Monday, November 28, 2011

Message in a bottle: From the Bismarck Sea to the Solomon Sea!

Around this time sometime in December 2004, I had boarded a Lutheran Shipping vessel from Lae and travelled to Manus. Iam not sure which ship is was but it definately was either MV Manemba or MV Umboi which Iam sure many people who travel by ship know. From Lae it takes one full day and two nights on the open sea before we land in Loregnau town. As is the custom when travelling on long trip over the sea, we have lots of fresh fruits, home cooked meals and lots of water to keep stay on these cargo ships as homely as possible.

Anyway, we left the Lae port at around 5pm and began the journey. By 10pm people like myself were already sound asleep. I woke up at 5pm to the sound of the sailors pulling in yellow fin tuna and mackeral. During the day I had nothing to do but play cards and tell stories with however i met on the ship. Besides, the majority on the ship were Manusians so it wasnt hard finding people who told

At around midday, we were heading full steam ahead, the sea was calm, the wind was slight and as far as the eye could see, there was no sign of land in all directions. After I had eaten salty biscuits and drunk a 500ml coca cola, I decided to try sending a letter in a bottle. I think i was inspired by a story that in the 1700s, a Japanese crew of 44, were shipwrecked and marooned on a small Island in the South Pacific. The captain scratched details of their story and fate onto chips of wood and put them into a bottle. The bottle was found 150 years later on the shoreline of Japan, reportedly, close to where the sailors had grew up.

Well i wrote i my name and postal address on the white inside part of the cocacola label and said that whoever found it should write to me. In the middle of the Bismarck Sea, I threw the bottle

I went home for the holidays then came back to Lae. It was the year 2005 now. I was working away when early in March that year, I received a letter. Here is the letter below:

And here is the exact letter that was written....

The coke plastic bottle with my note inside had reached Poroporo village at the tip of the Choiseul Province in the Solomon Islands. It had gone international! WOW!!!!

It was picked up by a Mr. Andrew Silukana of poroporo village just across the Papua New Guinea border! It had taken almost two months from when I first threw the bottle in the middle of the Bismarck to when Andrew picked it up in his village. I dont know how it travelled there but my assumption is that it must have travelled past the gap between Manus and New Ireland and then the strong tides of the Pacific Ocean travelling south must have pushed it down past Bouganville right through to the tip of Choiseul province where Poroporo village is.
On that same day I quickly wrote a letter back to him on the address he had provided. But sadly, to this day I havent received a reply. If anyone in Solomon Islands knows Andrew Silukana, please let me know!

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