Toucan's Travels Blog

This is the blog for Toucan’s Travels from the east coast of the US to the Caribbean, down to Panama and through the canal and then across the pacific back home to Australia. Hopefully, our blog will convey exactly as it is with both the highs and the lows.

Trading Places – Bagaman Island

Traditionally, the islanders of the Louisiades are traders – in the early 1900’s the famous anthropologist, Bronislaw Malinowski, studied the indigenous people of the Trobriand Islands just north of here and described a complex and sophisticated trading circle known as the “Kula Ring” between many of the PNG islands, including the Louisiades. Islanders would travel many miles in their traditional sailing canoes, exchanging the valued “Bagi” shell necklaces and shell armbands as part of a ceremonial system, but there was also a practical purpose, allowing the people to trade their own specialities for things they might lack such as pigs, yams or fruit. 

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Across The Coral Sea

Clearing out of Australia is a pretty straightforward process, unless like us you’re going to be gone for more than 12 months, in which case apparently you need an official “Export Declaration Number” for the boat. We’re told that trying to organise this yourself is akin to being dumped blindfolded in the wilderness without a compass.  So we take the advice from customs and hire the services of a local agent, Damien, from Alpha Cargo Solutions who does the paperwork for us in a blink of an eye.  Then it’s off to Marlin Marina to await the arrival of Border Force for our clearance.  Apparently they need three officers to ensure we leave the country, but it takes all of five minutes and we’re done.

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We Gotta Get Outta This Place!

Much as we’ve absolutely loved and cherished our time with Nick and Sally in Cairns, it’s time to leave – our pockets are empty, our waistlines are bigger, and there’s not a spare corner in the boat for any more food, fuel or trading goods!

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Moving On Up

Man, it’s been a busy few weeks getting north and prepping the boat in Cairns, so this is a re-cap of the remainder of our trip up the Queensland coast….

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Luigi Overboard!

A strange title as we don’t really have anyone on board called Luigi but it’s the name we’ve given our spinnaker as it’s comprised of the colours of Italy. Now Luigi didn’t intentionally jump overboard, and he certainly wasn’t pushed but, never the less he ended up getting somewhat wet.

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Capricornia

We flip the bird to the machiavellian mooring buoy as we leave Pancake Creek, and head off on our trek northwards. Next stop Great Keppel Island.

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