Hi from the Coral Sea... 17:45.422S 160:54.615E

Alex Belmont
Sun 23 Oct 2011 08:03
Had a great time in Vanuatu. I've never been any place where people are more
free with smiles. Walking down the street, say high to anyone and give a
little smile, and they immediately return a huge grin. If you laugh as you
say hello it's even better. It was hard not to feel happy walking around
town constantly confronted with this kind of greeting. The public market was
awesome. The produce was of excellent quality and could be bought for quite
cheap. The raspberries were an especially nice treat. We spent several
nights touring the bars and nightclubs of Port Vila. These were generally
pretty dead, and those that did attend were generally drunk Australian
tourists... Nonetheless, I had quite a bit of fun dancing to (pretty bad)
top 40's. Other notable news, we went to a kava bar one night. Kava is a
drink made from grinding up the root of the kava tree. It is supposed to
have drug-like effects of some sort. I couldn't figure out quite what these
were supposed to be, and can't say that I felt much. I guess I was very
relaxed and slightly euphoric after a few cups. The most noticeable effect
was that it makes your tongue sort of numb/tingly. Anyway, kind of a cool
experience - when in Vanuatu, right?

We are now three and a half days out of Vanuatu. Making pretty good time.
The first day out was the fastest Orianne has gone. She was doing about 7
kts, sometimes seeing 8. Not to bad. We slowed down a bit the past two days,
but have still been doing better than 5.5 kts. Let's hope the average stays
up. We ran out of propane today, so no more hot food until Australia. We
knew we were cutting it close, but decided it didn't make sense to buy a new
(french) propane tank in Vanuatu, only to have to replace it a week or so
later with an Australian one. It would be great if propane tanks could all
be some international standard... Oh well, we'll survive.