1 March, 2020

We are into day 3 of our journey from Palau to Papua New Guinea (at this stage Madang). We are finally south of the NE Trade winds  and sea conditions have improved. There is still a large N – NE swell on the Port Beam but our stabilisers cancel them out and it really is quite comfortable.  We are crossing the West Caroline Basin with depths of up to 4500 metres. 


Today we cruised past a fishing vessel … they called us up obviously keen to talk to somebody. It was a Philippine registered squid fishing vessel. They offered us some dried squid in exchange for cigarettes !!!!  It transpires  (from what we understood .. their speech was rather slurred) that they are here for 4 – 6 months at a time, this crew is due to go home in June. There are 24 crew on board and in addition to the ship they have three tenders that they fish from.  They are hand lining (or jigging) for squid, which is then obviously dried, how we are aren't sure.  The vessel is moored to a buoy … which it would appear is anchored to the bottom (4500 metres down) !!!!. We had seen several of these boats and a number of buoys prior to speaking with this vessel.