Thursday 1 August 2013


Port Vila


by Andrew Latimer


A heavy down pour woke us up at 4:30am and we closed all the hatches. The cabin became very steamy and we tried to sleep for a few more hours.

After breakfast we started on our chores. Dave went back to the sump pump problem, Denis took care of breakfast and I trotted down to the post office to pick up a parcel from Melbourne which I think is a set of spares for the water maker.


Peter arrived and took us all on a marine store crawl around Port Vila. We spent 2 hours in the steamy heat going from place to place looking for a replacement sump pump. We eventually found one with a built in float switch and trundled back to the boat.

Driving around Port Vila can be a challenge and we helped Peter, our driver, by chanting “keep right and give way to the left” after a while we added “and give way to big trucks”. Our poor driver had to negotiate pot holes, heavy traffic and try and to anticipate buses which would stop randomly when the fancy took them; even in the middle of a roundabout. Even as a pedestrian it can be a bit of a challenge for those of us used to driving on the opposite side of the road when we look in the wrong direction and nearly get cleaned up by the car we didn’t see coming from the other direction.

Dave went back to work on the sump pump with Denis’ help and Peter and I took the outboard fuel drums to the service station to fill up. We filed up with 145lt of unleaded fuel.

Peter left us for a while to attend to his family’s transport needs. While he was away Dave got the water maker going which you might recall we started on a day ago and got diverted by the broken sump pump.

I got a call from Dave Cobert from the Butterfly Trust asking me to contact the Health Dept. There have been reports of an outbreak of yaws disease and the Health Dept is keen to survey the situation in order to plan their response. I climbed the hill behind the town, walked past the Australian High Commission and found the Health Dept opposite the jail. After finding the right person I was given survey forms and booklets on yaws disease to pass on to heath workers en route.

Peter returned and took us to the wholesale grocery store to stock up and after returning to the boat to unload, we then went to the retail supermarket for other things that we needed in smaller quantities.

Just before dark Denis and Dave refueled the dinghy and we took it for a spin. We noticed movement on the deck of a charter boat out in the bay and headed over to see if they were the people we had meet a few days ago. A big wave from those on board told us this was the right boat and we spent a while chatting before heading back in the last light of the day.

Tomorrow the rest of the team arrives. Most of the team arrives around 3:15pm but one of our number doesn’t arrive till 10:30pm so we are looking at a departure at midnight Friday and a ate arrival at Akamb Island on Saturday



Smooth seas, fair breeze and a day of shopping



To read older Ships Log posts go to …



To see additional photos of Mission 1 go to …