Kicking Back In Kokopo

Every time I type the word Kokopo, my autocorrect changes it to Kokomo. 

Remember the Beach Boys song “Kokomo”? 

“Off the Florida Keys, there’s a place called Kokomo

That’s where you want to go to get away from it all

Bodies in the sand, tropical drink melting in your hand

We’ll be falling in love to the rhythm of a steel drum band

Down in Kokomo”

Well, it’s not quite Kokomo, but anchored off the Rapopo Plantation Resort in Kokopo is pretty damn good, and more than a few rating stars above the Rabaul Yacht Club.

Another Aussie cruising yacht that we met in Rabaul, John and Therese on “Shoestring II”  is already on one of the resort’s moorings. There are two other moorings available but they don’t look like they’ve been serviced in a very long time so we decide not to risk it, and to anchor instead.  Anchoring is tricky , there’s only one patch of sand that’s suitable – on our first and second attempt our anchor just skips across the corally rubble. We’re about to give up but try once more. Third time lucky – we feel the reassuring jerk as our anchor digs in. We put some revs on in reverse and yep, we’re well and truly set.  The water’s crystal clear, the sun’s shining, time to jump in for a refreshing swim and snorkel.

Later we go in to the resort for lunch and a beer. The staff are very welcoming and friendly and there’s no problem leaving our dinghy on their beach. It’s a lovely lazy Sunday afternoon and just what we needed after Rabaul.

Rapopo Plantation Resort
Toucan and Shoestring II against the backdrop of the volcanoes

The next day we take the resort bus into town with the crew from “Shoestring” in order to get our port clearance and stock up with fresh fruit and veggies at the market. John and Therese are heading east to the Solomons and have come through many of the places that we’re heading to, so they give us lots of helpful information about the islands.  They also strongly recommend a stop in Manus Island (which hadn’t been on our radar at all, except as somewhere to avoid) and say they had a great time there. Interesting…we’ll give it some thought.

Monday we treat ourselves to dinner at the resort. It could be a while before we have fancy food again. The eye fillet steaks are thick and cooked to perfection, we’re in heaven!

It’s been a great interlude here at Kokopo and we’re feeling refreshed and rejuvenated . Next stop is the Duke of York islands, just a short hop across the bay where if we’re lucky we’ll get to see some dugongs…

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