This is Simons humour in case you can't tell and being sick I've let him have his way - he's re-created it for your viewing pleasure!
Simon’s health was up and down like a yo-yo – dying one minute and feeling ok the next. After talking to our doc in Aus, we headed to the hospital for some tests, fearing the worst. It sounds terrible, but we were almost relieved to hear he had malaria – we could put a name to it, and this is something they treat everyday, being an endemic malaria region. We were anchored right next to the ferry terminal, only a short bus ride to the hospital.
Too late to let our friends Mane and Cristian from Chile know about Simon's health, they arrived and decided to stay aboard and see what happens. With drugs in hand, we headed a short way to an island where Si could take some R&R and we could explore. Sorry Scotty, after you jumped off we seemed to hit the mackerel sweet spot and Cristian was hauling them in – his first pelagic catch!
Cristian and Mane tried Scuba for the first time in the shallows of Palau Yum, before we headed back to Sorong for some more tests.
With Si still positive for P.Vivax malaria, we stocked up on a new course of drugs – supposedly to clear the parasite from blood and the liver stages and we headed back to Waigeo to explore the narrow channel between Palau Waigeo and Gam. We thought we might snorkel the channel so did a bit of a dinghy recon one afternoon – the current was so swift we struggled to get back to the boat.
The next day we braved the current and jumped in for a snorkeling joy ride past bommies and rocks covered with soft corals and sponges, critters, turtle and fish swimming in the depths and caves to explore.
This bay was a karst island fantasy with pinnacles, islets and narrow channels to weave in and out of. Secret bays could be accessed thru small holes in rocks and caves filled with bats abound. You could explore this area for months and still not see it all!
With Si’s health heading downhill despite the new drugs we decided to return to Sorong. Cristian and Mane jumped off and returned to Bali before heading for Chile. It was such a shame their visit co-incided with Simon being unwell – but we still managed to show them some of the beauty of Raja Ampat and even squeezed in some sailing, Cristian taking on role of skipper and Mane first mate. Unsure what to do next we returned to the hospital with Si where we decided to admit him for 3-4 days of treatment.
Just in case you have no idea where we are - that's us on the right hand side of the screen.