Monday 12 July 2010 (Pangi Village, Homo Bay, Pentecost 15 57.20 S, 168 11.50 E)

After finally getting last night’s Ship’s Log away at 2:00am it was up again at 4:00am this morning to depart Asanvari in enough time to make it the 40 miles or so down the coast of Pentecost.  It was here at the village of Pangi that we would be meeting the next team of medical volunteers.  After successfully raising the anchor and clearing the bay it was off south with Gerhard and Mike on the first watch.

Progress was good, although there was still a need to throw in a few tacks with the wind remaining on the nose like yesterday.

The medical team had flow into Pt Vila yesterday and after an overnight stopover made the early morning hop up to the small grass air strip near here at the southern end of the island. We arrived around 12:30pm and whilst we had the position of our intended anchorage maked on the chart, it was a welcome sight to see Graeme Duke in his blue MSM shirt standing on the beach waving his arm to indicate we should anchor further down the beach

Others in the medical team included Donald Beaunont, Leo & Shirley Morrissy, Helen (from the eyecare clinic in Pt Vila) Mary Tabi (Govt Health Worker) plus Robyn, Bob and Gibson off Chimere.

Once anchored we went ashore to obtain instructions, drop off Robyn, Bob and Gibson, and sound out the interest in making mud bricks.

Unfortunately communication issues meant that the local village was not aware of our arrival, so this afternoon was a relaxed one.  The clinic tomorrow is expected to be busy.

We all had dinner ashore tonight, which was a lot of fun.

The current crew of me, Gerhard, Lanie, Matt and Mike returned to the boat about an hour ago and sleep is overtaking all of us

Prior to departure, Dr Robyn wrote a few parting words (below)

Smooth seas, fair breeze and sleepy…

Rob Latimer

Parting words from ships’s doctor Robyn:

“Half an hour and you will be off the boat and part of the onshore teams – write something !!”
OK, so this last week has been amazing from the scenery perspective. As the Dr, I should leave others to describe that aspect of the trip.
We saw 40 patients on Mere Lava, in Tasmat village. Reaching this village involved a long vertical climb. From shore looking up, you would not know there was a village there at all.
We saw mostly eyes, but BP and sugars were done on all except the very young.
There was quite a bit of hypertension detected.
Diabetes was limited to the elderly at this location.
Obesity is NOT an issue here as years of climbing up and down the side of this island guarantees fitness and osteoarthritis of the knees by middle age!!
Lots of ulcers were looked at – we did what we could with these.
Bob performed some dental magic, whilst Gibson did a similar thing with eyes and glasses.
Caught up with Linda from last year – unfortunately, she lost her baby soon after delivery in Santo, but looks well and happy now.
We have called into other villages on other islands and there have been a few informal consults on the way. A lot of mud brick lessons and moulds have been dispatched  – hope this idea catches on.
Penetecost looms. I will miss the boat as I am now about to become land based.