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Date: 27 Jul 2008 01:39:54
Title: The Heavenly Twins

 
15:31S 167:10E
 
Luganville, Espirito Santo, Vanuatu.
 
It was Sunday night that we had a farewell party with the World ARC. It was our last get together with everyone and our final duty will be to act as a starting yacht for Tuesday 22nd July, 2008 start to Cairns, Australia. Storyteller will be at the other end of the line.
 
We recently found out that the rest of the WARC fleet referred to Southern Princess & Storyteller as 'The Heavenly Twins'! We haven't found out why as yet but one day we will I guess.
 
Sad day really as we have made some good friends amongst the other yachts and we will miss them all. We won't however miss the long ocean legs. Boring as anything. Day sailing for the most part around Vanuatu and New Caledonia now that we can clear in at Lifou in the Loyalty Islands. Then the only big leg this year will be Noumea to Norfolk Island; 3 days and then Norfolk Island to Opua another 3 days. That leg will be a mini version of the WARC. Apart from Storyteller, we will be joined on that leg by Harmonie & Lady Kay, both deciding that they wanted longer time in the South Pacific and deciding to spend the cyclone season in New Zealand.
 
This message posted to World Arc as farewell.
 
Southern Princess formed one end of the start line in Santo for the leg to Cairns with of course Storyteller the other. In one way Irene and I were pleased not to be going as we have had enough long ocean legs and we are on our last legs to home after having been away these past 4 years. However two days later we find that we are really missing the 'WARC Family' which has been created these past 6 months. Cleone's dulcet tones on the radio answered of course by Northern Sky, equally dulcet in tone, Maamalni "on the side", Williwaw's two fine doctors who saved my fingers, The Irish Cultural Attaché on K8; to name just a few. Mind you 'Cultural' is a contradiction in
terms! And of course our own Mandy Mandy Mandy Mandy at World ARC control. Mandy you have done a fantastic job.

Storyteller & Southern Princess decided to leave our radios on VHF77 and to our delight answered Asolare's call yesterday to 'Any World ARC Yachts'. Peter and Tim are running a few days late as they wanted to dive the 'President Coolidge' before departing. Peter's ankle is much better.

We are to meet Lady Kay and Harmonie around mid October in Noumea and together with Storyteller the four of us will head to Opua in New Zealand probably via Norfolk Island in our own mini NZ-ARC. VHF 77 will be alive again in the South Pacific

In the meantime, we will spend a month in Vanuatu, another month in New Caledonia before heading to NZ.

Be safe, fair winds and we hope to see you all again some day.

John & Irene
Southern Princess
 
We have spent the last few days moored off the Aore Resort on Aore Island across Segond Chanel from Luganville. The resort is good fun, they have a great kitchen and these past 4 nights have eaten ashore. Luganville is the second largest town in Vanuatu, however not as sophisticated as Port Villa. The town is spread out along a water front street, anchored at one end with the Town Market and the Customs at Main Wharf the other. The Quonset huts of the US occupation during World War 2 are still being used and much of the detritus of that war is still to be found. Coca Cola bottles date stamped 1942 are easily obtained, however they do have a price. Commercialism is alive and well in Vanuatu even though John Fromm-ism is still practised. John Fromm was the founder of the cargo cult.
 
The S.S. President Coolidge lies in 20m to 70m of water and is the world's most accessible wreck. When my fingers heal completely I will have a dive on her and also at Million Dollar point where the Yanks just bulldozed everything into the sea when they departed in 1945.
 
From our farewell message above we had great replies and James Anderson from Cleone epitomises them all;
 
Hi John and Irene,

We greatly appreciated your farewell message.

In return, we want to say how much we appreciated getting to know the Heavenly Twins - Southern Princess and Storyteller.  Irene and yourself - and John and Sue - have been great supporters of the Rally, and robust good friends to all of us.  You've been two of the people to whom we know we can always turn when there is a problem - technical, personal or even to do with cooking!

It is sad when family members leave, even if it is to go back home.  And that is really how the rally has become.  You may have heard that Wizard lost her mast in the choppy weather yesterday.  Within a couple of hours she'd been contacted, and by the end of today, as much fuel as she needs will be on board, and boats will be standing by in case of need.  I know you would have been part of that; we'll miss you.

I hope that the cruise goes well, and that going back home - tenants moving out, repainting and all - goes smoothly.  I guess it won't all be down-hill after so long away, but it will give you something to get your teeth into.

Best wishes for safe and happy sailing, and a great home-coming.

James, Elizabeth and Will, and Norfy in absentia.
Yacht Cleone
15:55'S 159:18'E
 
We are currently anchored off Luganville in front of the Beach Resort waiting for the weather systems building over the Tasman to move through so that we can get back to some sunshine and visit some of the bays which require sunshine to negotiate the reefs. In the meantime there are maintenance jobs to claim my attention while Irene makes sausages in brown onion gravy and garlic mash for dinner tonight. After the meal last night at the Beach Resort (bloody awful) we are having Storyteller join us for basic grub tonight.
 
Cheers for now
 
John & Irene
 
 


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