Saturday 29 June 2013 Pt Vila

It was a sad day in many respects.  Skipper Bob of the delivery crew flew home and early tomorrow Gary does the same.  We are in that “between period” as we, the new crew, take over and re-sort everything and tidy up.

There’s still a lot of gear needing to be delivered ashore for the dental program, with all the donated clothing now having been gathered together into the one waterproof “bulka-bag”on deck – it’s a very big bag, the sort that can lift over a ton!

The number 2 dinghy has now been unlashed, along with all the donated stuff inside and bunk space is slowly being made for the new (medical) folk who will be coming aboard soon.

In some respects it was a bit of a lazy day too.  After seeing Bob off a few of us wandered up to the dental clinic and it was great to see firsthand how everything is starting to come together.  Richard Tatwin and Ni-van dental worker Bob Natuman were there, along with visiting volunteer dental equipment installer from Australia, Bill Stoney.  They were trying to get all the equipment working and were joined later in the day by Melbourne dentist Barry Stewart and dental nurse and manager Sarah Packer.  Both Barry and Sarah have been instrumental in getting the dental program up and running and are here to assist with training and extending the level of available dental care.

As we were helping in the move of a dental chair – and gee those things are heavy, Richard Tatwin asked me what we had planned for next week – apart from preparing Chimere for the next mission starting on 5 July.  The long and the short of it was that Richard was trying to find a solution to a transport problem.  An optical surgical unit had made its way to the island of Tongoa, the first time since 2003, and could not get off the island as planned last Thursday.  In fact with flights not likely to resume for another week it looked like they would stay on the island for some time to come.

As they say, there’s nothing like a deadline to get things happen.  Consequently, much of our tidying up and packing away was completed by sundown and the rest will be sorted after church tomorrow, enabling us to sail through the night and pick up the medical team of six early Monday morning and be back late the same day.  With a 15-20kt wind forecast from the east it looks like a good run both there and back.

It’s now getting late, the band at the Waterfront Café has stopped and everyone is sound asleep aboard.  I’ll download a photo of the full delivery crew and, hit SEND and crawl into my bunk too.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and off to Tongoa tomorrow

Rob Latimer