Sunday 28 July 2013


Port Vila


by Andrew Latimer


The day started at about 4:15 this morning. The alarm went off to tell our departing crew it was time to get up. Looking outside we could see the Taxi driver already waiting. Denis had left breakfast things out for the early risers and a cup of tea was brewed up. The taxi driver was offered tea but he smiled and said “it OK, I just relax”. Progressively bags were passed through the cabin, up to the cockpit, along the gang plank and into the waiting taxi van. I took some photos, waved good bye and returned to the cabin. Dave and Denis were asleep and suddenly I felt a silence descend on the ship. We were on our own. Would we remember all the hastily given reminders and instructions? Time would tell but for now it was back to sleep for a few hours.

By the time I woke again, Denis and Dave were up and about. We had promised ourselves a big breakfast so we wandered down to the supermarket. They had bread on this visit but no eggs. And bacon? That query generated a blank look and “What is that you want?”

Back on the yacht Denis cooked up a lovely breakfast of sausages, and eggs (what was left in stores) and toast.

The staff at the supermarket suggested we visit the Number 2 store which we did after fortifying with breakfast. The Number 2 store was better stocked and we got everything needed. However, we lost Dave and regretfully headed home without him. On the way back we found him unwittingly caught up in a pre Independence Day rally. The object of the rally seemed to be to remember the slave trade. We couldn’t understand the speeches made from the back of a ute in the middle of the crowd over a megaphone but we could hear “…..the people of Tanna….” (Repeatedly in angry voice) and many tee shirts had slogans. When the speech stopped the man asked the crowd to push the ute the rest of the way up the hill. It had stopped in that spot because it had run out of puff. Dave slipped out of the crowd at that point, back to his mates, who didn’t even admonish him for being a naughty boy.

Back on the boat it was time to be a bit productive so we scrubbed the deck and launched one of the dinghies and gave it a test run around the anchorage.

Denis tried out the bread recipe with great success. Dave got the sailmail working and Andrew started familiarizing with the radar and chart plotter.



In the middle of this activity we had a visit from representatives of the Children First Foundation who joined us for afternoon tea and a great chat about taking medical service to children in need.

It is evening now and the day is winding down.

Denis prepared a beautiful meal of spaghetti bolognaise, with a side dish of sauté veggies in garlic. We discovered Denis bread had been embellished with cheese; and very nice too. Dave serenaded the other workers on the newly found guitar. The Pacific Ocean, the gentle tropic breezes, the setting sun on the pink horizon and frangipani fragrance seems to have brought out the romantic side of Dave’s nature. We look forward to many more moments of delightful melodies. Dave is now in the galley cleaning up and all is well on board.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and all went quiet.


To read older Ships Log posts go to …


To see additional photos of Mission 1 go to …