Australia Bound 19:29:90S 153:23:21E
WE departed Port Vila, Efate on the 30th July,
bound for MacKay on the
During our stay in Efate, we took a “round the
(Was going to include a pic, but this file is already too big).
The driver of our minibus was a simply appalling guide, and all he seemed interested in was which foreigners had bought what land. In the end we took control and demanded that he stop at various points. One of these was a privately owned WWII museum. The centre of attraction here was a USAF Corsair fighter bomber that had crash landed on a reef a mile off shore after an unsuccessful mission to bomb and attack a Japanese target. Apparently the leading aircraft had the navigator in charge. He got lost, they missed the target and all the planes ran out of fuel. The pilot of this plane was lucky, because he survived. What was truly fascinating was the small exhibits area.
Live ammunition, cannon shells, bomb lets etc….Where is that H&S officer when you want him?
A large part of the plane, albeit in chucks had been dragged off the reef a few years ago and displayed in this field, and a hut erected to show off the exhibits. Which were just bits of the aircraft. Including still live (and by now very unstable) bullets, cannon shells, and Bombs. Here we were once again risking our necks! Could this be a tendency you develop as a round the world sailor?
At one pont we crossed a bridge over a small river near a native village. This had several women at work doing the village washing. We asked the driver to stop the bus, so we could walk back and take some pic’s. But before we knew it he had reversed back onto the bridge, and most of the women we frightened off and ran into the bushes. So this one solitary lady carried on washing, scowling at us taking pictures, assisted by her pet pig…….
Local Laundry service. Not sure where the Pig fits in……lunch perhaps
We also noticed several beach side developments. These were basically prime beach sites that had been divided into plots, and being sold off so that overseas investors can build holiday homes. Targeted at the Australian market. These plots are not cheap and there are no services at all, so development costs for the properties with infrastructure will be high. I understood only one plot out of the several developments we saw had been sold.
All over the northern end of the island there is evidence of
The other less than nice thing that was left by the American forces was a plant that is a creeper which goes by the name “Mile a Minute” plant. This is a creeper with large leaves that was brought in to cover up sensitive installations and so hide them from Japanese War planes. This plant, as the name implies grows extra-ordinarily quickly. It covers everything and kills any other plant it grows on. Even Banyan trees! The locals had an extensive program of burning back land covered with this plant, but it was a piece meal effort and also resulted in the loss of local plants and trees,.
We eventually discovered why our driver had been pushing us
so hard. We finally arrived at a resort, run by a Dutch couple who settled here
8 years ago, They stop serving lunch at 2pm (just like being back in
We were back at Yachting World by 4pm. All a rush and not a very satisfying day. However, one of the more interesting happenings that afternoon, was the arrival of a Round the World yacht with a difference……………….
Globe Trotting Cat
This 18 foot catamaran is sailing around the world from
There are several good restaurants (and a couple of dreadful ones). The Café du Jardin, adjacent to “The Wall”, mooring was a stunning setting with rather quirky staff.
The Terrance of the Café du Jardin. Note the abundant “Potato” plant flowers.
The Rendezvous restaurant deserves a special mention. It is
in an attractive setting in a large purpose built building, overlooking the
anchorage, and with a magnificent terrace. The staff are mostly Sri Lankan and
the Curries are awesomely good. Another good restaurant waits you on
Then there was the Waterfront Bar and Grill. The food here is very questionable. BUT, it is next to the dingy dock, has a really good live band and you can dance until midnight or later if there are enough punters to keep the band entertained. Yachtes are encouraged and given preferential discounts. So avoid the food , but go have a good time!
Yachting World were our hosts, and so it was they organised a
formal evening of food, drink and entertainment. This was at the Melanesian
Hotel, around the centre court style pool. Excellent BBQ and grill, with a
welcome drink and reasonable wine (so long as you avoided the house wine).
Brian and Elsie were very good and attentive hosts. The native dancers from one
of the northern
No, please don’t kill the camera man
These scantily clad men were fear some warriors, but still not in the same league as the ones we saw in the Marquasas. On examining the pictures we took, the next morning in detail, I discovered that one of the men was not quite who he seemed. Modesty prevents me from posting this revealing picture, but lets say that I suspect the ”dancer” was the young lads mother………………….
We had a great time in
So, after delaying for some days we finally left Port Vila on Independence day. Just as we were leaving the anchorage, a large, highly decorated landing craft, came thru’ with horns blaring and water cannons spraying…with the President of Vanuatu, waving to us! What a send off!