Voyage progress

By Sera Price

The team have made it to Bougainville!! They could not believe their eyes or ears with the warm welcome from hundreds of people at Tinputz District. The singing as they sailed into the bay was amazing!!

bigger team

Our bigger team

They were hosted by the lovely and inspirational Ursula Rakova of Tulele Peisa, a local NGO “striving for strength and action” for the people of the Carteret Islands whose land is badly affected by climate change and subduction. Have a look at their website here. Ursula has been doing all kinds of good things for the people of the Carteret Islands. Thank you so much Ursula for your warmth, kindness and generosity.

The team spent time with James on his plantation, seeing and learning how he does things and hearing about the positive changes the upgraded dryer has made. The work is easier and the quality of the beans has improved remarkably, fantastic! Rochelle’s done herself a deal to come back and help out with a harvest, she’s truly bean to bar.

rochelle gabe and james

Gabe, Rochelle and James

Since Bougainville is quite a big place (in island terms) with significant diversity and history the team had a bit of a look around. They visited the Panguna Mine to get a better understanding of the Bougainville Crisis and stayed over in a village. Thank you Bosco of Bougainville Tours for orgnising that, it was an unforgettable experience, they loved it.

The team met up with Robert Critchley of Sankamap Exports who did an excellent job getting the beans export ready. The beans were well taken care of, they were in excellent condition and expertly packaged ready for the journey. He even made special smaller sacks so they could be carried and maneuvered around the boat easier. Excellent service!

Rochelle and Gabe carrying cocoa

Digging deep (half the weight of a normal bag of cocoa)

marlon carrying cocoa

The oh-so-photogenic Marlon

putting cocoa on the boat

Everyone’s helping out

The trip wasn’t without its challenges but we had great local support. These people truly made the trip, thank you for your support and assistance! In particular, Raymond Moworu of the Division of Commerce, ABG and Paul Bedggood who organsised this warm and spectacular visit. James and Gary for growing excellent cocoa and sharing your passion with us. Robert for your professionalism, advice, and patience. Ursula for your warmth and generosity in hosting our team and organising a truly spectacular welcome. Gabe is still lost for words.

I have taken the initiative to make a start on the thank you’s, no doubt there will be many many more when the team return. They have just left Bougainville and are on route to Wellington via Honiara, Solomon Islands. Watch this space.



The Lady behind the Lens

May I introduce the amazing Kate Logan and at the same time thank profusely the Learning Connection for letting her go on the Voyage. Kate is capturing the Voyage on film and is responsible for the clips that we’ve be posting to give a taste of the experience. We should have a real humdinger of a documentary at the end.

Kate Logan

Kate has been working in the field of videography for over ten years now, operating both independently and as part of a crew. With experience in corporate, educational and music video making, Kate has a passion for the documentary genre and enjoys telling real stories in interesting and insightful ways.

Being one of those people lucky enough to have a job she loves, Kate works at The Learning Connexion’s School of Art and Creativity, tutoring a variety of video classes including documentary video making, experimental video and music video making. Kate also works in The Learning Connexion’s Media and Resources department making inspirational documentaries about artists for the distance delivery programme.

The Learning Connexion has been kind enough to grant Kate leave to go on this exciting voyage and the experience will no doubt be a great learning opportunity that will feed back into both her tutoring and documentary making roles.

learning connection 2 learning connection

A Good Challenge

By Sera Price

They have made it to Vanuatu with “mean wind and waves!” (Rochelle Harrison, 2015). A low that formed off the Solomon Islands challenged the Uto the whole way to Vanuatu, where they have spent a couple of days recouping, mending the boat and stocking up with fresh food.

During this time they have put together a clip to share some of the experience so far. When I asked Gabe to attach a bit of commentary explaining what was going on he said “Just put ‘hard'”. After seeing the clip I see exactly where he’s coming from!

Looking forward to the next installment guys! Good luck on the next leg, Vanuatu to Bougainville.