19:31.48S 169:29.72E Tanna
Sun 6 May 2018 21:09
Port Resolution May 6th, 2018
Today we woke up in Port Resolution after a good nights sleep without night-watches and being thrown around in a rocking boat. We can hear the local fishermen chatting nearby when they are fishing from their wooden outrigger canoes.
The crossing from New Zealand went well although a little more dramatic than expected. We left Opua in pretty strong W winds around 20 knots and the swell was pretty high after many days with strong winds. 975 Nm to go. On board were Eric the skipper, Mike from Michigan who will sail with Lisanne to Darwin and Mike’s girlfriend Helen from N.Y who will join us until we leave the Vanuatus. Anja our fourth crew member had to leave us just before our departure to help a friend who was badly hurt in a car crash in Chile.
The wind increased and after a couple of hours we could smell diesel in the boat and discovered that the service people that had cleaned our diesel tanks had not closed the lid to the forward diesel tank properly so it was pumping out diesel inside the boat. When trying to clean up the mess we got seasick all of us being thrown around in the diesel smell and had to take turns going up on deck for fresh air. Not having got our sea-legs yet after the long break did not help either.
The next day the wind was down a little and then came our next surprise ! Our gooseneck pin broke off and suddenly we saw the boom hanging loose only in the sail and the boom vang. Sh-t ! Me managed to secure the boom without any further damage. So now we were without mainsail and had 800 Nm to go !
Well, it went pretty well after all, the wind shifted our way. First to SW and then to SE. We made good progress only with our headsails and arrived the Island of Tanna in the Vanuatus after less than six days sailing. On the approach to Tanna in the middle of the night we could watch the red glow from the live volcano light the sky.
We arrived at 6 in the morning and dropped the anchor in the bay called Port Resolution. After a snooze we were visited by a Customs inspector and cleared in to Vanuatu. And then went ashore to explore the island. This is the most remote place we have been to so far. People are living in primitive huts and make their living from fishing and farming. But they seem to be happy and are so friendly and helpful. They proudly showed us their village and guided us to the hot springs and the steaming vent in the mountain.
Today we are going on a hike up to the rim of the volcano to watch the boiling lava below. After that we plan to make a night crossing over to the main island, Efate, and the capital, Port Vila.