I have a terrible Internet connection, and this situation will exist for the next few weeks, so this will be a bit shorter than I would like.
Our experience in PNG was similar to Kirk’s. We loved the place, loved the people, had wonderful experiences. See Watermelon’s logs, especially:
Please see my PNG Cruising Guide, www.cruiser.co.za/hostmelon28.asp
Also, Papua New Guinea, www.cruiser.co.za/hostmelon17.asp
And, this in piracy from General Bits and Pieces, www.cruiser.co.za/hostmelon2.asp---
We were late (as usual) leaving Australia to sail to Papua New Guinea, and friends were waiting for us in PNG. Knowing that we had a couple days to go before we reached them, they decided to check out a different anchorage on the coast of PNG. That night, in the anchorage (which, unknown to them was considered a risky anchorage for private yachts), they were boarded by three men wielding machetes, and were robbed. These were people in their late 60s, and this experience terrified them (it would have terrified me, as well). They left the anchorage immediately, and waited for us to arrive, though they were ready to abandon PNG entirely. We convinced them to continue cruising the Louisiades with us, and we had a wonderful, wonderful time. We met many delightful locals, and never felt at risk. We were away from the mainland and its “rascal” problem. Makes all the difference.
What could they have done? Well, their experience made me insist upon a passive burglar alarm for our boat. It consists of a pressure pad that will set off an automobile burglar alarm – loud horn, with a switch so that it sounds for about 60 seconds and then stops, to sound again if there is still weight on the pressure pad. Also has a panic button. (Peter is very ingenious about electrical devices, provided I nag him sufficiently – he feels no threat from anybody or anything). Most thieves do not like noise that draws attention to them and will run. Alas, we get very lazy, rarely use it because we just don’t find many places where we feel threatened.
What we do not do is carry a gun.