Oyster Island is the Pearl

The Adventures of the Good Ship Equinox
Cate and Chris Galloway
Fri 12 Aug 2011 20:23
Hi All,
We are presently enjoying the "pearl of Santo" , which is what the glossies refer to Oyster Island as. The anchorage is about the size of four football fields and there are now 30 yachts and motorboats crowded into the anchorage. Fortunately the shallow draft and tide-bound nature of the anchorage limits the maximum size of yachts to about a 2m draft, so there are no behemoths in the mix!
Customs clearance went well yesterday, with the Customs, Immigration and Quarrantine Officers sitting at the long picnic tables under the thatched Bure-style roof of a shelter in the resort garden. John and Lynne from  ICA had arranged for the officers to come up from Luganville to clear us in,. The process was essentially one way - the provision of cash and large volumes of paperwork in return for small receipts and a sealed customs clearance envelope. All up it cost V10,000 (about $110 Aust) for about 45minutes effort. The process was much easier than it would otherwise have been, as we would have had to spend the day wandering around Luganville while we visited each department to get their clearance. Yet another good reason why we joined the rally!
Socially things have been quite excellent also - the resort here is a quite pretty place and has made a big effort to welcome the fleet. The owners are ex-ICA rally participants, who apparrently purchased the place from the previous owners over dinner when they visited here with the rally. There is a full program of social and cultural events planned, including a NiVani water music where local ladies perfom music by splashing in the water. Should be interesting!
Anyway, a busy day and we will let you know how it all goes!