The Shipping News Reply

I have one of the best balconies in Honiara for watching the comings and goings and hubbub of life in the city. Normally a great spot to hang out, read a book and lap up the cool breeze that always seems to miss the streets below. But at the moment I’m starring in my own private re-staging of Rear Window with my sprained ankle elevated and the trusty binoculars on constant standby.
It is amazing to watch the ever changing and erratic moods of the sea below, the schools of fish skipping across the water, the fierce flurries of frenetic feeding, the excitement and noise of the wedding party trucks in spontaneous procession and the general amble and congestion of everyday in Honiara from my eyrie on the hill.

But the most obvious coming and going of this past week are the two immense luxury super yachts intermittently parked off Town Ground; the very stylish and recently re-fitted Mystery and the even bigger Ethereal. They certainly do add a stark contrast to the usual OBMs puttering along the coast or out to central province and Savo.

Both of these yachts are apparently available for charter. If you have a lazy quarter of a million dollars US burning a hole in your pocket, you will be pleased to know that you can hire Ethereal for a week and still have enough change for the occasional takeaway. That’s not as bad as it sounds because the boat sleeps 12 people, so it is less than $20,000 a week each. A veritable bargain for those who can’t think of anything better to do with their money.

Ethereal was the world’s first hybrid super yacht in 2009. I don’t actually know if there has ever been another one since a sailing boat is pretty environmentally sound and energy efficient already. Ethereal has been described as the most technically advanced and complex super yacht ever built. For those who are interested in the details and specifications, or interested in chartering it for a few weeks, you can find the details at:

Mystery’s details are at:

Solomon Islands must be spectacular to sail around and it is well and truly on the itinerary of many yachties. Obviously Honiara at the moment attracts some of the world’s idle rich among them. I hope they spend profusely locally while they are here.


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