Thursday 27th July 2017
Lamen Bay, Epi Island

We leave Tongoa with mixed feelings. The work was steady and very productive with the full complement of dental surveys, extractions, eye and medical examinations completed. The local people were very hospitable, appreciating all of our efforts.

The anchorage unfortunately was exposed to wind, tide and current which meant those on board suffered for a second night.  Testimony to the spirit of the team that the work was achieved with a minimum of fuss. The final logistic move from the shore to ship was done in the presence of a couple of whales – a mother and her calf we believe. Perhaps their frolicking was a demonstration of appreciation – or maybe they were just giving us the green light to head to Epi.

Anchor raised at 9am, the engine throttle opened and we were off and running with the wind for the next few hours.  With the conditions favourable, the engine was cut and the sails were fully deployed allowing us to enjoy a very pleasant starboard reach for most of the voyage.  Our attempts at ‘going native’ extended to lunch today with fried battered local produce.  While the effort to make the banana fritters was appreciated, the so-called bananas (plantain, or cooking bananas)  tasted more like sweet potato and were not to everybody’s taste.

As Epi island came in to view so did the volcanoes of Mount Marum and Benbow on the isle of Ambrym.  The volcano of Mount Benbow is still active with little puffs of white smoke billowing every 10 minutes or so. As long as they remain little puffs we can rest easy while in this idyllic location.  

Fair winds, smooth seas and a whale of a time.

Todd MacDougall