Monday 21 August 2017
Hello friends of Chimere,
We reported last night that we were off to bed with dreams of better weather in the morning. Sadly, good weather turned out to be just that, a dream, as we awoke to a fresh south westerly that made things very uncomfortable for us. Undeterred, we loaded the boat with supplies at 06.30 and headed to the beach only to find ourselves in a small surf. We managed to get the equipment ashore however it was obvious we could not continue ferrying equipment in these conditions. Various options for alternate landings were check, to no avail. It turns out that there is no safe anchorage on the western side of Penecost when the weather is coming anywhere from the west. This usually isn’t a problem as we are told that the weather very rarely comes from the west, just when Chimere needs to support a clinic at Pangi. All was not lost however as the weather was true to the forecast and by 1400 we were able to deliver enough equipment to allow the clinic to start work. We achieved this considerable feat with the aid of 6 or 7 strong young ni Vanuatu men who simply grabbed the 150kg cargo bag out of the boat and carried it up the beach.
We now have a ESE breeze and the sea has abated to a pleasant little roll. As we prepare our dinner of steak and salad we were informed that 9 surveys have been completed – just 41 to go tomorrow. Ray has volunteered to work at the clinic tomorrow as the recorder. He is also gathering water samples from the village for analysis in addition to his new role as mission photographer. Standby to witness his photographic prowess. Thankfully Deb is on the mend and was able to attend this afternoon’s clinic. She is feeling so well that she has volunteered to be the cook tonight, and as I write this there are smells emanating from the galley that speak to her cooking prowess.
Having just finished Deb’s superb steak dinner, I realise that everyone in the crew have worked above and beyond the call of duty. Grant has grown into a very competent small boat coxswain and coupled with his ever-cheerful forward hand, Jon, wouldn’t look out of place on the set of on Bay Watch. Ray and Mark managed the lifting and winching of boats and heavy equipment on a heaving deck without a word of protest. Could this be the fruits of the volcano team building exercise?
We are a complete team now as the rest of Australians arrived by truck from Lonore airport and Jay, the ni Vanuatu optometrist, all arrived today. We only met briefly on the beach but the offer of sleeping on a rocking boat was politely refused, in favour of a bungalow ashore.
That’s all for tonight. Thank you for your continuing support. Stay safe and all the best.