Delivery Voyage

Map: Sydney (Australia) to Tanna island ,Vanuatu

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Itinerary: 1 – 13  May        Sydney, Australia to Lenekal, Tanna, Vanuatu
14 – 16 May         Lenakel, Tanna 

Crew members:

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Kathy Williams, Will Mackaness, Robert Latimer, Martin Purcell, Bob Brenac

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Summary:

It is said that the size of a boat is inversely proportional to the number of people on board and the number of days at sea.

On that basis, Chimere started in Sydney as a 53 footer and is now close to the dimensions of an 18 foot skiff.

Life aboard has become something akin to an episode (a very long episode) of Big Brother, with a touch of Survivor thrown in for good measure.

But despite living in each others pockets for the past couple of weeks, life aboard has been reasonably balanced and “normal”, albeit with a few new routines, such as keeping watch, (particularly through the night) navigating and equipment maintenance thrown in for good measure.

One amazing blessing is that for the whole journey, the weather has pretty much been going our way and although the rolling action of an occasional following sea has been a bit uncomfortable at times … it’s nothing compared to beating into a howling headwind and high seas.

Like a long train journey, meal times take on a special significance aboard ship – they mark the movement of the day in a kind of ritualistic way.  Evening meals seem to have attracted the most effort and attention, with the can opener being spared the full treatment, much to the chagrin of some (one) onboard.  All up though, we’d have to agree that on the food side of things we have been well looked after.  And catching some fish has not only created some excitement on deck, but its also helped us stock the fridge, and try out some exotic recipes – some truly tasty concoctions have come our way.

We have managed the water and fuel well.  We still have some of each in the tanks, with plenty to spare.  This will well and truly see us through to Pt Vila, although we will top up with water while we are here in Lenakel.

Our arrival at Lenakel, (on Tanna Island), marks the end of the first leg of this mission.  Given that it’s a 4 month tour of service we have embarked upon, with a string of medical transport commitments ahead of us, it was always important that we first, arrive in the time agreed, and then second, be capable of fulfilling the promises made.  To date, all has gone to plan.

We are excited by the task ahead and after our initial introduction to the welcoming, friendly people here, we feel privileged to be able to assist in transporting medical care to this remote region of the world.  Of course we can’t help everyone, but the lives of those we do reach may be transformed through the work of the doctors, optometrists, surgeons and nurses we transport.

Having thought and dreamed about doing this sort of thing for around 5 years, I’m sure I’ve said it before, but there has been a surreal feeling to these last few days.  Here we are anchored off a foreign port.  Two weeks ago we were tied up in the familiar, safe surroundings of Sydney Harbour.  Our planning and dreaming is becoming reality and the medical transport work we have come to do, is about to begin.

Thank you so much for your interest and support.  It’s been an amazing team effort and there are a lot of people who have contributed a range of skills and experience to enable us to get this far.

Smooth sea, fair breeze and our work is about to begin…

Rob

Posts (a detailed description of the voyage):

2 May Sydney falls astern
3 May Our first sunrise
4 May Seaboard routines
4 May Excellent weather
4 May Got the fish, where’s the chips
5 May In the groove
6 May More wind, more speed, less sail
6 May One third down
6 May A beautiful forecast
7 May A day of firsts
8 May Sunrise Sunset, sunrise sunset
9 May Where did that hour go?
10  May We’re having fish tonight, and the next, and the next
10  May Wind light as predicted, ho-hum more fish
10  May Sailing, eating, sleeping, sailing eating sleeping
11  May Sea kitten in white wine sauce
11  May Land ho!!
12  May One more sleep
13  May Oh so close……
13  May Anchors away!!
14  May Captain goes ashore
15  May Customs, immigration, quarantine – episode 2
16  May Customs, immigration, quarantine – episodes 3 and 4

Galleries: click to view photographs

–  Departure

–  Delivery Voyage

–  Life aboard the ship

–  The Boat … Chimere

–  The Crew

Video :

Click the link to view the video of the Delivery Voyage