AUGUST2009 with Pictures

Thu 3 Sep 2009 02:38
Diary for August
Mark and Mel flew home onto he 1st to prepare for their move to Kula Lumpa after spending the Independence Sail by with us.. Meanwhile as Diana recovered from her flu (Swine flu?) we stocked up for 4 weeks or so with fuel,groceries and a few bottles of wine.
A quick sail to Havannah passage on the 4th and then a great sail up to Lamen Bay in Epi for the festival there. 20 yachts in the bay Lots of social  cockpit parties prepared us for the next day.
Could not believe it, it rained and we were glad of the 2 golfing sized umbrellas we bought in Villa. Warm rain dissuades no one and things were soon underway with a canoe
race to an offshore island and back (sail assisted with palm fronds on the downwind leg) Villagers had stalls and after swimming races,tug of wars and other simple but very enjoyable
activities we finished with a yachtie feast at the eco tourist lodge.Eco tourist lodges are traditional huts where a few adventurous backpackers and a surprising number of scuba enthusiasts
can stay cheaply .A far cry from the Villa Hilton but their guests are unlikely ever to get here.
     Mark and Mel           
From here we sailed to the Maskelynes on the south end of Malakula Island where we joined Aurielle,Halekai  and Grace for supper and explored the village by our anchorage. People here have little money and prefer to trade food for clothes,rope,books etc. Much of their cash is used on education---some 75% in most poor families---fortunately for them they knew the value of Lobsters so the price we paid for 2 large ones covered school for one child for a month at Junior school.While here we heard of the sudden death of our friend Sylvie on Windcastle,They were still in Epi but we heard Doug's call for medical assistance on the hf that evening.Poor Doug,a very sad day for us all.
With Aurielle's knowledge of the area we then cruised with her and Spirit of Ecstasy around to Port Sandwich on the east side of Malakula and found a charming anchorage there by a "French" town .Quite prosperous with large vegetable gardens ,numerous cattle and a small hospital and school.Even good bread was available!Good walks here ,unfortunately in the rain,Here we too discovered the danger  of tropical ulcers and Sue on Aurielle diagnose 2 on my left ankle and foot.So dry feet,land with a plastic bag over the foot and peroxide and antibiotic powder on the wound every 4 hours.Took 10 days to go and untreated they spread very
quickly in to the limb ''
Sunny  weather now as we visited Ambryn where we had a village tour and bought some carvings too. The village tour was very good and it is amazing to see the harmony the people have with their surroundings.
Most of their food grows readily in the fertile soil,fish swim in the sea (not too plentiful after a disastrous period of licensed Taiwanese fishing) cattle,chicken and pigs abound and their homes can be made from local materials though some are made with home made cement blocks and tin roofs.
After Ambryn was Pentecost,the home of LandDiving. We visited the school and were able to help with pencils,chalks and books, We saw too Captain Cooks writing at Cook Rock.He landed here in his survey of what he called the New Hebrides (now Vanuata) in July 1774 
After visiting the north end of Pentecost we got to Asanfari Bay on Maewo,.Chief Nelson made us welcome-----when you land on any Island you first visit the chief with a gift for him or the community before asking for permission to look around,anchor, etc. In each community the chief is the chief and respected
This was one of the most beautiful islands and we were shown the nearly completed church.For various reasons we felt we would like to help with the timber to complete the ceiling and were able to arrange a delivery from a timber merchant in Luganville .The builders merchant also ran Maewo's supply ship so it was a one stop shop.There are so many worthy causes here what can one do
Onto  the old volcanic crater on Ambae where we visited the Anglican School of St Patrick and where John on Aurielle won the heart of a family ashore and  was made a "brother"
We are now in Santo enjoying some beautiful lagoon anchorages before we head for Bunderburg