Cruising on Destiny

02 January 2014 | Bantry Bay
31 December 2013 | Careening Cove, Sydney
18 December 2012 | Sydney
18 September 2012 | Coffs Harbour
14 September 2012 | Rivergate Marina, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
12 September 2012 | Coral Sea
10 September 2012 | Coral Sea
31 August 2012 | Noumea
26 August 2012
22 August 2012 | Port Moselle
19 August 2012 | Port Moselle
17 August 2012 | West Coast, New Caledonia
12 August 2012 | Anse Vata
10 August 2012 | Port Moselle, Noumea, NC
10 August 2012 | Port Moselle
30 July 2012 | The seawall, Vila Harbour
25 July 2012 | Back in Port Vila
17 July 2012 | Port Vila
08 July 2012 | Ashore with Sea Fever
24 June 2012

Resting and socialising in Port Vila

30 July 2012 | The seawall, Vila Harbour
We have just about done what we are going to do outside the metropolis, and we are enjoying ourselves here on the seawall and around Vila. Last weekend we had an invitation to lunch with Aloi Pilioko at his home, and we had a lovely afternoon. Shane Freeman, just retired as head of ANZ Bank for Vanuatu and South Pacific, loaned us his 4WD and we drove out to Pango to Aloi's place. We found we were also to meet Georges Liotard and Marie. Georges was a resident of New Hebrides, as it was called then, when as a young French photographer he recorded Kastom rituals and daily life in Malekula, Santo, Tanna and Pentecost. He also set up the first tourist agency here in Port Vila. Georges' work has been collected and formed into a display at the Museum and Cultural Centre. One of his friends from that time, now an old man also, Chief Delkon, was also at lunch and it was nice to see them reliving older and simpler times. Georges is not going to go to the islands as, he says, he doesn't want to sadden himself by seeing the social and cultural changes that have occurred since that more naive and sunnier time. Aloi put on a great meal, and despite the halting knowledge we had of each others' languages, we got on really well with Georges and Marie. We had brought along a bottle of French wine and they came with a bottle of South Australian Shiraz!
Yesterday was Independence Day (30 July). The principal celebrations were at Independence Park above the town, and there we set up on a pandanus mat with Ed and Ellen from "Entr'Acte" and saw military parades, band music, trooping the colour, flag raising and a long but interesting speech from the President. He spoke of the past 32 years and his vision for the future. Prominent on the dais were the diplomatic personnel from mainland China, and French troops took part in the parade. Absent were Australian troops, the Australian Federal Police (recently expelled on 12 hours' notice from Vanuatu following a diplomatic snafu at Brisbane Airport which our people could have done differently) and also absent was any significant mention of Australia in the speech. As mentioned previously, the Chinese are making great political and economic inroads here and we need to restore ourselves to the position of first friends of the Vanuatu Government. After the speech the President was driven back to his Residence in a government car - Chinese-made.
Today Shane on "Monja" left for home in Australia via the Banks and Torres Islands in North Vanuatu.
Vessel Name: Destiny V
Vessel Make/Model: 45' round chine steel cruising cutter - a Joe Adams design and a very sea-kindly crew-friendly vessel
Hailing Port: Sydney, Australia
Crew: John and Shauna
People ask us: "Are you semi-retired?". Well no, we're semi-working. We love cruising, but the problem is we also quite like what we do in our civilian lives. So, for the last few years, we have been cruising over the southern Winter and Spring. [...]
Our last severalyears of cruising have been spent exploring New Caledonia and the beautiful islands of Vanuatu, an entrancing country with wonderful, uncomplicated, happy and generous people. This winter we are at home doing some upgrades - navigation, rigid cockpit cover, watermaker and sundry [...]

Destiny's Crew

Who: John and Shauna
Port: Sydney, Australia
Sunshine on blue water, twelve knots on the beam.... The trades are blowing gently and we're sailing like a dream..... Sipping from the cup of life and getting mostly cream....
"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" - Ratty to Mole in "Wind in the Willows"