Thu 30 July, 7:27 PM (En route to Luganville, Santo)

Loh Island clinic, conducted yesterday, was the last for the current team and the last for this “season” of work.  The first was way back in May, when fresh from our sail across the Tasman we met the first team on the island of Tanna, about 800km south of here.

With the medical team flying out of Loh tomorrow, our work in providing medical transport has come to an end.  Our sights are now set on returning to Port Vila and from there to Sydney – hopefully by the end of August or the first week of September.

At the moment we are a bit over half way down the west coast of the island of Espiritu Santo, having set off from Loh just on 24 hours ago.  We’ve so far done around 125 miles and by morning should be heading up the Segond Channel on approach to Luganville.  It is here that Chris and Jo will leave us and where my brother and joint owner of Chimere, Andrew, will join Terrence, Mike and I for the sail south to Pt Vila.

We plan to be in Pt Vila for 6 August, where we will once again take a berth at the Waterfront.  It is here that we will meet up with family and friends who’ve taken up the 7 day Pt Vila holiday package.  (There’s also something about a 50th birthday on the 9th, but planning hasn’t extended that far – yet)

In Luganville (also known as Santo) we need to do a few repair jobs, in particular the switch to the anchor winch.  We’re also down to our last few drums of water, so any thoughts of washing will need to remain just thoughts for at least another 12 hours.

The weather of the last 24 hours has been “brisk”, “calm”, “lumpy” and many other words beside.  Basically it’s a case of us heading south, while the prevailing wind is heading kind of north.

In closing for tonight, I’d really like to thank the crews who have sailed Chimere over the past 3 months, including Graeme who will fly out of Loh with the medical team tomorrow and Bob, who took charge so wonderfully in June while I spent time at home in Melbourne.  Details of the crew can be found on the website.  Also a special thank you to Simon, the German backpacker we took aboard in Santo.  Simon left us in Sola (Vanualava) and was inducted as an MSM team member, complete with shirt, which he managed to dirty in quick time just like the rest of us.  All the best for the future Simon.

Well done to the medical volunteers and the local Ni-van team, led by Richard Tatwin.  You do a wonderful job, sometimes under extremely testing conditions. To Don and Meg Macraild, for your energy and driving force, again well done.

To those who’ve been following the website, a big thank you.  We will continue to post the Ship’s Log, right up until we enter  Sydney Harbour.  To the supportive families behind the work being carried out, in particular my darling wife Linda and two boys, Matt and James – thank you and lots of love.

To those at Nth Ringwood Uniting Church – thank you for your continued support and to Liz, who’s taken on the task of webmaster while Mike’s onboard – thank you for the job you’re doing.

Look out for the new photos which should be going up on the web in the next few days.

In reading through the above, it sounds like the circus tent has been pulled down and everyone’s leaving town, that’s not the case, but the vital stage of providing medical transport is at an end, and we enter the final stage of the return voyage; which we trust and pray will be as routine as the voyage over here in early May.

Smooth sea, fair breeze and well done to all

Rob