Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

At the request of a passenger, the Captain deviated from the pre-planned route to Guadalcanal in order to transit New Georgia Strait, known in the press during WWII as “The Slot” or the “Tokyo Express”. It was a route through which Japanese Admiral Yamomoto resupplied Bougainville and Guadalcanal with provisions from Chuuk and Rabaul,  and it is an area where some of the fiercest US naval battles were fought, including the battle of Guadalcanal from Nov 12-15, 1942, seventy-one years ago this week.  It is also the area where Admiral Yamomoto was shot down and killed by US forces.  Another event of note in the area was the sinking of PT 109 by a Japanese ship during a night time patrol in 1943. PT 109 was under the command of  John F. Kennedy. Guadalcanal has many WWII historical sights and many people were going to visit them.  I took a tour to the Kakabona cultural village just outside Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands.  It was a great experience.  The village is occupied and not just a museum.  All of the inhabitants participated in demonstrating various cooking and other skills that they use, and handed around samples of the food as it was prepared.  After about and hour and a half of these demonstrations, we were treated to 45 minutes of entertainment by two groups who used the pan pipes and drums typical of these islands. During the entertainment we were treated to a delicious lunch. I attach photos of this visit including a picture of my lunch and the dancers. During the afternoon, I walked around Honiara, visiting the museum and the markets.  The museum put on special day long entertainment for our visit. I also saw a very modern looking court house. Tourism is in its infancy here but it is a great place to visit.

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