Navigation chart showing China Strait, southern entrance to Milne Bay, with New Guinea lower left.
Port Moresby Port Moresby Port Moresby Owen Stanley Range China Strait Milne Bay
Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea, is located on New Guinea’s south coast, across the Coral Sea from Queensland, Australia. It was a Japanese objective on two occasions, by sea in 1942, thwarted by the Battle of the Coral Sea, and later that year by land over the Kokoda Trail from the Huon Gulf.
Port Moresby

We flew here from Sydney via Brisbane to join our ship Clipper Odyssey in time for a memorable view of the harbor. En route, our busses took us to visit the Australian military cemetery where Australians defending against Japanese attack along the Kokoda Trail are buried. We also stopped at a military museum containing tanks, aircraft and other artifacts.

Sailing at sundown, we headed south into a steep chop, the only occurrence of these sea conditions during the entire voyage. After dinner, we found television in our rooms set to a channel which showed a GPS plot of our progress along New Guinea’s south coast.

We awoke the next morning to find the Owen Stanley Range visible through the mist to port. Moving inshore, we passed through China Strait with its abandoned World War Two Australian airstrip and entered the deep waters off Milne Bay at New Guinea’s easternmost point.

There followed one and a half more days rolling eastward across the Solomon Sea in a south wind, after which we went to bed knowing we’d awake having rounded Cape Esperance and sailing along Guadalcanal’s Tassafaronga shore. (continued)