Posted by: catamarantwooceans | September 12, 2011

Sailing again

Pictures now inserted in the previous post.

8.9.11 – Thursday – I went to immigration for whatever procedure regarding crew they wanted us to follow. One of the problems was that when the guys flew in they were asked how long they were going to stay and both said a week. They then got visas for just that period, not enough for our sailing plan. We wanted an extension to the normal 30 days that every tourist gets.The immigration officer was away at the harbor, welcoming a cruise ship. A very severe woman clerk frightened us with all sort of Bonds and fines that we would have to pay. “Come back at ten thirty with outbound tickets for the crew”.

Vanuatu has a strict policy requiring every incoming passanger to have a return ticket and they check it from time to time. I’m sure that the fact that everybody who plans to leave on a yacht eventually cancels that ticket must be known to them but still they keep demanding it. At 1030 I was greeted by a pleasant, resonable immigration officer, who listened patiently and gave my vrew the required extension with neither fuss nor payment.

At 1145 we went out of Yachting World marina, destination Havanna bay. It was good to be sailing again! We arrived at the Sema anchorage at 1630. Last time I’ve been here we were in splendid solitude, now there were three more yachts, one of them the impressive Catana called “Nouvelle Vie”.

9.9.11 – Friday – Out of the anchorage early morning right on the heels of “Nouvelle Vie”. No wind to speak of so we motor sailed along, passing the Catana, who persisted using sail only. The moment the wind came we could see them romping along and it didn’t take long for this fast boat to show us her rear end.

Nouvelle Vie

Reaching our destination – Emae – we again found ourselves in the company of four other boats.

10.9.11 – Saturday – Having lost a day to the windlass problem, we decided to get back to our schedule bypassing lamen bay, going straight to Awei in the Maskeline islands near Malakula, 47 miles away. To acheive that we set out at 0540, putting the fishing gear in the water with a strong desire to catch our dinner. A fish was caught and gave a fierce fight for quite a few minutes until what I thought to be fatigue lessened his resistance. When he was about 30 meters from the boat I understood that what I’m reeling in is only a small part of the original creature and that some other predator snatched our trophy. This is what we took out, a big, bloody head!

Bloody head (Israel P.)

Getting close to the Maskelines another one was on. This time the line went all the way to the end of the spool and then snapped. I need to buy heavier line and bigger reel!

We entered the island group via the south western passage.

Maskeline entrance

We circled Awei island to the anchorage, anchoring in the company of three monohulls. We took the dinghy ashore, a first visit in a Vanuatu village for Zvi and Israel. Chief Suffren, who was on the beach near the anchorage, having a picnic, allowed us to walk to the village. Once there we were greeted by the children who were delighted to see the pictures Israel took. It is always interesting to see the island people living with no electricity or running water not to mention other modern amenities that we cannot do without and still appear happy and content.

Toy in Awei

11.9.11 – Sunday – Going out early we were hit by heavy rain lasting about half an hour. No wind, though, so we had to motor all the way to Port Stanly, our destination. Near Crab bay I noticed a yacht hard aground, the sea was so calm that it was clear that this did not happen very recently, but still we called them on the V.H.F (“Yacht aground, this is “Two Oceans”) got no reply and continued on our way. It’s so sad to see somebody’s dream shattered this way!

Aground

We motored into Port Stanly, around Uri island, to anchor near the village on the southeastern side, not without difficulty, as the bottom went up quickly and we found ourselves in depth of 1.3 meters. Local people with their dugout canoes came by and directed us to a better location. They stayed to chat and we presented them with some stuff for the village kids – crayons, pencils and copybooks. Tomorrow – Espiritu Santo and Luganville.

12.9.11 – Monday – The forecast was for easterly wind of 10 knots but in reality it was less. We motored for three hours and then sailed at 3 – 4 knots to reach Espiritu Santo around 3 pm. In the beginning we anchored on the town side of Segondo channel, but the place seemed completely unprotected and the shore far from pretty. The Aore side of the channel seemed much nicer so we upped anchor and motored there. There were no free moorings near the Aore resort but we spotted some a little bit to the east and tied to one. We went ashore to find the owner, pay and glean some information about the town, about getting fuel and water, etc. We met Sandy, the caretaker for Dr. Alan, the Australian owner of the moorings as well as a beautiful estate with a few houses and a very well kept garden. Sandy gave us a good deal on the mooring, took our laundry and garbage and said he will arrange our transfer by motorboat to town.
We did happy hour and dinner at the resort, finally having fish after our dismal performance in catching them ourselves.

Pictures of Aore – later!

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