Lenakel, Tanna

Pacific Bliss
Colin Price
Wed 31 Jul 2013 04:47
Lenakel, Tanna
Chart of Tanna island
Unusually, Lanakel on the W. coast of Tanna we found to be better sheltered than Port Resolution. So whilst the other yachts were boucing around we ran round the corner and had 4 4 days of flat water before the swell came back to this open anchorage.  It was here that we wet up the hill to Yakel for the Kustom Dance; Drank kava for the first time; and, walked home through the mud -  of these you have already read.
Washing in the warm sunset Tanna 154 on a calm day in Lenakel
Tanna (21)
Digicell everywhere, even in ‘Black Man Town’.  Here on this island no foreigner, English, Chinese, or otherwise has been allowed to buy even a postagestamp of land.
Market day has a whole range of veggies and the sign at the fish shop was hilarious
Tanna 056Tanna 059
Tanna (23)Tanna (28) 
We had lunch at Mary’s cafe just before leaving.  It was significantly better than the expensive and poor lunch at the western-run Evergreen Lodge out by the airport the day before.
We had to evacuate Lanakel sooner than we'd hoped there had been a plan hatching to visit Yakal for the big 'Queen Phillips' birthday celebration. In the morning I made scones and we had a local coffee grower for breakfast followed by Chief Yapa his wife and some other members of the family, boy these guys like cake. Sadly the sea state got to the youngest and Mrs Yapa and the cake didn't stick around for long. Once Wilam was safely taken back to Terra firma we had a really good chat with Chief Yapa when he was able to tell us what it was like meeting HRH. Phil. Apparently he was very direct expressing his feeling regarding his maj's role in his marriage making clear that he needed to get his wife in back in the kitchen and he need to be the decision maker in his house,village and country!
Tanna (16)Tanna (20)Tanna 150
Chief Yappa. As you would recognise him from the BBC series ‘Meet the Natives’
But we were also able to get to chat about more serious issues pressing his country. He, appears to be the paramount chief on Tanna (you never actually know the bottom line in Van). Obviously he is a good leader and all round egg, however he has very little information about what's really happening in the world and particular the effect of decision made in government will play on his island and country. The Chiefs in Vanuatu hold great power in each village and collectively each island should be able to hold a good deal of clout when it comes to the politician of the county. All good in theory but so little world information or education on the effect of decision making, Our beef regarding island fishing rights seems to have slipped through the net and an already non existent over fished reef and now what exists of deep fish have been given away for a nominal sum. There in lies a problem.
Poor old Mrs Chief did manage to arrive on perhaps the worst morning for a visit to PB, each hour the swell and chop was getting worst and so buy 2 pm we were chased out of the anchorage, first time ever for us.  Leaving at this time wasn't the best but Colin worked out that we would perhaps be able to find a safe place to drop the hook in Erromango by moon light.