Thursday 17 June, 8.22pm (anchored at Luganville)

It is bucketing rain outside. Crew members are taking it in turns to pop out and have a shower on deck to take advantage of that volume of water coming down.

Things have been on serious go slow today. The sky has been grey with high humidity periodically breaking into torrential rain. Jen and I spent an hour at the internet cafe sending photos to add to the website, while Tony, Jim and Bob went off looking for a hydrometer. We seem to have developed the knack of buzzing off on our separate errands and finding some place to hang out somewhere afterwards in true island style until the others happen by and we can return to the boat together. That can easily take a whole day around here.

Of the five boats in this bay, three are Australian (one a family with four young children) and the other two are sailed by French speakers. Yannick from New Caledonia (my canyoning companion of yesterday) dropped by to give me his marvellous photos and stayed for dinner – piccadillo and pamplemousse in caramel toffee. When he left to return to his boat, his dinghy was half-full of water from the rain that fell during dinner.

I found out how many pigs for a wife, at least here on Santo. It’s a minimum of four and a maximum of ten. So cheer up girls, each of us is worth at least four pigs!

Everything is ready to roll, except for last-minute cleaning and a visit to the market in the morning. The medical team and our final crew member arrive tomorrow and we take off for Ambae north-east of here in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Ann