Wed 18 Oct 2023 07:24
We arrived into the southern island of Anatom in Vanuatu at 10.30am this morning. We had a fast and furious ride over here starting off with 15kts on the nose, turning into 30kts on the beam and ending on 18kts behind. Initially we had 3-4m seas dropping off after day 1. The boys vomited their way through the first 24hrs but then quickly acclimatised and got into the groove.
Moonshiner absolutely flew with her freshly scraped hull, we’ve definitely gained at least a knot of speed! The forecast predicted we’d be downwind requiring two poles, what we actually ended up with was a double reef mainsail and reefed Yankee. We had one broach initially with a gust over 30kts and big wave but after that we steamed along nicely.
We took one night each which worked well, other than the first night there was no traffic at all.
Fantastic land fall, similar to the Marquesas. No sign of human inhabitation until we rounded the south west reef and into Anelghowhat anchorage.
Vanuatu is a string of islands between New Caledonia and Fiji which gained independence from the British in 1980. It is still incredibly primitive with almost all of the population existing on subsistence living.
After we arrived we went ashore for a walk into the hills. There was one shop and a police station in the village. We followed a track up the mountain and were invited into a house for some fresh sugar cane. We sat amongst a wilderness of plants, chickens and children running wild whilst Shane prepared us a stalk of sugar cane to suck on.
They live an incredibly simple life here, living in bamboo houses, collecting rain water and growing all their own food. There was no evidence of electricity, however Shane had a mobile phone so perhaps they had generator.
Our rough plan was to spend a few days here before heading to New Caledonia, however we’ve just seen a long range forecast for a cyclone potentially hitting Vanuatu in a week so we’ll be keeping a close eye on that one.