No sooner had our little crew bonded; we had to say goodbye to Todd, who had kindly stayed on after Mission 2. Todd decided that he was going out in style, so he shouted us to one of the better restaurants in Port Vila. After we had demolished the biggest pizza you have ever seen and a couple of bottles of wine to wash it down, we returned to Chimere for a night cap.
Many stories and discussions ensued about all the wonderful experiences we have all had. The jury is out on whether we were sadder to see Todd go or if he was sadder that he was leaving. Such is the camaraderie on Chimere. On the port side of the photo is Todd, Jon and Mark. On the starboard side is Grant and his father Ray. The next morning, we had ‘hands to cleaning stations’. It is amazing how dusty and dirty a boat gets when you remember that there is very little dust at sea. We all agreed that cleaning was OK if what you were cleaning looked markedly better than before you started. Thankfully this was the case for Chimere, and we are now squeaky clean. The photo shows Ray and Grant discovering how effective the product pictured is when scrubbing the deck.
Mark and I headed to church after cleaning stations. As with church services throughout the South Pacific, our service was a very colourful affair with great singing and a very happy congregation. I was surprised at the number of babies in attendance. I take more notice of these things now as I am about to become a grandfather for the first time. There is no stronger visual representation of human love and emotions than the look a mum gives her troublesome baby in the middle of the service.
On return to Chimere, we decided to finish our equipment checks and uncovered a few problems that are going to keep us busy for the next few days. Luckily, we have a few more days and the skill sets onboard, to sort the problems out before we deploy on Thursday.
Well, our not so lazy weekend draws to an end and we will be busy tomorrow, sorting out our equipment and stowing all the mission equipment that will be arriving tomorrow.
Tata Jon Colclough