The beauty of this place isn’t diminished by the overcast sky and misty showers. We join Brian and Linda on Drumbeat off Noro, on the island of New Georgia, anchored inside a shallow reef separating us from the channel. I eye off the pass through the reef, and automatically compare the width of our boat. Hmmm…
A visitor drops in by canoe for a bit of “story”. And maybe a bit of bartering.
Soon it’s dusk and the sun shows momentarily below cloud as it waves goodbye for the night.
Tomorrow is another day, and the local market calls.
Our last chance for fresh stuff, so we stock up. Jakfruit? Yes. Coconuts, pawpaws, bananas, all types of fruit and veg.
Market bartering done, we dinghy out past a line of big fishing boats that supply the local tuna cannery, and back to Drumbeat after clearing customs and immigration. That took a while, lik lik longtaim, but hey – who cares? They certainly don’t and that’s a contagious attitude.
We swing out past Noro houses, slide through the narrow gap in the reef and turn to follow the barge that just left the Noro wharf. It seems to disappear into the jungle as it turns into Diamond Narrows. On my last trip through here in a Beneteau 44, maybe ten years ago, it seemed too tight for boats to pass. Not so – deep water to the banks, and sufficient room as it twists and turns westwards. Overcast and windless, we motor on calm water.
Trying to picture racing down this channel on a stormy night with a squadron of wartime US Navy torpedo boats. It was much easier to fictionalize in Payback than it could ever be in real life.
These pics don’t do the narrows justice.
Check ’em out some time on Google Earth, it’s Diamond Narrows in the Solomon Islands, near New Georgia.