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The PT Boat Forum ª PT Boats of WWII ª  PT Boats - General

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 Author  Topic: Planning a trip to the South Pacific

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jan 12, 2010 - 10:59am
Looking to go to my grandfather's locations in the South Pacific, he was on New Caledonia, Munda, Green island, Morotai and Tawi Tawi. I would also like to go see some of the relics on Papa New Guinea, any recommendations?

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Shaneo2  Posted on: Jan 12, 2010 - 1:39pm
Wow, going to be covering some ground there. One of the most important things I can tell you to start with is check the weather at the time of year you want to go there. Is it the wet/cyclone season ? If it is your going to be dealing with more mosquito problems (possible dengue/malaria).

The wet is miserable to many in the tropics- look at the Solomon Star at that time of year- lots of weather related problems.

[ Before I go much further, Lonely Planet has pretty good guide books and I think the Moon folks cover areas of the So. Pac. too. On the lonely planet web site there is a "thorn tree" section, where you can ask questions- often people who are there, or have been there will reply. ]

Ok, I cannot stress weather/seasonal climate enough- then we went into health- get good travel insurance..are you going to be diving in the Solomons or PNG ? If so, you have to pay attention as to what anti-malarial meds you are taking- you can scuba dive on doxcycline, but one must remember that you are extremely sun sensitive...

Did I mention weather, yes- I will do it again- health medical care is often very basic and often takes some time to get to a proper hospital if you experience a problem-

-Natural disasters: floods, earthquakes, tsunamis -it happens- I've been lucky never to me. Then there is salt water crocs, sharks, coral cuts, food issues...just part of the adventure- enjoy.

New Caledonia is very expensive being a French Colony, the Solomons can be very cheap, but if you are a tourist it is not that cheap, not in the outlaying Provinces- nothing like Vanuatu, or Fiji etc.

The Solomons has had "tensions" in the past years, which is why RAMSI is still there- Honiara is like some African slum town at times, with many crime issues- I heard many parts of PNG are the same.

I spent most my time in the Western Province and had "no problems". Munda is pretty safe - Gizo has some crime though I've heard from many.

In Munda looking for PT stuff- start with Dive Munda folks. I used them often in my dives- I did use private guide(s) too, they were very unpredictable ...sometimes we got a lot done- sometimes they never showed up ...- Agnes has boats you can rent on a daily basis, yes the are more expensive, but at least "you will get there and back".

The PT Boat funnel we found is now with Dive Munda now as a historical piece- just ask to see it.

There is a huge amount of PT boat base remains over on Bau Island in Rendova Harbor...I would recommend diving too. Munda has a telecenter, Post Office, stores, airport, bank, ATM and a very basic hospital...Agnes Lodge has a wide range of accommodation choices and it sometimes is a good place for information.

Unfortunately now local people are starting to expect "custom fees" to go see some stuff- often the ones asking do not even own the land- so I would use a local guide to hopefully lessen the costs, or avoid them- be wary of wandering around their property ..

As far as the WW-II knowledge of those guides- very, very spotty to say the least- many claim to know stuff- I've caught many incorrect assumptions, or bad guess's - it has gotten to the point that when I am there in Munda I am the one telling the locals what much of the stuff is, or what the WW-II history is of a particular island/base etc.- It is sad and yet a bit amusing sometimes to see the "pure boredom" on the faces of some of the guides faces I've had- many have a very short attention span when we are at a site - and will fidgit, pace around, sit down smoke cigarettes and wonder what your interest is in that pile of rust.

Some however do look forward and realize that if "you" find something interesting- "maybe" others will come and want to see it...and that means more work in a country that has a huge unemployment/underemployment problem.

So for the Solomons for help online: use the LP "thorn tree", read the Solomon Star newspaper online for a start.

Health and weather sites are all over. Air Pacific, as I mentioned in my Rendova Harbor 2009 post, have some good deals from CONUS to the Solomons. If you are going to New Caledonia and then the Solomons you might consider flying to Brisbane and using it as a modern R'n'R hub between trips to NC, PNG & the Solomons- sort of going out, returning taking a break- then going back out to the next destination, etc. etc.

Brisbane also has many good air fare deals out to the surrounding Islands as it is so close (Pacific wise)- might save you tons of money on pre-booked tickets too-

That is it for now- I have other work to do today, if I can help some more let me know-



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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message   Posted on: Jan 12, 2010 - 2:15pm
Wow, thanks so much for your advice, it really does help. I am really interested in seeing land wrecks as opposed to diving, any ideas?

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