Friday 11 August 2017
Port Vila, Sea Wall Waterfront
My first impression of Port Vila, is that there is less apparent damage from cyclone Pam than I expected, although there are still a number of major buildings with temporary roofs.
Most of the vegetation seems to have recovered and the place looks very much as it was in 2013. My other first impression was how great Chimere looks. It maybe that a skipper always thinks his ship is beautiful, much like the parents of a new borne baby, but Chimere is a picture with her paint work gleaming and a very smart new, blue canvas Dodger and Bimini.
Stepping onboard, memories come flooding back of the transit from Sydney to Port Vila and Mission 1 in 2013. Chimere looks great from stem to stern, a credit to all those who brought her to this high standard and to the crews of Missions 1 & 2 who have maintained her so well.
No pressure Mission 3 crew.
The crew for Mission 3 are all onboard now.
There is a good deal of experience in the four of us as we have all served on the good ship Chimere before. Ray and his son Grant were a most welcomed sight, as they were accompanied by two big bags of home-made cookies and cherry ripe brownies. A big thank-you to Ray’s wife Pamela.
We have been very fortunate to have two of Mission 2s crew remain for a thorough handover. Todd heads home tomorrow having passed on to us his extensive knowledge and Mark is the “continuity man” as he is staying on for Mission 3. Two very important crew members as they are the only ones who know where the treats are stowed. Meeting Todd and Mark has been a highlight of the trip so far.
We have made contact with the PCV Health team who have been extremely helpful. They impress as being very experienced and competent at providing medical services to remote communities. Many of my initial concerns were quickly allayed after just one meeting with the team. We all look forward to working together over the coming weeks.
Deb, working with PCV Health, invited us to the Yacht club for a very pleasant dinner last night. We also met Nicola at the club, one of the crew members from Mission 2.
The most annoying part of the trip thus far has been communications. It has proved very difficult to establish reliable communications and something that would take you a few minutes at home requires hours here. The up side is that every day we seem to make some progress and we now have phones and intermittent internet. We would probably have been better off if we had a teenager on board but we are managing to muddle our way through.
We are stepping ashore to farewell Todd this evening so I will sign off now. Thank you one and all for your support and tata.