Inspirational Crew on a Mission in Papua New Guinea
By visiting remote locations crew can sometimes find themselves in a position where they can actually have a positive impact on local communities living there. Crew from M/Y Legacy and show boat Pursuit have been doing just that for the last 18 months, during their visits to Papua New Guinea (PNG).
When they first arrived in the remote bay, dugout canoes would appear at the stern, the chief (or someone related) would appear and once they’d identified themselves and requested permission to stay, the crew would generally receive a warm welcome, and food, fishing lines and hooks would be exchanged.
Having seen the condition of the local’s clothing, the crew decided they would return and do more. On a following trip they handed over bags of clothing as well as much needed medical supplies, bandages, children’s books, school supplies and gardening tools.
In addition to supplies, the crew encouraged locals to fish in the boat’s stern lights at night and access water from the deck hose. Crew even went ashore to meet the school teacher, minister, or chief, taking food and school supplies with them.
While exploring the region, they anchored in Ulu Island, where crew noticed a boat pulled up on the beach and a path leading into the jungle. The captain and heli mechanic ventured ashore to make contact with the locals and found a vastly under-resourced island serving as a health clinic for surrounding islands. They noticed solar panels on the clinic's roof in a state of disrepair, disconnected from the battery, so with the help of a spare tender battery and 24v/12v transformer from the yacht and a bit of TLC from the yacht's engineer, bathed the clinic in light for the first time in 3 years.
They also fixed guttering and water tanks, installing a 12v pump off the solar panel, so they could have running water for the first time in 7 years.
Deck and engineering teams from M/Y Legacy and Pursuit were inspired to do more, so made follow up trips to check systems and make improvements — installing bigger batteries, a proper solar regulator, and inverter; run wiring and lights to further areas of the clinic; bringing mattresses, mosquito nets, soap, and disinfectant.
They followed up by taking the boss and his guests on trips ashore to see what a difference a little had made; the boss thanked the crew for their work and encouraged them to continue similar work wherever they could.
The crew have also made four visits to an inland village Tuke, a 10 to 12 day walk from shore (40 minutes by helicopter), donating time and supplies such as; clothes, food, gardening tools, school supplies and a battery to get the village’s high frequency medical radio up and running.
During their visits to remote areas of PNG, the crew have spent many hours interacting with locals — telling stories, fishing, teaching English. They even hosted a movie night for children from a nearby village, filling 10 to 15 dugouts tied up off the stern of the yacht, all mesmerised by “Moana”.
The inspirational crew who committed time and skills found being able to help locals added so much value to their experiences, as well as the owner and his guests who donated valuable supplies to those for whom a little has made a huge difference day to day.