I’ve been trying to catch up with posting for the A to Z Challenge. We’re posting every day in April (except Sundays), using a different letter of the alphabet for each.
Today’s post is on Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands are located in the South Pacific Ocean, to the east of Papua New Guinea. There were huge battles here during WWll (Guadalcanal). It’s very quiet now (compared to that).
I traveled to Honiara as captain of a tuna boat. It was quite an experience. We would go into port there to offload our catch to the reefer ships (photo above). We sometimes had a little bit of time to spend in town and relax after a days work. I liked to go catch up on my emails, have a few beers, shop for post cards and snacks, maybe hit the casino at night with my crew.
The first time I flew into Honiara to join my ship, I was a little taken aback. It was a complete change from Texas, where I had been only a couple of days before.
I was really, really tired from the long flight from the US. It seemed like I had stepped into a movie set, or gone back in time a couple of decades. Honiara is a small, tropical city. Hot, humid, sultry and steamy. Palms grew tall among blazing red flamboyant trees and purple bougainvillea bloomed along the dusty roads.
The main drag along the waterfront was full of locals running errands and taking care of what business they had. Some looked like vampires with mouths dripping red from the betel nut they chewed and juices they were constantly spitting out. I was happy when we got to the dock to take the launch to my boat where I climbed aboard and promptly fell asleep after a quick turnover with the departing Captain.
Only to be shocked awake soon after by the loud pounding on my door and cries of “Captain. where is Captain?” I rolled out of bed and sleepily opened the door to a crowd of local girls, all trying to shove their way past me to locate ‘the Captain”.
I tried my best to inform them that I was the Captain, the “old man” had already left the ship to go home. They refused to believe me until I let one in to check the bathroom (not possible to hide under the bed since it’s built in over drawers). 😉
The disappointed girls finally decided to accept that I was the only person in the cabin and slowly made their way out through the radio room. I assume they joined up with the rest of the crew later. I was just too tired to care.
That was my introduction to the South Pacific.
I really miss it.