Passage to Anelghowhat, Island of Aneytium, Vanuatu
Position 20:14.25S 169:46.64E
Date 1040 (UTC +12) Friday 11 September 2014
Distance run – 466nm over the ground, 442nm through the water
Time from Vuda, Fiji – 2 day 22hrs
Clearing customs was not an issue once the guy had arrived, although one might wonder at the purpose of completing what were the same forms that we filed on arrival; go with the flow is the order of the day.
By 1230 we were ready to slip and a group of the marina staff appeared and to our surprise and great delight sang us the traditional Fijian goodbye song, somewhat akin to Auld Lang Syne but in harmony and not at the end of an evening of partying. It was very moving and involved a number of the staff who have been of such great assistance during our various stays and crises in Vuda.
The forecast showed two days of ‘robust’ conditions with 20 knots plus somewhere on or aft the beam. Not wrong, there! Fast sailing but at a price on body and soul. This was not entirely helped by our designated freezer deciding that it would not freeze and this involved a transfer of food from one to the other and an examination of the cooling water flow in the engine room. Unusually joined the Mate in feeling seasick and it was me, for only the third time in my memory of feeding the fishes.
Life of course got better, the freezer froze and the stomach ceased to heave. The sea conditions went though various ups and downs and all of this was illuminated by a brilliant full moon. Watching the moon setting:
Whilst 180 degrees round the sun is rising and all set to the accompaniment of a rolling swell is one of those experiences that you can only achieve at sea.
Day three and Anatom, or Aneityum, the two names are used interchangeably, came up an hour after dawn followed by the cruise ship Carnival Spirit (924 ft) appearing on the AIS, bound for Mystery Island. This is a small island lying within the reef protecting our destination anchorage and a popular cruise destination, six ships a month during the season. It is also a principle source of income for the villagers of Anelghowhat.
By the time that we arrived the ship had anchored and dwarfed the island.
This was the only ship, or yacht that we saw on the entire trip once we had left Fiji. Our weather window was obviously not popular.