Welcome to Vanuatu

Thursday 6 August 2009, 6:09 AM (Pt Vila Waterfront Marina, Yachting World)

After a wonderfully still night in Havannah Harbour, it was away again early, with the wind still on the nose, but bearable, as we made the final hop into Pt Vila.  We arrived at 10:00am, made a smooth landing into a sea-wall marina berth and stepped ashore – kind of wobbly in the legs.  First stop, Jill’s Cafe in the main street, where Terrance, Mike, Andrew and I indulged ourselves in a big (combined) breakfast/lunch.

The weather is still overcast and through occasional showers we cleaned up the boat and made preparations for the arrival of all the Australian guests on the evening flight.

Fast forward to this evening … when an excited throng of holiday-makers made their way through customs, past the colourful string band and onto the waiting bus.  But not before hugs and kisses all round from the arrival committee, comprising principally, Andrew, Mike, me and our ever-helpful friend Richard Tatwin

In all there were 16 people who took up the holiday package, including (my darling wife) Linda, Andrew’s wife, Nila and daughter Heather (their other daughter, Elizabeth, will arrive tonight for a brief stay) Mike’s wife Robyn, my sisters, Rae-Ellen and Lorraine, Rae-Ellen’s husband Paul and their son Lachlan, friends from North Ringwood Uniting Church, Barry and Anne Newman and Dorothy Pooley, Andrew’s neighbour from NSW, Jenny Wiseman, parents of recent crew member Chris, Sue and Frank Martinu, and friend of Andrew and Nila’s, Kim Warby, who is also a dentist and who intends to investigate ways to build up a dental programme here in Vanuatu.

After checking in at the Melanesian, folks were kind of hungry and so it was a short walk down to the Thai restaurant (and pizza place) next door.  As the hours and minutes ticked by, plans and up-coming island tours discussed, food and drink consumed, the effects of a day’s travel began to kick in and everyone’s lights began to fade.  One by one sleepy heads staggered off to bed, with two important thoughts filed away within easy reach … “breakfast at 8:00am” and “half day tour starting at 9:15am”.  Let’s hope all the alarms work.

Meanwhile Chimere bob’s up and down with the tide at the seawall and we hope and pray for some fine weather – after all, it’s snorkelling at Hideaway Island on the agenda for tomorrow and if the rain doesn’t hold off, everyone’s going to get wet.

Smooth sea, fair breeze and welcome to Vanuatu


7 thoughts on “Welcome to Vanuatu”

  1. You guys have deserved a good rest.
    16 birthday guests! Rob you must be popular?
    My tastebuds can still recall Jill’s Cafe and that magnificent double-flavour, double ice-cream, double-malt caramel milkshake after returning from the Banks/Torres tour last week. Ah, the serenity.

  2. Happy Birthday Rob!
    From all of us back at the office,
    Cheri, Mon, Alana, Gray and Cam.
    Looks like you’ve got quite a big birthday bash ahead of you. We hope everyone has a wonderful time!
    Just remember – the more candles, the bigger the wish!

    Smooth seas, fair breeze and HAPPY BIRTHDAY from all of us back in Oz.

  4. All sounds like I’d really love to be there with you all. Justin is away next weekend to join the crew, & I’d love to be doing the same!
    Have a wonderful Birthday party (have a couple of Tuskers for me).

  5. Thank you Graeme. Whilst I love the serenity, you can certainly improve on it with a double-flavour, double ice-cream, double-malt caramel milkshake. We should get “Jill” to add a few pages to the Chimere Cook Book.

    take care Graeme and love to Sue & Co


  6. Thank you so much for the best wishes and all your hard work back there in Melbourne. Alana, you’ll be pleased to know that the Captain’s cap you gave me has been getting a bit of use. Mostly we have used it on Ni-vans who’ve come aboard and we take a photo of them behind the wheel, which has been a big hit. I’m building up a dossier of “Chief’s” photos. Although I do sometimes wear the Captains cap myself. It feels a bit pretentious, but in some places it’s been very useful. Not that my (sometimes) scruffy appearance needs to be counteracted by a “packaging label”!?.

    Look forward to seeing you soon


  7. Hi Bob,

    great to hear from you. Just got an email from Justin-son-of-Bob, and he’s counting the sleeps till he arrives. I’ll see what I can do in the Tusker department. Mike made a discovery of draught Tusker the other night, I didn’t find any research on the matter in the Log from when you were in charge, but Mike maintains it’s a better taste than the bottles. Given we are a little way off installing a Tusker tap in the galley, we may have to make do with the bottles in the fridge for the time being.

    Thanks for the best wishes Bob, and love to Bev.



    PS Met a guy here in Pt Vila, David Ellis. Claimed he knew you Bob. He became cagey when pressed for details …? He sounds like one of your old sailing buddies. Any secrets I can spring on David that will raise an eyebrow?

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