From the Oceanic Discoverer in Papua New Guinea
Nov 9, 2012 - Oceanic Discoverer
We arrived early off Crown Island, which has six small hamlets scattered around its coastline. Our hosts are the extended family of Ezekiel, who moved back onto his land here from the local ‘mainland,’ which is Long Island. From here to Madang, the nearest large town, it is a six-hour ride in an outboard-powered dinghy. Three of Ezekiel’s daughters have married and left the hamlet, since post-marital residence in this part of PNG is patrilocal, wherein women go to live in their husbands’ villages.
Several of Ezekiel’s many sons plus one visiting son-in-law were our guides for this morning’s hike. His wife and mother remained back at the hamlet, where we heard about the virtues of keeping dogs (e.g., they hunt wild pigs and are excellent at barking at strangers) before we set off. Our pleasant and leisurely walk took us up into the hinterland, through the hamlet’s gardens, old and new, where the usual Melanesian slash-and-burn adaptation successfully supports mixed horticulture.
We returned to Oceanic Discoverer in the late morning. Before lunch, Jan and David presented another of their superb under-over water photography picture shows.
The afternoon was spent at sea, with more presentations, dolphins and flying fish.