Passage completed - 1,285 nautical miles
07 June 2018 | Lata, Ndendo, Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands
After 10 days at sea we made landfall this morning at 10 am local time. For the last 5 hours the wind had turned to the NE and so we were forced again to motor. The last night at sea was black, rainy and squally but Monkey Fist soldiered on very nicely until we blew a seam in the genoa. There's a few hours work. We prefer to sail 100% of any passage but sadly on this occasion we motored 55 out of the 240 hours. Did I mention how HOT is is here!!! Phew, it's a bit of a shock to all of us but we are hoping that it was a particularly hot and still day, around 34 with very high humidity and no swimming here because there are crocodiles.
We completed entry formalities without any problems and, for any yacht considering entering here, there are representatives of all the required departments so basically anyone can do so. The people have been extremely friendly and also rather curious about what all the signs mean on the boat (i.e. Eyeglass Assist)and so after a very short period of time, the whole town knew of our project. Communication is interesting as not everybody speaks English, many preferring Pijin, however we found many people extremely well spoken and articulate. Just because someone lives in a small, remote village and lives a subsistence life style does not mean they are unintelligent or simple, in fact, often we have found it is the reverse. How many of us can speak 3 or 4 different languages? Mind you, a red mouth resulting from betelnut chewing is a little off-putting.
We were uncertain as to whether we would conduct a clinic here in Lata itself but after consultation with Eric, the vision trained nurse at the hospital, there is a great need for us to help out here so we have planned to return on the 4th July to fit and supply several hundred people in the local community with glasses (with the hospital staff's help). Our plan now is to take a couple of days for r & r (rest & repair) before heading out the Reef Islands.
On a different note, on the way into Ndendo we threw out a lure and very quickly caught a huge Yellow-Fin Tuna, at a guess around 28 kgs. We cut a couple of meals off it and donated the remainder to the hospital who were extremely grateful to receive the gift.