Yanaba Island,

Yanaba Island Population of 177; part of Papua New Guinea; 3 square miles. Yanaba, a reef island, is one of only two inhabited of the twelve islands in the Egum Atoll, which technically is not a true Atoll.

Due to bad weather forecasts our visit to Iwa Island was cancelled and we would head for Yanaba Island instead.The inhabitants of this island have no phone and no email. So they had no idea that were were coming. Conrad went ashore first to get permission, and the passengers folled an hour later. The narrow entrance through the reef surrounding the island was just wide enough for one Zodiac. Yanaba Island itself was a raised reef.

Our task was to get to a village on the othe side of the island. First we had to climb up a 15 m high steep slope of rough limestone to reach the plateau of the Island. Then trough a dense tropical rainforest interspersed with small gardens growing fruits like banana and papaya together with usual staples like taro and yams. The locals cultivated a small area for a few years and then left it alone to regenerate and moved to another small garden field. The soil developed on the reef limestone is not very fertile and the method they use is the only way to survive on this island.

About 20 minutes later we arrived at an open meadow surrounded by houses. It turned out to be a soccer field and the buildings were the school, the library and the 3 teacher’s houses of the village. I was particularly impress with the school rules which could form the model for life in our house!

After the school we continued our walk and arrived at the village on the sea 5 minutes later. The village was built on a very windy, sandy beacht. The village appeared to me at first to be on the open sea, but I then realised that the lagoon here was so big that it seemed like being on open sea. The villagers were very welcoming and some had handicrafts to sell. Even old stone adzes and stone axes are offered.

We then walked back to the zodiacs via the forest path and the steep decline down to the beach

At 13.30 Silver Discoverer set sail for Njari Island, Solomon Islands.

Click on any of the small photos to get a larger version of that photo

On to Njari

South Seas Holiday