Aurora’s day at Karkar was one of the most rewarding of all our special days in Papua New Guinea this year. We began with a Zodiac ride to the black sand beaches of the island, where we were greeted by scores of smiling locals and inquisitive kids. The islands beauty was bewitching, with steep jungle-covered volcanoes rising up above us while the coastal plains were like something out of a postcard with thousands upon thousands of coconut palms all around us.

We had a huge amount of boxes to unload from the ship, all filled with books for the school. Aurora worked closely with David Keating, one of our past passengers from last year, to make this happen. David founded the Karkar Secondary School back in 1969 and after receiving a hero’s welcome when we visited Karkar last year, he spent much of his time upon his return to Australia to organise books to be collected for the schools library.

The friendly locals greeted us at the dock and began the long process of unloading the books from the Zodiacs. The books and then passengers were transported to the school and a big crowd of expectant faces greeted us at the entrance. We were all shown proudly around the school and then assembled for a wonderful sing sing. An official ceremony with a number of school teachers and students followed and our expedition leader Gary Miller then had the privilege of nailing in the sign for the newly named ‘David Keating Library’.

It was a memorable experience for everyone present and here at Aurora were very proud of having contributed to the whole process. Papua New Guinea continues to create a lasting impression on us and our passengers and we look forward to returning to Karkar and the delightful islands of PNG next year.