Friday 15 May, 10.10pm (anchored at Lenakel)

We moved Chimere closer in this morning and with the wind and swell having died down it is certainly more comfortable.

We started transporting water from a communal tap ashore to fill up Chimere’s empty tanks today and in the course of the days activities caught up with the nice customs man – we are on first name terms now. When I went to his office this morning he said, hello Robert. I now know his name to be Yowl. (not sure of the spelling, but it sounds like Howl)

Yowl came out to the boat for 3 minutes, tops, had a quick look around, saw the optical equipment and dozens of boxes and seemed more than satisfied. So ended Episode 3. We now have Quarantine to finalise. I mentioned this to Yowl and he said, don’t worry about it now if you don’t have time, do it in Pt Vila when you are there in 2 weeks time. No worries I said.

When I caught up with Martin later in the day he said, we have an appointment with quarantine tomorrow morning at 9:00am, on the beach, to fill out the forms. So assuming that all goes off well we can hopefully close the book on the paperwork – for a time anyway.

It was market day in Lenekal, so when in Rome … We now have all manner of tropical fruits and vegies aboard – but I must say, I drew the line at buying a fruit bat. Fruit, yes, but when it’s also a bat, no. It was so cute, and if I explain any more I think I’ll have to issue another warning for children, and others easily shocked, to look away.

The big event today, apart from finally being able to scrub the deck, was the arrival of Andrew, my brother and joint owner in the boat. His work commitments have prevented him from doing much sailing, but he has done a mammoth job in preparing Chimere for sea, and will be with us for the next 2 weeks as we work our way north to Pt Vila transporting the medical team as we go. In a sense Andrew has been with the voyage here, every step of the way. Most of the emails received aboard have come from him as he has tracked our movements, studied the weather charts and assessed the charts and our course on a day to day basis. He’s very pleased to now, finally be aboard.

The medical team came aboard late this afternoon, along with Andrew, for a cup of tea and it was great to see the excitement and anticipation. The first clinic is tomorrow. As a result, I need to be getting to bed. Martin, Will, Kathy and I went to a local Talent Concert tonight and my batteries are running low.

Smooth sea, fair breeze and I wish this swell would stop.

Rob