Thirty years after she first moved to Indonesia, Patti Seery remains one of the few westerners to have been fully accepted into the lives – and the hearts – of New Guinea’s Dani and Asmat tribes. Guests traveling on her luxurious 50-metre sailing ship, the Silolona, will often marvel at the rapturous welcome and full tribal honours afforded to this slight, fair-haired American lady. But for these remote, fiercely traditional communities, Patti is herself quite exceptional: a trusted guide who has accompanied their chiefs to the United States; a cultural warrior who has exhibited their art in major museums; a fearless ‘mother’ who has fought long and hard for their ownership of their ancestral lands.
Patti’s position as an honoured ‘elder’ among these timeless tribes translates into utterly unique opportunities for the few guests lucky enough to secure a berth on the five-cabin Silolona, or its three-cabin sister ship, the Si Datu Bua.
These luxurious hand-built Phinisi vessels – built to exacting German Lloyds standards – are a rare passport to the jungle-locked cultures of West Papua, as well as the remote archipelagos and pristine coral reefs that ring its edges.
Read more about Patti in the 2017 S&S Profile.