Thursday 19 September 2013

Beachfront anchorage, Luganville

With the medical team gone and our task now being to return Chimere to Pt Vila and from there to Australia (first Sydney, then Melbourne) it seems a bit strange to still be doing nightly Ships Logs.

Whilst essential to the overall mission, the return voyage seems to lack the interest and purpose of the daily operation of clinics and the activities of 11 people aboard a small boat of 53 feet; that’s less than 5 feet of boat each on average.

After the horrible, stormy end to the Loh-Santo leg, yesterday was very much a recovery day, but still it seemed, not enough sleep was had.

Today it was a sleep-in till around 7:30am and after the usual breakfast, battery charge (using the generator) and tidy up we were ready to head into town around 9:00.  On our list of tasks was to pay a visit to Brian and Jan Dodds off Another Angel (from Pacific Yacht Ministries) at anchor nearby, but then Cathy called out “Brian and Jan approaching in their dinghy – ready to board”

It was great to catch up again and to swap stories.  Brian started with, “I hear you installed the taps we sent up to Gaua” … someone had passed on the news and we now knew who the yachties were that had bought and sent the taps up months before; the story we’d heard when we were up there and which explained the presence of the taps.

“And you painted the clinic roof”, Brian continued.  That last bit wasn’t technically correct, we’d just organized for the rusted screws that hold the tin down to be wire brushed and painted – using the paint  bought by other boaties, Ken and Joy off Trinity Castle, which we were carrying north for the village of Dolap on the west coast of Dolap

We passed on thanks from the small island of Merig for their assistance in years past and we talked about our sailing plans in the immediate future.


We made it into town around 10:30 and managed to buy all the essential extra items we’d either run out of, or needed for new fish recipes we were keen to try on out 15kg catch from the other day.   I may have said it was 10kg, but it’s now been a few days and some on board were sure it weighed a bit more than 10kg?!

The weather forecast appears favourable and so in our bid to avoid tacking and taking the SE trade winds on head first, our plan is to zig zag our way home, stopping overnight at Lolowai (Ambae), Ranon ay (Ambrym) and Revelieu Bay (Epi)

So the plan is to be up by 4:30am and away at 5:00 to enable us to cover the 50 miles with plenty of time to explore.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and heading south in the morning

Rob Latimer