Countdown to exodus Paradise.

Tue 30 Sep 2014 06:38
Sunday 28th September 2014

Back on Hebe Home which is pristine and cockroach free. Thanks to Harry and Imo who have slaved away removing everything from the boat and cleaning it top to bottom. There are lots of little traps and goo along the cockroach motorways around the galley. It transpired the dreaded nest was above the fridge.  We're now seeing a few very small dead ones around, the second generation and hopefully the last. Funnily enough folk we meet around here say 'Oh we've had them for ages on our boat / house etc,'  thats OK but we're very pleased they're gone. 

Our final days at The Havannah were wonderful. 

One day we were dropped off at a deserted beach on nearby Lelapa Island with a picnic in a cool box complete with beers and sandwiches wrapped in banana leaves and an umbrella.  There was a lot of plastic on the beach which we gathered and filled a whole black bin bag and felt suitably righteous.  I am assured they recycle in Port Vila….. 

Our final evening we were joined by Paul and Susie from Firefly (ARCy friends) who moored in the bay. We had dinner served on the beach with a bonfire, the staff staggering down over the soft sand with trays of wine and food.  Rather surreal. 

All good things come to an end (about bloody time - Ed) and we're now back on Hebe in a monumental rain storm which has been lashing all day and filling the tanks with rain water. The sea has turned brown.

The spare stays arrived and owing to a minor dyslexic moment we're heading off under a belt and braces jury rig, but all's well and we'll get everything fixed in Brisbane. If this weather cheers up we should leave on Wednesday or Thursday.

Today being Sunday I headed off to find the local church in Port Vila. I felt a bit of a fool in my white skirt as the heavens opened and my brolly turned inside out. In fact by the time I found the church…(head for the bells and singing), my skirt was so wet and heavy it was descending towards my ankles. 
This time the service was mainly in English which was a first. I noticed the congregation swelled once the sermon was over and there was a lovely gospel choir. At the beginning all the visitors were asked to stand up and introduce ourselves. There were lots of us, and afterwards we all stood in line with the vicar so the entire congregation could shake hands. Then we all ate grapefruit and coconut. 
 Two visitors were on a health training programme from Australia. I remarked how healthy I found the children in the outer island villages. This is true they said but the main issue here is incest and family violence which was sad to hear having been amongst so many seemingly lovely communities. 

On a lighter note, there is great rejoicing here because Nambatu pikanini blong Mrs Queen is coming to visit Vanuatu and seeing as her father, Prince Philip is worshipped as a God on Tanna, they are in a fever of excitement. The papers are full of it which is better than the sorry stuff Andrew has been reading on his downloaded Daily Telegraph.

Andrew's hat, pictured above, is so precious to him, having kept his head protected since he bought it in Lisbon 16,000 miles away, that we're posting it home this week along with a lot of other 'organic' treasures which we are assured the nice Australians will otherwise fumigate at vast expense or simply confiscate. We also have to eat everything left on the boat including the corned beef and meat balls from Morrisons, Gibraltar.  Andrew and I have our Havannah spare tyres to keep us going. 

Which way Harry??

Planning to leave on Wednesday and Imo has been all day ploughing through the Immigration forms, while Harry plays with Hebe's stays.
Tomorrow it's bottom cleaning and final market run. Then we're off.  Catch ya layta mate !