Vanuatu 17:44:86S 168:18:63E
We departed Musket Cove with some considerable reluctance, in the early hours of 16th July, having spent the night on a mooring buoy. We had quite strong winds with gusts of 35 knots and a big and confused sea for the first 24 hour run. It was a beam reach and was in fact one of the fastest 24 hour passages we have ever done with 190nm covered in the first day.
This was certainly a passage of two halves! Loads of wind for two days, then it died off to nothing, with rain and leaden grey skies. The nights were cold too, with us both having to wear long trousers and puffer jackets during the night watches.
During the boisterous part of the journey, we discovered that during our stay in Musket Cove, one of our guests had trodden on the top of a diesel jerry can whilst they climbed on board. This had cracked the top of the plastic can. (The plastic seems to get quite brittle in the prolonged sun light…not that we have seen much latterly). So as the boat was being tossed about, the contents of this 20 litre jerry can started spreading across the teak decks. Now salt water, teak decks and diesel makes for a fairly deadly cocktail in the stability stakes, whilst attempting to negotiate around the boat. So we had to unlash the errant can, whilst trying to keep the other three companion cans in place, before jettisoning it over the side. Not something I was very proud of, but crew safety comes before environmental issues in my book.
The wind also moved around our stern, so for the best part
of the second day we were sailing with a goose wing configuration. Just like
Old times in the
The wind died off to an unusable 6knots Apparent on the third day, so trusty Perkins was once again pressed into service and we motored for the last two days. Just so frustrating when we started off sailing real fast and we thought we could sail the whole way. The good thing was the full moon. I don’t think we have ever seen one so bright as for the last three nights. It was just like daylight…with stars too. Makes the night passages so much more bearable.
As we entered the main bay before Port Vila entrance, it was time for the traditional hoisting of the courtesy flag…………
We arrived at the Customs buoy in Port Vila, on the
The Customs guy, Simon, was next. He could not have been
more helpful. Even filled in the declaration form for us. He too issued us with
a bill for his time, payable to Yachting World. Then the “boys”
from yachting world guided us through the narrow entrance channel to the area
where the mooring are, avoiding the coral heads, and then off to our buoy…number
25. Home for the next few days. It was a lovely remote, peaceful spot, near to
Once then settled, we discovered that two of the adjacent
boats were from
The very next day we took a one hour flight in a 9 seater twin
engine Islander aircraft to the
The plane was very basic. No loo and definitely no “trolley Dolly” service.
The views from the plane of the anchorage were quite spectacular………..
We are moored just at the left hand side of the picture by the red landing craft.
Tanna will receive a blog entry on its own tomorrow. This is it is such a spectacular place, and we had three cameras with on the trip. So loads of pics!!
Lastly a word about
Oh and they were still eating people as recently as 1976….officially that is. This has been the most basic native country we have seen to date. More of this in the Tanna episode tomorrow.