07 January 2009 | Vella Lavella
We took the day off in Vango harbor today. This is a fantastic anchorage. It is totally protected and very quiet. We slept wonderfully last night.
After a quick survey today I can say that a large part of the bay we are in is usable. If you bias yourself to the west side of the bay you can go most of the way back with plenty of water. It gets skinny on the east side and there are some shoals that come fairly far out but there's plenty of water for 5-10 boats. The locals report yachts as a rarity here. Too bad because it is a lovely spot.
On the down side there are some flies and mosquitos but no worse than many anchorages in the Solomons and better than some.
You definitely do not get pestered here and contrary top the Pacific Anchorages Book the people we met are all SDA and wonderfully friendly. We had a great chat with a family in a dugout canoe and after talking with them in the afternoon they came by in the evening and brought us load of fresh fruit and vegetables. They wanted nothing for it. We gave them some school supplies and candy for their little boy but they would have been happy just to help us. These are some of the most wonderful people in the Solomons.
We used much the day to collect weather info and rethink our routes post monsoon winds. The whole world changes when the monsoon arrives. Things go from light from the NE to East, to moderate from the NW with thunder storms every evening. Our present plan is to motor dead to weather along the coast, behind the reefs when possible, until we have a sailing angle to Kapingamarangi.
Eric from Whistler and At & Dia from Angelique II came by this afternoon for poker and dinner. We had a great time. Dia claimed she had never played poker before but had a strange familiarity with Las Vegas and proceeded to win the first 10 hands at significant cost to the rest of us.