Leaving Luganville was indeed a somber affair. Obelisk and Slick left at the same time and we motor-sailed along together for awhile, then we turned north and they turned south. Everyone was pretty quiet on Slick after we said our goodbyes over the radio and it wasn’t too long before we were disappearing over each others horizon. The rest of the sail to the Solomon Islands was slow, and sort of boring and Slick was a bit lonely without her sailing buddy.

We heard no other radio traffic and only saw one fishing boat the whole way. No watching out for Obelisk on the night watch or close encounters for photos during the day. No chatting on the radio or generally just having some company with-in site. The are near New Zealand now and we probably won’t cross paths again unless we get stuck in SE Asia. We were however welcomed to the Solomons by a huge downpour that lasted several hours and we caught a small white-tip shark.

We arrived in Honiara about 10 in the morning and picked up the only mooring ball in the harbor. We quickly took the

dinghy into the yacht club and got to know the town a bit. Of course it started raining too. We ended up spending a few days here more than we meant to, per normal. Honiara is an interesting town. It is rumored to be quite dangerous, but so far we haven’t had any problems. We also found a bunch of dolphins in a pen. These poor guys looked really sad and were apparently there for tourist to see. I wanted to sneak over in the middle of the night and cut there cage open but I couldn’t find out if they were there for injury rehabilitation or just for show. This was at the Coconut Cafe, a self styled sort of Sea World wannabe. Upon researching it a little more, it turns out that the Solomon Islands is the world’s leading exporter of dolphins to zoos and the like. I find this to be a bit disgusting but this is a huge money maker for the government here. On another note – the anchorage is very rolly and at times very annoying, the transom-slap is ridiculous and the fisherman zooming about don’t help. But the Point Cruz Yacht Club is very friendly and welcoming and has cheap beer and food.

The main thing about Honiara is that it lies on Guadalcanal of WWII fame. This is where the Allies had their first land battles in the Pacific and where the Japanese advance on Australia was halted and turned around. Between this island and the next, Savo Island, lies an area called “The Slot” and has over 60 sunken capital ships from the war. So many ships are on the bottom from naval fighting in this tiny area that the name has been changed to the “Iron Bottom Sound”.On one of the days we hired a taxi cab to take us to all the sites but it turned out he didn’t take us to so many. Still the ones we saw were quite amazing.

Zach and I eventually went to John Wesley’s Lumber Yard where the owner, Jeargen, excavates WWII relics as a hobby. He showed us around his collection of guns, tanks, bombs and everything else you can imagine. This was truly the highlight of Honiara and if you only do one thing here besides check in, it is to go and see his collection. Strangely, he said we were his first visitors in 6 weeks. This is really too bad, but he doesn’t advertise much and we only heard about it from an old poster in the yacht club. He spent about three hours showing us all he had, which included numerous 1911’s, M-1s, Tommy-guns, Brownings, and a host of Japanese firearms. In addition there were artillery guns, shells, planes, guns from planes and soldiers personal things. He had items in every

stage of restoration from fresh out of the ground to nearly restored and the stories he was telling about finding the relics as well as the history of them were really remarkable. Seeing all of the WWII history here it is hard not to be moved by the incredible effort of the US and Allied soldiers to oust the Japanese invaders. It would be easy to get lost in the history of the war and spend weeks here seeing the battle sites.

On another sad note, Joep was on the fence about returning to Australia, but in the end he decided it was best if he leaves from here as he wouldn’t have the opportunity to leave till we come to the Philippines. So, Slick loses another friend. He was great crew and we were happy to have his patience and humor on board for 7 weeks. I really would have liked for him to come all the way to Philippines but that is the nature of traveling. In any case, it is back to just Zach and I.

Tomorrow, after receiving a shipment of duty-free alcohol we are off again. We originally wanted to head to Gizo, but

since have changed our minds. We will get there eventually but we decided to cruise the Western Province a bit and see some more of the Solomon Islands in what promises to be an interesting trip. Our plan is to head to Morovo Lagoon and then head to Gizo from there stopping a fe places along the way.

One more thing. I have gotten quite a few emails about my comment about losing connection with the American value structure. What I was trying to say was that in the Western world we have everything we could want, and we can easily get it, yet we are, in general, a very unhappy bunch with everyone searching for happiness and a good life. While in these South Pacific islands I have noticed that many of the people are as poor as the dirt around their village and have only the subsistence farming to keep them occupied, yet they are some of the happiest people I have ever met. I have thought about it a bit more, and about my personal changes since I have been gone from America and I think it has something to do with stress and gratification. I find, in general, that in the western world we have created much stress for our selves, in a sense I think of it as autogenous stress. On the other hand, we are constantly searching for job satisfaction and gratification from life that most of us can’t seem to find. The poorest of the islanders, conversely, seem to have very little autogenous stress but have instead external stress. Instead of deadlines at work or car payments, they have a garden to hoe for food or a house to rebuild after a cyclone. Along with this, they receive direct gratification from their labor. The rest of the time, there is not a constant need to have more and no pressure from the boss or the company or whoever and they have time to just be. Perhaps that is the key difference and what we are missing – they are content to just be and usually content to let others just be.