6 pm Mon. 3 May Lenakel Bay, Tanna Island, Vanuatu.

Yes we are still here, but as suggested in the title, today we fare welled Nick, who is now on his way to Pt Vila to get a more normal taste of of being a tourist, before heading back home.

We met up with Robert and Scott, who, with Andy, Bob and myself, make up the 5 crew for the first mission. We also met the medical group we will be welcoming aboard tomorrow for the first trip down to Anatom, (or Aneityum if you are looking at a map). Tony, the dentist being apparently keen to be a part of the boating community is staying aboard this evening. After returning from his trip to the volcano he also sttled in. Meeting up with the group, as things do on Tanna, just happened. We were walking down the main drag when we were accosted by a ute load of people with Australian accents, followed by another ute load that contained, amongst others, a broadly smiling Robert with, you guest it, a video camera glued to his eye.

It’s great to get new crew into action. While we  were refilling some of our water supplies, Robert hit the deck running and had the entire deck all wrapped up, sorted out and ready to take the dingy and take of in the morning. Just a reminder of how things get done in Australia. Scott jumped into action to take on the ever challenging anchor winch and had that sorted in no time. Seems like we’re ready to go! Needless to say all 3, that is Robert, Tony and Scott would like to take this opportunity to announce to all at home that they have arrived safely. That is to say, as well as the normal flights, they have survived the “taxi” trip down from the airport, in the back of the ute, along some hard dusty roads. Good way to soften them up for the sail down tomorrow I suspect.

Tomorrow we hope for some smooth seas but expect we will be sailing into the wind with the motor running most of the way. This next phase will involve setting up the clinics on the islands, which is what we came to do. I personally am looking forward to becoming involved in a local community. Being a tourist in Vanuatu is very easy. Just ask anyone for help and they are happy to do so to the best of their abilities. The locals love to say hello as you walk around. They are happy to talk about their culture, but we look forward to the next step.

Bill Vrijens