To Uliveo for a final two day visit

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sun 9 Aug 2015 13:05

Position           16:31.91 S 167:49.79 E

Date                1405 Sunday 9 August 2015 and Monday 10 August 2015

Distance run    >From Port Sandwich 12.2nm over the ground, 12.0nm through the water


As ever with getting into Lutes on Uliveo we were watching the tide.  Having started both the generator and the main engine the Mate complained about the smell of exhaust in the aft cabin and I noticed that the automatic bilge pump was running almost far too regularly.  The exhaust gases were being pumped out by the engine ventilation.  Stop all engines! And look.


Fortunately this happened before we raised the anchor, if we had been under way it would have been much more difficult.  What had happened was that the bolt securing the exhaust coming from the engine to the water mixing box had fractured allowing hot exhaust gases and hot cooling water to escape in considerable quantities tuning the engine room into a rather toxic Jacuzzi.  Again fortune shone on the self-righteous and I had a suitable long thin bolt in amongst my spare fastenings and a repair was quickly effected.


We were safely over the shallow bits and at anchor in time for a late lunch joining Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) boats Dream Away, Graham and Avril Johnson, and our old friends Mawari, Bob and Sue Dall.  We first met Bob and Sue in La Coruna in 2010  and then subsequently in Bermuda, the Chespaeake, Maine and New Zealand.  They crossed into the Pacific in 2013.  We also had the prospect of being joined by new OCC members Jonathan and Donna Robinson on the catamaran Chez Nous, who we signed up after a concerted recruitment campaign crossing the Pacific.


We spent Sunday afternoon organising ourselves for a very busy two days finishing off projects, Elizabeth checking up on patients and referrals and generally saying goodbye to the good friends made during the last three months.


The dispensary at Sangalai/Lutes that serves the whole island of Uliveo


The consulting room in action and an unimpressed aid worker, Ebeline.  Nurse Bambae is consulting around the corner.


In addition to seeing some final patients Elizabeth had a busy two days meeting with Chairman of the Dispensary Committee and generally trying to raise morale amongst the staff.  The Chairman may be a lost cause as the committee do not appear to do much other than have the occasional lunch cooked by the female nurse.  What he thought of being told to buck up his ideas by a mere woman, in this male dominated patriarchal society we do not know but he did listen politely and agreed to get on with sorting out a number of matters.  Fortunately the local Butterfly Trust management may be able to help with keeping an eye on progress.


On the morale front Elizabeth thinks that there was a big improvement evinced by the fact that cleaning had taken place and there were ideas of how to get the building improved and what could be done.  The Nurse in this outpost has an unenviable job.  She is on call 24/7 gets no on site visits and encouragement and has to take total responsibility for the lives of nearly 2,000 people on Uliveo and neighbouring islands.  It was great to see her more enthusiastic and cheerful, if tearful about saying goodbye to Dr Elizabeth.


Meanwhile I was tasked with getting the Kindy Bag to Peskarus as we had missed getttgin this done on our previous visit.


The Kindy at Peskarus


As I arrived I could hear singing from within so after I had presented the Kindy Bag and gone through the contents I asked if the children would sing for me.


Singing in English complete with actions – what a delight


By noon on Monday Chez Nous had arrived from Epi to make a total of four OCC boats at anchor.  L to R Chez Nous, Mawari, Dream Away and Caduceus


On Monday evening we hosted an OCC pot luck supper, tuna pasta bake to the fore

Bob, Avril, The Mate, Sue, Donna, Graham, Jonathan, Martin – Rodney took the photgraph