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Still in Vanuatu but ready to move on…

September 6, 2017

We have now been two weeks in and around Port Vila, Capital of Vanuatu. From a planning point of view we aimed to be here a couple of days and then spend a week exploring the fascinating Islands making up the Vanuatu Archipelago. Last update alluded to some problems with rigging and steering. Fingers crossed, thanks to DHL and 4 hours spent climbing our 21 meter mast we now hope to be fit for sailing. The Autopilot failure was caused by the new bracket mounts interfering with the drive unit at the extreme endpoints. Excessive force burnt the clutch which we had to get shipped from nearest dealer in Auckland, NZ. The rig problems were both a broken spliced wire halyard which we replaced with dynema rope and back stay wires chewing on the top spreaders. As we checked through all shrouds we got rid of the protective alu covers as these makes it difficult to spot potential problems with turnbuckles and shroud. Reason for writing of this not very complex but time consuming work is to share the fact that excessive amounts of sailing does wear the boat, and the blue water sailing is not only about fantastic exploring of remote beaches, nature and sundowners.

If we leave the time spent on work, the parts of Vanuatu we have seen so far have been very rewarding. The Melanesian people are extremely friendly. The colonial history means most people speak good English. The Port Vila anchorage is labeled as one of the most beautiful anchorages in the world (by Noonsite). We would not fully agree with that statement but the water is relatively clear, the bay is super protected 360 degrees and the town offers most of what a cruiser needs. Speaking about protection. Vanuatu was hit by Tropical Cyclone Pam two years ago with more than 90 percent of the infrastructure including buildings damaged. Evidence of the damage is still visible with many ship wrecks in the bay. After two years many internationally funded projects have been completed.

Spending time at a place that is a natural gateway for cruisers also means opprtunities to meet and greet. Besides the majority being nice Aussies (like SY Lickity Split with Jo and Drew) and many Kiwis we have also met several Swedish sailors, SY Randivåg with Lisa and Sven (also a JRSK member), SY Frideborg with Monika and Stig and SY Lycka with Dieter and Sibylle (germans speaking swedish).

We are now planning to slowly sail north through the archipelago. The tourist slogan labels the country as the hidden paradise of south pacific. We are keen to explore more of that before clearing out for the next long leg to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

From → Sailing Notes

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