Report from Port Patrick

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sat 25 Apr 2015 08:35
Sorry for this, but since the day is short and I need to go to bed I will just file a report that I wrote for our
DR manager at SeaMercy.

Report from Port Patrick April25th 2015-04-25

Anchorage is uncomfortable so last night was not the best for the crews.

But this morning two downloaded dinghies went ashore with doctors to do their work at the aid station and a load of children that needed to get ashore. Courage (skipper on Lil Explorer) and myself walked right away to the family we promised to help fixing the chainsaw and provide some tools.

The family had lost everything as the waves reached all the way to their houses and swept everything clean. The family lives temporary on the same spot, they have built a simple roof on stilts and they sleep protected by a mosquito net and a tent.

They have replanted their garden and you can see the small green sprouts just making it above the ground. Marcel, the father, speaks good English and he told us they plan on cleaning land further up the slope to be away from the sea if it strikes again.

As we had the right tools we could open up the chain saw and fix the starter line and the spring that pulls it back. A big smile when it started and we asked Marcel to use it today so we would be around if something else would come up. Courage also brought machetes and nails for them. Later on we visited them again to check the chain saw and also donate some children's clothes and some textiles. As Courage had a spear gun on board he gave that away since Marcel lost his and he does some fishing to keep the family fed.

Our overall impression is that the villagers are very resourceful and well organised. The environment is neat and clean, even after PAM. They have cleaned up the area and restarted their gardens or opened up new areas if the one they had was hopelessly destroyed.

Tomorrow ChezNuis is coming in around 8 am. So we tried to stress the chief's assistant that we need 10 strong men and a working panga to unload as soon as possible.

We need to be away early to approach Port Resolution in daylight.

Later on we asked him to confirm that they will have everything ready as the panga was still ashore and there was no engine on it. We asked them to check that all is working.

He promised to do that but admitted soon that they had no gasoline for the engine.

OK so we fixed that for them and hopefully we can unload 1,8 tons of food in one hour and then take off.

The doctors had an even load of patients, about 50 in total, that report will soon follow.

Today they divided the hut that is called an aid station by using a sheet as a wall for the chiropractor and the other two doctors took a room each. All in all we are talking about 15 square meters built with traditional materials like palm leaves and pandanus. The patients sit outdoors on a big fallen tree.

In this report I also would like to mention a hero that does a lot of work in the background, Cassidy, a teenage girl on Lil Explorer runs the dinghy to pick up, load and unload food and medicines. She has helped the doctors with paperwork and other issues. I never heard her sight or complain, always a happy face and willingness to help.
On top of that she has helped the fathers with all the kids and what comes around their care.
In Port Denarau we were asked by another cruiser who also has kids, why we would take on a journey like this, I wished she could see what we see now and what we learn about humanity.

What could possibly go wrong?

End of report....

Tomorrow morning as you can read we will take off towards next island, Tana. What will happen there is still an open question.

We also have a problem with the wind picking up in force in a few days meaning that we have to fight 25knots wind at the nose to go to Anewa.
We will see.