Daily Ramblings - Friday, December 19th to Monday, December 22nd

Baia Village in Open Bay, New Britain, PNG

Arriving in Open Bay we were greeted by Riccard and Nathalie Reimann and their two more than adorable daughters, Tiana and Kayla.  Operating the Baia Fishing Lodge during the dry season, we imposed on them to reopen for a few days so we could fish the rivers for Black and Spotted Bass.

Located next to the Baia Village, the Reimanns and their staff delighted us to four of the most incredible days of our Peace Adventure.

Yes, we fished and fished the placid rivers.  Stunning for their jungle banks and smooth water, the fishing reminded us of pursuing Peacock Bass on the Amazon in Brazil.  Because of the rainy season the rivers were high and the water dirty – we caught only four spotted bass: two for Cam, one for RA and one for Captain Walter.

Offshore the tuna were jumping. RA enticed two Marlin to the back of the Tender Tot, but was unsuccessful in getting either to take his fly.  The snorkeling was the best: sea turtles, shark, grouper and GTs among glorious and colorful coral and reef fish.

What was billed as a ten minute walk up a creek turned into a several hour hike through the jungle…but it was magnificent. With machetes flying we carved our way back to the sea.  It is unimaginable how much plant life there is here.  No wonder villages are tucked away, safe from interference and discovery.

Being the first large boat to visit Baia Village we did all we could to demonstrate our gratefulness and provide entertainment.  Jeremy gave two full afternoons to towing the villagers behind a Wave Runner on our six person banana.  To laughs and screams the villagers relished the fun and excitement.

On Sunday Molly dressed Tom up as Santa Claus and with the family and crew we distributed hundreds of toys and gifts Molly had collected for such an opportunity.  Having never seen Santa Claus, several of the young kids were frightened.  The finger pulls and whistles were favorites.  It was so much more emotional than our words can convey, sharing little things with these traditional folks who know little of the world outside, have no TV or radio communication, yet are shining in their warmth and kindness for one-another and for us – their new friends.  Molly captured many of the expressions on her camera.  Please check out, “The Faces of Papua New Guinea I and II”.  The afternoon wound down following a traditional dance by the villagers. 

The day before Riccard purchased a huge Red Snapper from a local angler so we celebrated Sunday evening with a feast of fish, steaks and pork chops from Forbes in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and local vegetables.  Ren joined Tiana and Kayla in the village for a night of music and dancing with the all of the kids.

Baia Village gave us a glimpse into the world as it is when villagers share their subsistence living, cherish their long held traditions, and appreciate their reliance upon one-another.  The bounty of the sea and jungle and security of their remoteness let’s them be – happy, proud and fulfilled.