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Old 12-17-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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Hello All,

With the up coming South Pacific crossing season, I was talking with a friend that made it last year. In the conversation the subject came up of what to take that people on the smaller islands need and have a hard time getting.

I have started contacting the few that I was able to find web sites for that had email addresses and hope to hear back from them soon. I am also hoping that by posting this maybe others know of some items for the list.

As of right now I have.

Pitcairn Island is in need of Children's books and Aluminum foil.

Kiribati is in need of Children's Books and Blue Jeans.

I believe the Items can be taken for trade or donation depending on you.

If you all think this is a good idea I will keep the list updated.

Thank you,

John

I forgot to add that some places ask that you not bring some items as in Pitcairn Island ask that you not bring honey, other bee products, or used hive equipment or clothing to Pitcairn for differant reasons.
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:04 AM   #2
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Good topic!
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:39 PM   #3
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John! As mentioned above, nice thread! Thanks!

Marcus
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:43 PM   #4
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Thank you both so much, I would like to start one on safety also just a reminder for things to take along. I know i read something about The Ships Doctor but never hurts to cover it more.

John
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:15 PM   #5
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John,

In the wiki you will find a section devoted to safety at sea which includes a yacht's medical kit. Please check this out and feel free to add more information

Aye // Stephen (on behalf of the moderating team)
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:03 PM   #6
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It's been quite a long time since we crossed the Pacific and things have changed, I'm sure. We carried some items for trade, but neither of us are very good bargainers and I was more likely to give stuff away. Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands were where we did the most trading. Men and children were the usual visitors to our boat - women kept in the background, but gifts and goods for women were very welcome and wisely offered. You could not go wrong with children's items. Most items you might normally discard have value someplace.

Reading glasses are an excellent trade or gift item just about everywhere. Considering you can get them for $1.00 a pair most places in the US, they're a great gift. If you do carry them, make sure you can help them choose a pair that are suitable for their eyes. In the less sophisticated places, this means giving them the opportunity to try on different magnifying powers, and the printed matter to test them on. The villagers will trade items among themselves.

T-shirts, especially with uniquely American logos, etc. (and only once, on an island in Papua New Guinea, plain white T-shirts - but that place was an exception).

Every place wanted children's items - clothes particularly, but in some places tooth paste and tooth brushes. This is a difficult call, because only in the Solomons do the parents actively seek these items. School exercise books (i.e., blue books), Biros (ballpoint pens). If you provide coloring books, be sure to provide the crayons/marking pens with them.

Balloons for the children. Every island we visited welcomed these as gifts. I did not give out candy to the children, though it was a welcome gift for them most places. I distributed thousands of balloons.

In French Polynesia, the Tuomotus, and most other islands, small sample-size bottles of perfume/cologne. Costume jewelry, flashy. Note on costume jewelry - we went to a manufacturer/wholesale supply house in Providence, RI and bought wholesale lots of stuff - 100 chains for $1.00, that type of thing (remember, this was done 10-15 years ago). Note on the jewelry - the salt environment is harsh on the cheap stuff, so if you carry any, store it carefully, and don't, don't try to pass it off as anything more than what it is. It was a hit in PNG and the Solomons and the Tuomotus (but just about anything was needed/wanted in PNG and the Solomons).

Women's magazines (welcomed some places for the underwear ads).

We left from Ecuador where one could buy rum for $1.00 a liter, and thus we carried some for trade. However, we RARELY offered it to anyone, particularly the more isolated islands because in many places alcohol could have caused problems. We gave a small bottle of rum as a thank you gift to a man we befriended in the Gambier Islands who was very generous and helpful and who we knew could handle the alcohol. We did not even admit to having any spirits in most countries, and was careful not to create a problem in those places where alcohol was prohibited by a country's religious beliefs (as in Tonga and the Seventh Day Adventist islands in the Solomons. We did, however, trade rum for diesel fuel in the Solomon with a fishing boat with a Malaitan crew - they are not Seventh Day Adventists and are easily identifiable as Malaitans).

Because power supplies are generally 220V, TV system is PAL, many US items are not compatible with non-US systems. I understand, though, that movie videos are in demand. Not being knowledgeable about video CDs, DVDs, I don't know if they are viewable on any device regardless of power supply. If so, they would make good trading items - just don't buy them specifically to trade or you will be disappointed. And remember that pornography is more severely punished outside the US - be careful with your choices here.

Batteries - AA, C, AAA (I believe that AA are the most in demand because so many things run on them).

Samoa - canned corned beef. You can get it reasonably in Pago Pago American Samoa, so I'm not sure it's worth carrying. When you get to American Samoa, if you stop there, you could find out just what would be most popular.

M&Ms. We almost always invited visitors aboard. We never offered them alcohol, and in fact kept it hidden. This was easy for us since our drinks of choice were coffee and iced tea. We always put out food snacks and offered them water or juice. I did a lot of baking as we crossed the Pacific. Banana bread and papaya bread were favorites of mine and were served to our guests. Where they expressed a sincere appetite for one of the sweet breads, I would often bake one as a gift to a small village. I also often baked both sweet breads and yeast breads in small cocktail-bread size pans - great small portions and welcome gifts to other cruising boats as well.

In PNG and the Solomons we were asked for bed linens, children's clothing, shoes (!), tools, just about anything you can think of.

In Fiji the traditional gift in every village you visit is a gift of kava root to the chief. You should read up on this, it's an important cultural tradition. In PNG and the Solomons, tobacco (nasty stuff, not our kind of tobacco) and Betel nut are the most valuable trade items (or at least, they used to be). You will need to buy these items locally, and be guided by recent visitors to these places.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:47 PM   #7
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Thank you so much for your reply,

Nausikaa thank you for the info on the safty (wiki) i will read that.

Jeanne thank you so much for the great information and help, My self I love the idea of Books and coloring books for the kids. Most of the things i will be taking will be gifts.

Well I wish you all a happy holiday,

John

Thank you very much Chris for the information i will be looking at the site right now

John
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:55 PM   #8
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Hi John,

Visiting remote and somewhat poor islands in the Indonesian archipeligo, I found very popular items are

blackboard paint (take plenty of cheap 3" paint brushes), chalk, pencils, lined writing pads/exercise books (but you need to take a lot), fishing hooks. Jeanne's suggestion of cheap glasses is also one of the big ones. Women's magazines are also very popular with everyone from the kids to the headman.

Cheers

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Old 12-18-2007, 12:27 AM   #9
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Soap! Most places the ladies asked if we had soap. Nice-smelling soap. those little bars you get in hotels are great - they keep your clothes sweet-smelling as you cruise, and they are welcomed by most of the islanders everywhere.
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:19 AM   #10
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what about toilet paper???

John
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Old 12-18-2007, 12:45 PM   #11
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Yes mate. If I were you I would definitely take a couple of dunny rolls!

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