Still tied to the seawall

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Pt Vila, Vanuatu Sunday 30 May 2010

It was a lazy warm Sunday with very little happening today in Pt Vila.  But we were all up early this morning with a few jobs attended to before the quiet and slow pace of the day took over.

Bob had his regular afternoon nap, this time up on deck in the shade of the awning and Bill and I swam across to Iririki Island and walked around the island while also swimming in one of their lovely pools and listening to their string band.

Now that we are tied up to the seawall in down town Pt Vila I actually have access to the internet and web, so I have been attending to emails, chasing up products and information and also having a look at the MSM website.  It’s great to see all the comments and photos and really encouraging to know that so many people are following the activities.

Some people have been asking about the earthquake the other morning and if it wasn’t for Iain and Ann Miller telling us that they were woken up by shaking, rattling and moving furniture then we would have had no idea.  There seemed no damage here in Vila and no one seemed to talk about it, but I did see an article in the local paper about it.  So I’m sorry not to be the bringer of scary, dramatic news of mayhem and destruction, but life progresses here as normal.

I wandered off to church up the hill around 10:00am, but in my absence there was some excitement here at the waterfront.  A fellow yachtie who has a 50 foot boat anchored out in the harbour here was chatting with Bill on the dock about all the usual things – the weather, clubs, work, activities etc etc.  And as Reece pointed out his boat amongst the others nicely bobbing at their moorings, it was observed in rather colourful language I am told … “my @#^* boat is sailing away … by itself!!!”

It was then all hands to the pump as Bill, Reece and neighbour Noah jumped into the nearest dinghy with an outboard … which happened to be Noah’s little inflateable, and raced off in the direction of the runaway craft.  It was a very close shave, but they scrambled aboard and as the motor was started Bill and Noah handled the mooring lines to quickly reattach it.  The cause of the near disaster was a $10 shackle which had come apart on the mooring line thereby allowing it to slip its lines.  It certainly was Reece’s lucky day!!

We’ve been invited to the weekly meeting of a group which Reece I think called the “Hash Harriers”.  They meet on Monday nights and I suspect the running part of the club might be optional, either that or Reece’s portly frame is not responding to the exercise.  Although in promoting the virtues of the club, the social networking and cheap food I think I heard Reece describe it as … “a drinking club for people with a running problem”, or it could have been a running club for people with a drinking problem, I’m not sure.

Either way, our invitation might suggest we’ve been tied up at this seawall too long and run the risk of being absorbed into everyday Pt Vila life.

After chasing up parts and service at just about every machine, engineering and marine outlet in town over the past 5 days I must confess I’ve met a lot of people and learned a lot about this town.

Our new crew arrives in just 3 sleeps, so there’s no time to get comfortable.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and still tied to the seawall

Robert Latimer

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