Luf Island, The Hermit Islands

Sat 24 Sep 2016 21:54
01:31.03s 145:04.819e

We had hoped to stop at a little atoll North of Manus named Andra, Lucas, who we met in Kokopo, came from there, but we'd not had enough wind and it was the middle of the night when we passed by so we carried on, heading for the Hermit Islands.

These little islands were brought to the world's attention by Jacques Cousteau, simply stunning islands within an outer barrier reef, with fantastic diving and snorkeling. They've been likened to how Bora Bora must have been before the tourists got there. No chance of that happening in the Hermits: there's no place to put an airport and the nearest mainland is Manus, with it's dodgy reputation. Sounds a good reason to visit but we had an even better one. Tom and Susie on Adina were here last year and they made friends with some ladies who wanted to start a restaurant for passing yachties. Tom and Susie asked us to bring some crockery to get them started on their venture. We're only a year late, having unexpectedly gone to Australia for the cyclone season (these things happen, Australia's a big place, hard to avoid), but I'm sure that's no problem as we are on Island time after all!

So the Hermits it was, and we had no problems with low wind as we'd 24 hours to get there - no point arriving in the night, but then the wind got up! We had a lovely sail, with just a well reefed jib and reefed mizzen and we hove to South of the Island to wait for light. We had to tuck in close to the reef as the Hermits seem to be the roundabout for shipping in the Western Pacific. They were coming up from Australia, down from Japan and China, across from Vietnam... Having spend weeks sailing with seeing just one or two ships it was a bit of a shock to the system.

Light came and we made our way in through the pass and wound through the bommies to the anchorage. Anchoring was difficult and deep but so worth it - this has got to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Just you wait for the photos!

Passage Food

Day 2- Supper: prawns with fresh lemon grass, fresh coconut milk, mango, greens and butternut squash.

Day 3- Breakfast: museli with mango. Lunch: octopus with potatoes thyme and chorizo. Supper: smoked salmon spaghetti carbonara.

Day 4: Breakfast: banana and weetbix. Lunch: anchor beer and 'shapes' crackers. Supper: left over prawn stuff from day 2 and brown rice.

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