Port Moresby PNG 16.06.2017
The ‘Fellowship of the Tawali Pasana’ are home again
– safe on PNG soil
After five months of navigating the coast of Indonesian Papua, the Tawali Pasana and her interpret crew have crossed the PNG border into Western Province from where they have 1500km left to complete – ‘The World’s First Circumnavigation of the Island of New Guinea in a Traditional Sailing Canoe’.
The trio – brothers Sanakoli and Justin John and Danish explorer Thor F. Jensen, have been sailing the waters of Papua during the least favourable time of year, first up the exposed north coast against the might of the monsoon and its great Pacific swells – and after that, rounding Sorong, where saltwater crocodiles became a serious threat.
A desperate lack of funding has been a constant concern and the trio have had to rely on subsistence foraging to sustain themselves. The people encountered en route – from tribal chiefs to the Indonesian Navy – have shown the three sailors great kindness, but, in the absence of promised funding from the Sanduan Provincial Government, what has made continuation of the record attempt possible were donations from loyal Facebook followers, thus ensuring that permits were secured, insurances paid and broken equipment replaced.
As the canoe came closer to the border with PNG the headwinds became stronger; the last 120km of Indonesian Papua involved extreme sailing. The sturdy Tawali Pasana’s sail ripped twice as the trio battled the relentless South-East Trade Winds. But after six days and nights of hammering enormous seas and dangerous currents Sanakoli, Justin and Thor successfully crossed into PNG on a calm, moonless night.
The canoe is now on land in Bula, the first coastal village in PNG’s Western Province. Although they only have 1500km to the finishline, the trio will take a break from the expedition as June and July is the most dangerous time for sailing the exposed coastline of the Gulf of Papua.
Master sailors, Justin and Sanakoli, who have shown incredible perseverance and outstanding sailing skills, will be going home to Milne Bay to see their families for the first time in five months.
Expedition leader Thor F. Jensen will be returning to Bula village to look after the Tawali Pasana and learn some traditional survival skills from the local people. But first Thor must find funding to complete – The World’s First Circumnavigation of the Island of New Guinea by Traditional Sailing Canoe.
Justin and Sanakoli and Thor will be travelling to Port Moresby on Friday the 16th of July and will be available for interviews during the weekend of the 17th and 18th of July.
Thor F. Jensen
Newsletter: Message in a Bottle
Follow the adventure: facebook.com/actionthor
Phone PNG: +675 79222648
Phone IDN: +62 812 40820459
-Detailed pre-prepared briefing material is available on request-