2010 MSM Vanuatu Mission

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Last year’s mission (2009) was an immensely rewarding experience and in delivering the transport and logistics service, MSM recruited 16 keen, enthusiastic sailors. Each volunteer was skilled and experienced, but more importantly, possessed an ability to work as a team and a desire to help others in need.

It seems a cliché to say it but despite giving so much, each person involved would readily agree that they took away more than they put in. The warmth, generosity and appreciation of the people, coupled with the remote beauty of the region truly made it an experience of a lifetime.

So here we are, 12 months down the track wanting to do it all again in 2010, however, this year, along with the provision of transport and support for the running of clinics we will be transporting even more optical supplies, plus general medical, surgical and ophthalmology equipment. We will also be teaching locals how to make low smoke stoves.

Where is Vanuatu?

Vanuatu is a Pacific island nation situated approximately 2000 km East of North Queensland. (Just past New Caledonia and this side of Fiji) It comprises 83 islands (65 inhabited) spread 900km from north to south. It has a population estimated to be 230,000 (2007 DFAT Market Information & Analysis), with the largest towns being the capital Port Vila (population approx 33,000) on the island of Efate and Luganville (population approx 11,000) on the island of Espiritu Santo.


When is the mission?

In 2010 we will again be assisting the Vanuatu Prevention of Blindness Project.  Our objective will be to maintain a crew of 5-6 volunteers aboard Chimere at all times.  Specifically, a crew will be required for each of the 5 stages of the mission. These being …

Stage 1 Delivery 15 April – 2 May Sydney to Vanuatu (Tanna)
Stage 2 Mission 1 3 May – 28 May Southern – Anietyum, Fortuna, Aniwa, Tanna
Stage 3 Mission 2 3 June – 30 June Central – Malekula
Stage 4 Mission 3 11 July – 5 August Eastern – Pentecost, Maewo, Ambae
Stage 5 Return 15 August – 31 August Vanuatu to Sydney

Note: Dates are not exact. Crew changeover dates may vary from those shown here

The map below shows the rough location of each stage:

vanuatu map 2010


Date (2010)



15 April – 2 May

Delivery Voyage

Sydney to Tanna Island (Vanuatu)

Sydney to Tanna Island (Vanuatu)

The delivery crew will go aboard several days prior to make final preparations for the voyage. (Fuel, water, provisioning etc)

Departure from Pittwater, then to CYCA, Rushcutters Bay, to clear customs prior to departure

Voyage to take around 12 days.

Arrive in Tanna, clear customs, immigration and quarantine. Then change crew and sail south to Anietyum to meet first medical team

3 May – 28 May

Mission 1

Meet first medical team at Anietyum, then transport to Fortuna and Aniwa before returning to Tanna

Then head north to Pt Vila (Efate) to re-supply and change crew.

3 June – 30 June

Mission 2

Southern and Western Malekula where villages are 1-2 hours sail apart. Quite sheltered waters on west coast. Mostly smooth sailing and working the small islands of Maskelynes, Akahmb, Toman and the costal villages around Malekula.

Mission will conclude in Luganville, Espiritu Santo (aka Santo) Re-supply ship and change crew.

11 July – 5 August

Mission 3

Head across to Pentecost and Maewo islands to meet third medical team and transport them along sheltered west coast. Also NE point of Ambae (yet to be negotiated properly) There will be some small hops up the coast by yacht and they hope to do some dental work too.

Mission will conclude in Pt Vila around 5 August. Re-supply and change crew. 1-2 week rest before new crew sets off on return voyage around 17 August.

5 – 12 August

Holiday Package

in Pt Vila

See Supporters Tour

17 – 31 August

Return Voyage

Retrace voyage back to Sydney to clear customs. Spend 1-2 nights at CYCA, then return yacht to Pittwater (Bayview)

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