Port Resolution, Tanna. 19.31.48S 169.26.77E

David Batten
Sun 17 Jul 2016 20:25
Saturday, 9 July. A lovely morning with about 5 knots of wind, not suitable for a sailing start and getting going on the passage to Tanna with light head winds for at least 24 hours, so,we opted out of racing. It was indeed motor sailing on a variety of courses, just trying to keep the boat going at about 6 Knots and less than 2000 rpm. We had Meaerra Nieida and Aliena for company most of the time, but lost sight of them by morning. After that, it was on/off with the motor, going mostly south of the course and hard on the wind, waiting for the wind to fill in from the SW and then S. We did not really get sailing until Sunday evening and then it was a gradual increase in the SSW wind and a gradual improvement in the direction, until we were making good progress with 2 reefs in the main in big seas and with some east in the wind. By Monday night the wind was better than 60 degrees off the bow with 15 to 20 knots of wind and we had to stop Anthony from doing 9 to 10 knots on his watch to avoid arriving in the dark. By 08.00 we were anchored in Port Resolution bay with Spirit and Two Fish who had left Musket Cove a day or two earlier. We were the first of our group to arrive. Paradise Found was in soon after and then Meaerra Nieida and most of the rest of the fleet was in by the evening.

Tuesday 12 July. After scrambled eggs, strong coffee and a tidy up, we joined the other early arrivals in the Port Resolution Yacht Club, a very basic but functional one room and a kitchen in the most lovely setting. We checked in with Customs and Immigration and the mobile bank, all of whom had come from another part of the Island specially for WARC. David managed to persuade them to clear us in and out so we can leave anytime before the 20 July from here, fantastic as we don't really want to go any further north before NZ. Pm was a visit to the volcano, a not to be missed tour as you are driven down a deeply rutted track, climb the steep sides of the volcano and then get a spectacular firework display of smoke and molten lava from the rim as it erupts. The noise is also awesome!

Wednesday we explored the village and surrounding area and had lunch with the Wishangers and Paradise Found and supper with Carango and Spirit. Spirt leave tomorrow for New Caledonia, Two Fish have already left and we are spending as much time as possible with our friends before we have to say goodbye.

Thursday, 14 July, feast day! We started the day by bringing all the gifts we had purchased in Savusavu to the yacht club, then joined the rest of the fleet in the welcome from the village with a traditional dance ceremony and exchange of gifts, axes, hammers, clothes etc for woven baskets, fruit and vegetables. The children sang three very moving songs and each skipper gave a little speech on who we were, where we had come from and how much we appreciated being here. Hugh of the yellow shirts then officially opened the new teacher's residence, a small house which they hope will encourage more teachers to come to the village. This has been sponsored mainly by by WARC cruisers and the WARC organisation and, needless to say, more money is always needed by the school. Then back to the boat with our gift of limes, papayas, aubergines, snake vegetables, bananas and a green vegetable for stir fries and pretty baskets and out with the Milton and bug spray to prevent insect infestations.

In the evening we returned for the feast of pig, chicken, rice and vegetables, which was a real feast by local standards, sadly rather spoilt by the pig being nearly raw. The skipper's wife definitely suffered the next day from one of the ingredients, but it was a great honour and an opportunity to say goodbye to everyone as they all leave tomorrow for Vila while we stay and wait for the weather window. Finally we joined Wishanger, Paradise Found and Zoom for a farewell drink on Wishanger.

Friday, 15 July. From 07.00 the boats started leaving, with Carango going first. It is hard to describe our feelings as we said goodbye and watched them leaving one by one. There has been so much pleasure and comfort in having all these amazing people around, tracking their whereabouts on the Yellow Brick, knowing they will be at the next rendezvous, knowing they will help anyone in trouble and above all, enjoying their company and sharing this unique experience with them. So by mid morning, after Zoom, the last to leave, was gone and except for Pentagram, who go this evening, there were no more WARC boats in the bay, we were feeling very lonely, making our preparations for the last stage of our WARC adventure. We cheered ourselves up by booking a 4 wheel drive and guide for tomorrow and settled down to watch the weather, with the best window now looking like a Tuesday start.

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