Monday 19th August 2013
15 31.36S 167 09.92
Today we had some work to do so we got ourselves organized and after breakfast went ashore to wait for Morinda and Hellen. Fortunately the weather was very different today. Bright blue skies and sea and a light breeze. Straight out of a tourist brochure!
Last night Denis took us for a meal at a nearby resort. Dave and Denis had been there during the day to check it out and made a booking. We were able to walk there and we sat down to a beautiful meal; Magnificent actually. Santo is famous for its beef. There are large Japanese cattle farms here and the beef is a very high standard. Denis, who you know is our on board five star chef was over whelmed by the meal. He lamented that he couldn’t cook as well as that. As we left he went into the kitchen to find the chef and thank him.
I have mentioned Denis’ cooking a fair bit in this log. But given his efforts at producing beautiful meals every day it hasn’t been mentioned enough and worth a little diversion now! Denis didn’t sign on as cook but quickly assumed the role even before the medical team had arrived. Dave, who was notionally assigned the cook’s role, was very relieved at Denis’ play for that position. Denis wasn’t looking for the job. The trouble is he is good at it and it fell naturally to him. Later, he did let us into a secret that he had been the Sergeant of the Officers Mess in the army (later the President of the Mess) and had run a café and a restaurant at different points in his career. In addition to Denis we had Isabel, Helena and Megan who all made great contributions to the catering department during the tour and helped lighten the load. We have been thoroughly spoilt but the great food played a big part in keeping spirits high throughout the tour.
Back to today; Helen and Morinda met us at the resort and we had a very productive meeting about the recent tour and exchanged ideas for future outreach tours. We then took a ute to the hospital to deliver glasses brought over by Rhod, and a specialized feeding teat for a child with a cleft palette from Isabelle. The director of the eye clinic gave us a tour of the clinic and spent a while talking to us about their work. He lamented the lack of surgical equipment. The instruments he has are 10 years old and they work hard making do with what he has. He also expressed his appreciation for the work the Vanuatu Prevention of Blindness Project does and the cooperation he has received over the years
After visiting the hospital we took the ute down to the post office to post a parcel left by Helena for one of the clinics we visited.
With our formal work completed we said good bye to Hellen and Morinda and continued with our shopping from yesterday. We had lunch at a café in town and lo and behold every yachtie seemed to be there. So we went around the room saying hello and then sat down to a nice lunch. Before we finished another yachtie came and sat down with us. We are feeling very at home here.
We were sitting in the cockpit this evening looking at the yachts anchored near us. There is a small Cat nearby skippered by a young Swiss man who is taking it single handed to Port Vila for a friend. He is coming for dinner tonight; Then there is a Cat from NZ crewed by environmental campaigners who are providing training on reef management; There is yet another Cat, who we met at Akhamb Island, whose people are working on a yachting guide of Vanuatu; There is an English gentleman who has been single handing his 50’ yacht for the last 20 years. He is carrying medications from a NZ charity which he gives to remote clinics. This afternoon we were visited by a man from another yacht because he heard we had a dentist on board. But Garry is now back in Australia and he found our yacht dentistless. His wife is suffering tooth pain and flu symptoms so he will head up to the hospital tomorrow. The last yacht in the anchorage we haven’t met yet. We know from their flag that they are German and we will pop over at some stage to say hello. So you see, without trying too hard, we have met some fascinating people, who for various reasons are stopped here for a short time before continuing the journeys.
Tomorrow Dave is going on the Millenium cave tour (see earlier descriptions from 2009) and I will head off on a horse riding tour through the jungle and along the beach. Denis is on boat watch but I hope you don’t feel sorry for him. He will probably host an on board party with all our neighbours if I’m not mistaken.
Smooth seas, fair breeze and back to work
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