Fairfax Harbour is probably one of the best natural harbours in the country and in the Pacific Region. I shudder at the thought of more of the seaviews disappearing so fast so we miss out on the harbour views when driving into downtown Port Moresby nowadays. We used to be able to see the sea but slowly construction of many new buildings and the extensions of the port along the waterfront is obstructing this view that we used to take for granted. It will be gone forever and it is beyond the control of so many ordinary people in Port Moresby who would want to get a glimpse of the harbour on their way downtown or back up towards the hinterland.
Soon we’d have to go up Port Road or Paga Hill to be able to take in unobstructed views of our beloved Fairfax Harbour.
The evening started off with heavy rain. It was a little daunting also trying to find Finger B which was where our boat was moored. It took me 15 minutes to finally find it with the help of a couple of helful RPYC security guards. Of course me not been a member of the RPYC made it difficult too. Anyway, I finally found the place and was greeted by two friendly and helpful ladies.
I braved the drizzle walking down the length of the pier to get onboard but what a lovely reward at the end of the walk. Of course climbing up the stairs in rain was a bit of a challenge with the ever-present hazard of falling into the sea should I get a foot wrong going up. But I mustered all the strength and skill recalled from my early years growing up on Kwato Island and the many times we had to get on and off the mission boats come rain and shine got me up the ladder and on to dry deck.
I met others who were already there and was soon holding on to a cool glass of orange juice. As we sipped our drinks and slowly got to meet the others the rain subsided and it was calm and dry. This was something different – to be on a boat in the harbour sipping a cold drink and meeting new people on a rainy evening. Of all of them, I had met only three (3) people prior to the cruise. I was delighted to join our BSP friends and this small gathering on board.
Not long after the rain cleared, it was decided we should cast off. So we were going on our evening cruise after all. The rain had not dampened our spirits and expectations to cruise around the harbour this evening.
After a brief explanation on the boat itself and a fine one too, the Captain gave us a safety briefing and then we were off as we slowly edged our way out of the marina. A great sense of freedom, adventure and well-being came over me.
The sea was calm but a little breeze to remind us we were on a boat and gliding gracefully over the water.
I couldn’t believe the fact that I was seeing Port Moresby by night from the harbour, and rarer still the opportunity to do so this evening. It was just a very nice feeling to be out and about without having to look over my shoulder. I must say the city looked beautiful this evening.
As the boat moved out into the harbour I was transported back to my childhood days albeit momentarily. When on school holidays from Cameron High School we would board one of the mission boats – either the Osiri or Labini – one or the other for Samarai, Logea and Kwato.
I used to feel rather cheeky arriving at night because no-one knew which school children have come home to the island for the school holidays until the following morning or at Church.
The reflection of lights on the water held a certain facination for me. And now I couldn’t help feeling a sense of deja vu. I decided to stand back and enjoy the views in the cool evening.
Looking back the way we came out of the Royal Papua Yacht Club marina and out in the open I focused my sights and my camera on the lights of Port Moresby.
Well, what do you know the city looked stunning with all the lights and the colourful patterns on the water from the many different coloured lights.
Dinner was served and soon we went downstairs to partake of the tasty morsels laid before us. One of the things I take for granted is that I am not seasick and the food was a welcome sight. After a few words of welcome and updates on BSP from the CEO we tucked in.
Later on I went aft to enjoy the sights of Port Moresby from the boat.
Port Moresby looked like a reclining lady in red, yellow and orange sequinns shimmering against a dark sky.
I went past a couple of big ships and then to Napa Napa and Motukea then infront of Tatana on our return to the marina.
The last time I was on a boat in the harbour was in the ’80s and was a passenger or spectator on one somebody’s boat watching the regatta or some sailing competition. It’s all so hazy now. But anyway, this was the first time I am out in the Harbour at night.
I look out on the harbour from my office day in day out and to be in it myself in the same place that so many container vessels use during the day was an awesome thought.
My camera was clicking all the time we were cruising around but the constant movement did not help but I think I managed to get some. I did the best I could but happy that I can actually take photos.
Thank you so much Mr Clyne and your managers for giving us the privilege to go on a harbour cruise and to enjoy Port Moresby at night this way. Thank you Captain Simeon for taking us out on the MV South Pacific and bringing us safely back home.
All too soon our cruise came to an end at about 9.00pm.
We were back at the marina and then it was goodbyes and I took my leave. Driving home, I thought about the cruise, about the MV South Pacific, about BSP and the food we enjoyed and most of all about seeing the lights of Port Moresby this way.
There ain’t no nicer way to enjoy the night air in Port Moresby than a wonderful cruise in Fairfax Harbour on an evening like this.