2nd day of work
Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Thu 23 Apr 2015 09:48
Ellinor and Shannon had to be at the clinic at 8.30 this morning so up with the sun we went, and Ellinor even took time to make her yoga on aft deck before breakfast.After she and Erika disappeared ashore, Andreas and I did the dishes and got ready to go ashore as well. Today the plan was that the "fathers" would take the kids for expeditions and then be ready to meet the angry imigration officer at the airport.
We went swimming and jumping in a fresh water river, exciting! Fresh!
Then we went out to the small island were they have the airport (well airport is not the word, landing strip, cleared with machetes), the island is called Mistery Island and it is also used by Cruising Ships to land their guests for snorkeling etc. I will not waste words on describing the place. What a disaster, that is all I can say.Right now the villagers are busy repairing so the cruising ships will return.
After lunch we got ready to go ashore and the police assistant was going to drive us to the airport in the official police boat (it is a long boat / panga that somebody has painted POLICE on the side)
As the skippers were gathered in the dinghy to drive ashore we see the plane take off from Mistery Island. Nobody had heard it land!!!
It looked like a small 4 seated cessna. Oh No! The plane was to early! We saw the police assistant run down to their police panga and getting ready to leave. We jumped in and off it went. As we got closer to the island we met another panga and the people on board waved us back to shore: in the middle of their panga sat two big men and they did not even turn their heads towards us.
We got ashore and to show our good will I rushed to the Panga that was loaded with goods from the plane, asked if we could help to unload and one of the grumpy guys gave me just an eye, I reached out my hand and greeted him with my name, he responded "Richard", "Richard? I said you are the police master here?" He nodded surprised I could place him right away. He was the guy worried about giving us permission to do our work while he was away. So he was back! That was a good sign. The other guy did not even look at us and by some reason he made us feel he was the imigration guy. Soon we realised he was just a villager and Richard just told us to be at the Police station in 20 minutes with all the papers.
Well there he greeted us warmly and we asked what happened to the immigration officer. He told us he talked him out of making this trip, as he was going himself and we could do the paper work in Port Vila. So the guy stayed, happy not to have to go to the end of the world...
The paperwork was done with smiles and singing, the nicest check in we ever had.
Puh! Richard thanked us for being here and wanting to help out, "why would we make it hard for you guys? Don't worry be happy!" (yes he actually said that). As he came from Tana we were curious on how it looks there, he responded shaking his head "much worse, much much worse".
But the same goes for the village in Port Patrick he told us.
Now we have new orders on what to do since we are released from the grip of the authorities, we are free to move how we wish till Port Vila.
So tomorrow Salsa takes off first with a local guy called Nelson (very appropriate name I think), he will help us to get into the bay when we get there. He will also guide us so we can meet the chief and get his permission to help them. As their situation is really tough, everything washed away and we have found a good solution (well Jonathan did). We got in contact with another relief team that needs help to transport stuff to Port Patrick. They have far more food than we have just for them, 1,5 ton. We also learned that our food is really needed in Eromango the island North of Tana. So we save it for there.
So we set up a clinic with Litle Explorer that will come in soon after us. ChezNouis has loaded all their food to Little Explorer tonight and is empty for loading from a cargo ship that will come tonight or tomorrow. Then they will come a day after us with 1,5 ton just dedicated for the village by Port Patrick.
Once unloaded we plan on sailing by night (the doctors need to sleep) to Tana. We have learned that the hospital is in need of doctors, and that is 1,5 hour drive with 4 wheel drive from Port Resolution where we will anchor.The idea is that the doctors will be taken to the hospital and we, the rest of the crew load more medicine that has been left for us by the Australian Red Cross.
(By then ChezNouiz is empty).
According to plan we are going to the tiny island of Aniwa after Tana, that is an open question depending on how urgent it is on Eromango, today we learned that Aniwa has got some serious food deliveries already but might be short on medical aid.
The doctors had about 40 patients today so they were busy for sure.
The weather, yes, it is quite cold compared to what we have had, the water is much colder and the air is about 22 degrees.
At night it gets colder. That is also a reason they need clothes here on the islands.