27 June 2012 | Vureas Bay, Vanua Lava
27 June 2012
Has it yet been mentioned that Vanuatu is wet? If it weren't for that river spring and occasionally the ocean, would have forgotten what blue looks like. Do, however, have a real good handle on grey and green. Arrived at Gaua (Santa Maria) Island in the Banks & Torres (don't know why lumped together as they're distinctly separate groups) after a rambunctious eight and a half hour sail from Santo. Tomorrow expect to enjoy a similar if shorter passage to Sola on Vanua Lava for clearance following day on to Solomon Islands. It's suppose to be drier, but warmer (this is one of those 'no free lunch' things, but at this point ready to trade).
Chief Richard (about half the senior, male population seem to be chiefs) paddled by to say hi, have us sign his book and ask for fish hooks and rope. That was all the excitement we could handle. Had dinner, took a shower and went to sleep in preparation for yet another unconscionably early departure.
28 June 2012
Initially motored north in the lee of Gaua with no wind or sea. Comfortable ride, but not altogether a good thing. Diesel will be scarce until Honiara, some considerable time from now, so need to sail auxiliaryless (not a real word) predominantly. However, since there has been no sun and, except for yesterday, no wind, water tanks and batteries are low. It's a conundrum. Once past north end fortunately there was a reprise of yesterday, plus the always entertaining squalls and rain, to help.
Due blustery east winds causing a restive anchorage off Sola, much of ICA fleet has settled in Vureas Bay west side. Except for rain, an odd williwaw, more rain and ummm... more rain this is a little bit of heaven. Local guy in his dugout canoe said weather is usually dry and bay had no man-eating sharks (a problem at various places in Vanuatu). Right. Friday through Sunday are promised to be sunny. Right.
Government officialdom will grace us tomorrow morning by boating around (for suitable reimbursement, about 3 hours return, no roads) from the big village. Thus will we formally end our visit to Vanuatu and allow the swarming horde to proceed, however belatedly or recklessly, toward Santa Cruz of The Solomon's (a short double overnight) where we clear in on 15 July... don't ask, don't tell.
"Isn't it interesting that the people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?" - Kelvin Throop III