‘Twas the night before mission and all through the boat.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

The air is still.  It’s 9pm and after 32 degrees and 85% humidity during the day it’s now down to around 27 degrees.  Positively cool by comparison.

The predictable beat and dulcet tones of a local one-man-band can be heard from the nearby Bar & Grill and the lights from the Iririki resort a short distance across the bay are reflected in the still water

It’s truly a glorious evening if not a bit too humid still

This time tomorrow, however, it will be a very different story with the plan being to head out to sea around 1:00pm, making our way through the afternoon, night and following morning to our first anchorage – Port Resolution on the island of Tanna.

It’s there on Tanna that 6 more medical folk will fly in to join us as we finally begin the medical missions in which so many have invested so much time and effort for so long

Aboard the good ship Chimere I am pleased to report that everything is ship-shape and Bristol fashion in readiness for the arrival of the three local health care workers, Bob, Morinda and Dick, plus Aussie health professional Debra who has lived here long enough to almost be considered a local.

Up at the usual 6:00am, the day really began with a dental talk and presentation up at the PCV clinic around 8:30am from Dr Barry Stewart, the (retired) dentist from North Ringwood Uniting Church who has largely designed the National Oral Health Survey and is now overseeing its implementation.

Last minute mission planning, as usual, involves the writing of lists and today this included:

– Change more Aussie dollars to Vatu
– Fitting a new turnbuckle to staysail in order to increase the tension
– Visit immigration to extend visa beyond 30 days
– Fill up water tanks
– Mark the anchor chain every 10 metres
– Load mission medical, dental and optical equipment and supplies aboard
– Lift the large dinghy onto the deck
– pay berthing fees for past 16 days at the Waterfront
– Obtain a supply of Vatu to pay for the medical teams land-based accommodation, food and transport costs
Then there was the 35kg brass bell, plus 100kg of potting clay from Melbourne master potter, Alistair Whyte, to be delivered to South West Bay.  We had intended to make a deviation to a later mission in order to make the special delivery but our neighbour here at the Seawall has kindly offered to make the delivery for us.  You can track Norwegian Helge Witzo’s progress aboard his yacht Morild and even on Facebook.

Thank you Captain Helge !!
Tomorrow will be a holiday to mark the recent death of the president and from what we understand there will be a very large procession that will pass by where we are berthed here st the Waterfront.  It should all occur before we finally untie the lines and slip away.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and all quiet aboard

Rob Latimer

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