5 March, 2020

We can’t escape the effects of Coronavirus virus... not even here in Papua New Guinea.  We are anchored in the Port of Lae .. the second largest port/city in the country, this was not in our plans.  We had originally planned to sail from Palau to Rabaul and “open borders” in Rabaul.  However in response to the Virus the New Guinea Government closed all but three PNG ports for International clearance.  Port Moresby, Lae and Rabaul remained open. However, in defiance of the central government, the governor of Rabaul closed Rabaul Port to all foreign ships.  Central Government then reopened all other Ports, so we headed for the Port of Madang, only to be told that the local Quarantine officers didn’t believed they were qualified to clear our vessel and so we were redirected to Lae.    Concerned that this could get even more complicated we engaged the services of local shipping agent to expedite the process as time was running out. 

We arrived this morning shortly after midnight with assurances that officials would be on board at 10.00 (local time).    We have just been advised by the agent that there are just two quarantine officers in the Port. One is missing, nobody knows where he or she is, the other was discharged from hospital this morning after an operation.  GREAT. There is nothing we can do but wait. We will update you with our progress or lack of later