New skipper steps aboard

Sunday 16 July 2017

Anchored in Port Vila Harbour


It was a lazy start to the day, with Mark and I travel ashore by dinghy around 9:15 in order to make it up to the Presbyterian church service by 10

Around this time a flotilla of yachts began arriving as part of the ARC Round the world rally, or race, I’m not quite sure.

They certainly made the Seawall look crowded (which was the reason for us having to move away, and in a way I’m pleased to be anchored 200 metres away; still close enough for easy access, but far enough away to feel private. And I do enjoy not having to pay 2800 Vatu per day mooring fees. (Approx. $35/day)

The lady that owns the waterfront has allowed us to remain at no cost on the last three occasions, but following cyclone Pam, things have apparently been a bit tight, hence the fee

After a lazy lunch it was soon time to catch a bus out to the airport to meet new crew member … correction… new Skipper… Phil Wicks, who would be arriving from Melbourne via Sydney at 3:10pm.

Phil is a highly capable sailor and in conjunction with his wife has been a live-aboard boat owner in the past.
Phil will be supported by crew member Mark, plus two additional crew members Todd and Vic due in another three days

This coming week will be used to familiarize Phil and Mark, plus the new crew, with more of Chimere’s ways, before relocating the short distance north to Havannah Harbour on Friday. It is here they will be met by the full medical team who will go aboard late Friday for a sleepover to enable an early getaway Saturday morning, north to the island of Emae; signifying the official start of Mission 2

All the dental and most of the medical and optical supplies have already been loaded aboard, it’s now just a case of working through the final list – food, top-up, fuel, water, equipment check and a few sea-trials.

Along with evacuating my cabin – the skippers cabin – in favour of the new skipper, Phil, I was also on dinner duty; and no one opens a bottle of Pataks Chicken Butter sauce like me… sorry Antonio.

As proof that we are an high-class establishment we put chocolates and flowers on Phil’s pillow – as an arrival surprise. I’d found the half finished block of Aldi chocolate, the nice stuff with almonds, but I thought we only had one “flower”, self raising flour, but having done an audit of the Mission 2 supplies Mark was quick off the mark (excuse the pun) with … “you can’t just have one, it needs to be a bunch, there’s corn flour in the locker too”. Not sure Phil took it in first time – the array of foodstuffs on his pillow … must be the new surroundings, but as they say it’s the thought that counts.

It’s now 9:00pm, Phil is in bed after his big day traveling, Mark has just said goodnight and there is a very good chance I’ll be following their lead very soon.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and new skipper steps aboard

Rob Latimer

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