Blue Sails In The Sunset

Beautiful against the sunset...

These were some of the sailing boats that took part in the 2010 Canoe and Kundu Festival in Alotau, Milne Bay Province last November.

Race you to the shore!

I took these shots from shore looking out into the bay. The Suau word for bay is alotau. In other dialects in the area the word for bay is ‘kalotau’.  The capital town of Milne Bay where the Provincial Headquarters is located is Alotau – taken from the Suau word for bay. I think it is a fitting name and one that conjures up so many lovely memories and warm thoughts about Milne Bay and the Milne Bay way of life. Like the bay, it can be choppy at times but mostly calm.

Leaving the white froth behind as they raced to shore. The folks in the hut must have had a great view.

The bay was reasonably calm but slightly windy. Anyway, the canoes and their skippers were unfazed. It was a good wind for sailing. For me a landlubber, I wouldn’t allow myself to be dragged out on a canoe at that time of the day. I would rather be taking photos of others, like these folks, racing around in open canoes or sailboats.

In the distance against the hills of Ealeba on the other side of the bay.

Am not so sure why the sails are all in blue. It’s either the most popular colour or that’s the only colour they have available. Perhaps it was the only colour available in Alotau at that time. Yeah, let’s not forget this is one part of PNG which is so far southeast of the capital city of Port Moresby. So it is better to get a sail even if it comes only in one colour. So no choice for colours really. That seems to be a common thing in PNG. Sometimes you end up with only one colour, only one size etc. If you get something and it serves your purpose why worry about colour, make, shape etc. The important thing is that it works! Well, I hope some enterprising citizen would provide assorted colours for this year’s Canoe and Kundu Festival. It would be great to have a rainbow of colours for sails than just blue. But hey, it may be that these folks like blue! Who gives a rat’s behind what I think! End of story!

Getting to shore...

Watching these folks deftly move about the boat was worth watching. I thought about the huge sailboats that ply the Milne Bay waters on the Kula Trade routes that take them to as far as the Rossel Islands in the southeastern most tip of Milne Bay from all the way out in Kiriwina (Trobriand Islands).  Now that’s a thought!

Blue sails in the sunset, cruising over an evening sea...

Other craft were also visible (between the two blue sails) and I wasn’t sure whether the folks in the dinghy were heading for the other side of the bay or going out to help someone who went overboard. It’s probably the former.

Almost on terra firma again

These folks looked relaxed and probably happy to be just floating on the sea to shore. I guess the end of a tough afternoon and the fun we landlubber folks had taking shots of the sailboats. They must be in many many photos taken by people like me – amateurs and professionals alike.

Time to bring the sails down...the crew of the Meros

…time for a hot cuppa something and to chew betelnut. One of the favourite pastimes of Milne Bay people…betelnut chewing.

I too packed my camera away and headed for Masurina Lodge for some sumptuous homecooked meal of aiai nugini (taro, sweetpotatoes, greens etc) and a hot cuppa Milo…

It was a wonderful day. It was so nice to be in Alotau, the cleanest town in PNG. Eaide!

Author: IslandMeri

I am based in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea. The purpose of this blog is to share my magic moments in Papua New Guinea, elsewhere in the Pacific and the world. I have many creative pursuits - singing, songwriting, amateur photography and blogging.

2 thoughts on “Blue Sails In The Sunset”

  1. Gorgeous pics!

    I am looking to make a big move in my life and was thinking the island of Bougainvilla might be the place to lay some roots and open up a small business. I heard it is untapped tourist area still. I am passionate scubadiver.Any thoughts would greatly be appreciated. Thank you!

    Pam

  2. Those blue sails look amazing! Alotau seems like it would be a great place to visit. Thanks for the pictures and posting.

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