasted sharply against the clear skies and deep blue waters that drew me in. Without a doubt it was meeting the wonderful people of the villages that dot the islands so far away from the usual conveniences we take for granted.

Silently the dugout canoes sliced through the water from each village as we neared. Men, women, and children in canoes congregated at the sides and back of the live-aboard with fresh fruits and vegetables to trade for staples like rice and sugar. Some displayed crafts of wood and shells to sell or trade for T-shirts. Some fished. But all watched as we came and went in our dive gear. We were the entertainment for the day.

The paradise above was magnified in the treasures below. Abundant colorful marine life in all shapes and sizes played over a patchwork quilt of brilliant corals. An abundance of lionfish, countless varieties of nudibranchs, endless fields of anemones with their guardian clownfish, and the unusual--the hairy ghost pipefish, kept us diving back in for more. On this 10 day trip, we were limited only by our ability, stamina, and common sense. (Read the rest of the story.)

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