Joseph Hincks

Musicians in shell headdresses welcomed hundreds of disembarking Japanese visitors when Peace Boat docked in Guadalcanal, its final port of call, last month. Guadalcanal receives few tourists and our arrival produced a flurry of new entrepreneurs: hawkers arranged wooden canoe figureheads and bottles of pressed coconut oil on mats spread over the concourse, and an ice-cream...

With his orange life vest tightly fastened and carrying a plastic water gun, 6-year-old Murakami Yoshinao climbed down the motorboat’s fibreglass steps and plopped into the sea below. The water sloshed around Yoshinao’s shoulders and shadows moved across the bone coloured sand near his feet. Then the blacktip sharks came closer – one glided right...

Somewhere between Madagascar and Mozambique, Peace Boat volunteer interpreter Moe Sasaki lost her shadow. For a few hours around midday the Ocean Dream passed directly under the December sun and it was as if Sasaki’s shadow had unstitched itself and run ahead to the African continent on which she grew up. A month later, volunteer...

In the ancestor worshipping religion practiced across Madagascar’s 18 tribes, the zebu – a species of domestic cattle originating in South Asia – is integral to marking life’s milestones. When a child gets its first haircut, the clippings are stirred into zebu back fat and eaten by family members with a rum chaser; when a...

In a repurposed primary school in Langa, the Western Cape’s oldest township, Tony Elvin asked 27 Japanese Peace Boat passengers what they thought was the opposite of love. Elvin’s visitors, most of whom had attended lectures on the legacy of apartheid before disembarking in Cape Town on December 23, conferred. Hate, one offered. Twenty years...

The Japanese football players from Peace Boat were in a boisterous mood as their minibus convoy rolled through streets of Toamasina on Sunday. Chants echoed off the Mercedes’ aluminum roof, camera shutters clicked, and shirtsleeves flapped at open windows. With Peace Boat docked in Madagascar’s second city, participants in the ship’s Peace Ball programme visited...

After three weeks at sea with Peace Boat, charting a westerly course around the world, time has become a slippery concept. Every few days we hit a new longitude and gain an hour – an anomaly I’m told will be resolved somewhere beyond Easter Island, when we shoot through 24 of them in sixty minutes....