"Three Loading" on GHOST - final days in Vanuatu
25 October 2010 | Santo, Vanuatu
So after my first night in Vanuatu spent in the deserted airport in Port Villa fearing for my life, it was a bit of a step up when the following night I found myself sleeping on the private yacht of Kat and Brad McMaster, Ghost. Little did I know that by joining up with long lost friend Rachelle and her boyfriend Brian, I would become the next Pirate of the Pacific, free loading bed space around Vanuatu! So with this we became the 'Three Loaders'!
We happily hijacked these poor people and their hospitality, then two more Yacht folk Mike and Sammy unaware of who they were dealing with joined the fleet. And in the Bay of Oyster Island good times were spent, navigating the shallow waters up to the Blue hole, fearlessly throwing ourselves from tree roots into the mysteriously beautiful blue waters. Entertaining the resort dwellers with our amazing Wake boarding skills and free loading dives from the resort dive master to the isle of Marvea. A few nights were spent back on the mainland to satisfy Brian and Rachelle's need for the local delight Kava Root. A strange phenomena where people of all ages and backgrounds sit together in the dark, in a euphoric state, chatting to the sounds of people hacking and spitting in the background. We would always return to Ghost for nights filled with much Rum, Sangria and card games.
Soon the time came to leave this paradise and venture to new waters. After having witnessed a fellow seaman suffer disastrous consequences as a result of extreme tide change, we set off early morning rather apprehensively to tackle the treacherous passage [out of Oyster Bay]. Time was of the essence, and when the moment was right a mad rush took place as every yacht in the bay it seemed, had decided to leave that same morning! With partner vessel Quartermoon up ahead we set sail, Kat at the helm, Brad in the dingy and experienced sea dog Bru Bri on lookout at the bow, with his vast knowledge and experience of nautical terms we were sure to be ok. We motored amongst the coral bommies in zero depth and with Bru Bri's directions from port to the other port, the right port, somehow we made it through! So once into safe conditions, less experienced but still very capable, I took over the helm and brought us to the turquoise waters of Aore.
It was here that the Three Loaders sadly disembarked Ghost letting our captures free in order to move onto our next victim, Rehan, at Aquamarine dive shop. They did however accompany us to the mainland for dives on the well-known shipwreck President Coolidge where Brad claimed the bubbles were talking to him at 69m and we entertained ourselves on deco stops by trying to swallow tornadoes [rubber bomb toys]. This was followed by hearty lunches in the local cafes where Brad and Kat discovered they had really missed fries. Our yacht friends also couldn't resist accompanying us to the local Nakamals for kava.
When the sad time came for Ghost and Quartermoon to embark on the big crossing to New Caledonia, a farewell party took place in Aquamarine. Owner Rehan didn't seem to mind his dive shop being hijacked for a party as he was already smashed. Copious amounts of food and alcohol were consumed, no one realized how much fun could be had with a plunger until this particular evening, and the girls seemed to find many other useful props to pose with! All rather intoxicated, having removed most of their clothes and donned rain jackets, Brad, Kat, Sammy and Mike left in their dinghies that dark rainy night and the Three Loaders were then left to fend for themselves...!