Torrential rain (note the dry wood in the new wood shed) in Nelson bid Amanda farewell, her work visa coming through before mine. We made one final trip to the flooded hardware store so I could get her bags up to their weight allowance. Fortunately for us the flooding had blown up the freezer in their coffee shop treating us to unlimited almost frozen free ice cream.
Showing off my Bear Grylis hunting and survival skills I built a very effective mouse trap with materials at hand, descimating the mouse population before being Jane'd one last time and heading back to PNG with my right ear mostly intact.
Amanda spent a few nights at the house in Madang alone before travelling to Bougainville. With people walking down the road being able to see in the windows at night this attracted some unwanted attention ending in her moving elsewhere on the last night and some improvement in the fencing.
The bees living in the side of the house weren’t happy to see me back. While walking past they took it upon themselves to attack me. I was chased all round the yard trapped by the high fences unable to get away. After being stung by what felt like half of them, they turn their attention to the dog. Bad luck. The next day Monpi had the bee man come. The old “I can’t come to work, I’m trapped by a swarm of bees” excuse isn’t going to cut it. The weekend was spent sewing new fender covers, cushion covers, and making a plastic bag holder while eating Lobster/bug bisque thanks to Phil having to empty his freezer before going away.
To test out our new underwater camera I took Amanda and James for a dive off the boat at our mooring. Muck diving at its best, wrecks and rubbish everywhere.
With no wind the Sunday yacht race had become more of a Sunday diving event. A snorkel recon located a twin engine Cessna out near Pig Island in about 14 meters of water.
Some local knowledge also helped us find another 82 foot wreck, fairly recently sunk and untouched in a secret location. Well it was untouched until we got there. I found some pictures of it on the net when it was still being used to dive from not dive on. Still with its sails and loaded with dive gear, it’s a treasure trove, even if in the back of your mind you keep expecting to swim around a corner and find a dead body.
Speaking of dead body’s, Monpi Cocoa Exports was lucky not to have one on they're hands when the barge sunk over in Bougainville. The story behind the story is that only a week before the incident the Boss from Monpi in Madang gave the barge captain the boot, and replaced him with a skipper who forgot or didn’t know to secure Monpi’s own forklift. Looks like it rolled forward during the crossing, pushed the ramp down allowing water the rush onboard and fell overboard becoming as the article says “a new house for the fish”. The barge itself, semi submerged was salvaged. Luckily an expensive mistake but not a fatal one. The locals tend to take a dim view on work related deaths.