14 November 2008 | Epi Island
We were up before 5AM this morning and heading out of the harbor shortly thereafter. It was a grey morning with dense overcast and little wind. We had greatly enjoyed our stay in Port Vila but we need to move north for Cyclone season and we have 9 degrees to go.
We motored out of Port Vila and into the larger Mele Bay where we set sail. The sails weren't doing much but we set them anyway. There is a race marked on the charts at the north end of the entrance to Mele Bay but today is was quite calm.
Once out in the ocean the wind climbed up to 10 knots and we began to actually sail. We missed a few squalls in the area but they gave us lifts ranging from 15 to 20 knots. Are speed over ground ran anywhere from 4.5 knots to 9.2 knots. It was a nice sail but I always prefer settled weather.
We passed a couple of local transports traveling between Epi (we assume) and Port Vila. It was nice to see the panorama of islands to the north of Efate as we passed into the lee of Epi. Hat Island (which looks like a hat) was particularly remarkable.
As we came up onto Epi Margaret informed us that the underwater volcanoes were on the other side of the island (good news). Vanuatu sits on the Pacific Ring of fire and there are several active volcanoes in the chain.
A school of Spinner Dolphins came out to entertain us as we sailed north. This pack was particularly energetic, jumping and splashing as they went.
Our selected anchorage on Epi sat at the end of a pleasant 70 nm day. We can into the large bay of Revolieu carefully as there was little swell and lots of overcast which makes for a reef hiding formula if ever there was one. Every once in a while we would see a break to the south of us. The bottom comes up slowly and the holding was fantastic in 25 feet of what I presume must be sand.
We wrapped up the day marveling at the lovely island and exchanging animal calls with the playful kids on shore. No dinghy in the water here though, we will be at it again tomorrow, moving north to the volcanic island of Ambrym.