Position: 09° 23' S, 160° 08' E
The German TV crew have packed their cameras, we threw a party in the Point Cruz Yacht Club with expat Tikopian and Anutan communities, ate well in a fine restaurant one last time and today finally left Honiara. It feels like the final push, the downhill run to Tikopia and Anuta. The local MP in Honiara has radio contact with the islands and apparently preparations for our arrival have already begun. But first we have the little matter of 400 odd sea miles along the northern coasts of Guadalcanal and Makira to Lata in the Santa Cruz Islands.
We need to make this passage before the North East monsoon winds we've enjoyed thus far turn into the prevailing South East Trade Winds that will hit us head on and quadruple the distances we need to sail. It will be the sailing equivalent of running through treacle.
Keith Dobney is aboard now checking the DNA sampling that we have done already and helping us gather more data along the next stage. Sampling continues to be both good fun and a great icebreaker in the villages we visit. And importantly the data set should be big enough and varied enough to give Keith and his team further insight into the movement of man and beast through the South Pacific.
The next exciting sampling stop will be the Three Sisters Islands, that lie off the north coast of Makira Island. I hope their chickens are ready.
- Matt Fletcher