18 November 2008 | Vanuatu
We were up at 4AM this morning and had an easy out of Santo. Our new friends on Polaris were already up and we waved goodbye wishing them fun dives on the Coolidge and a safe passage.
Per the forcast we expected to motor most of the day, and we did. The wind was light but the direction was good, ENE. Unfortunately the swell was hard on the beam, it wasn't big but it was short and obnoxious when the wind was too light to hold the rig in place. We made 6 point something knots most of the morning with the port engine at 1,750 rpms.
It is Hideko's Birthday today!!! Happy Birthday Hideko!!!! Margaret gave Hideko a great massage (she's a licensed therapist) and Hideko immediately took a nap. We are making pasta (Hideko's request) and, of course, Japanese style Strawberry Shortcake for desert.
In the afternoon we hit a little squall that got the wind up into the low 20s, so we shut down the engine and took off at 9 plus knots. I didn't get too wet at the helm and the girls sat on the dry side of the boat (yes this is a measure of intelligence). The squall weakened as we progressed but held out enough all the way to Garua.
We pulled up into Lakona Bay on the west side and were pleasantly surprised to find a wonderful anchorage. The beach is black sand and so is the bottom. The locals tell us there are no rocks in the middle (perhaps some on the side though) and the bottom progresses slowly so you can ease in to whatever depth suits you.
We anchored in 30 feet a ways out to ensure no problems, an easy out in the dark of morning, and good breeze with no insects. The set was immediate and there's plenty of room for several boats. In trade conditions this is a great spot and I can imagine it being even flatter close in.
We were greeted by several kayaks as we settled in. Johnny was the group's spokesman and was very friendly giving us info on the anchorage and inviting us into the village for Kava in the custom house. They also offered to set us up with a water music show for 5,000 vt (about $45 USD). Water music is a thing local to the islands of north Vanuatu. The women perform this in the shallows by clapping and making noises underwater creating a musical performance. It sounds wonderful but sadly we are in late and need to be out early. We'll probably have birthday dinner and cake and hit the hay.