Vanuatu Here We Come
01 October 2016 | 18 43'S:174 16'E, On Passage from Fiji to Vanuatu
Date & Time: October 2, 2016, 0711 Vanuatu time Position: 18 43S, 174 16E Course: 245M
Days at sea completed: 1
Distance sailed in the last 24 hours (nm): 186 Distance sailed total (nm): 186 Distance to go (nm): 275
Wind Speed & Direction (knots): ESE 10 Waves (ft): 3
As we prepared to leave Vuda Marina in Fiji, the staff assembled on the shore, whipped out a guitar, and began to sing a very moving Fijian farewell song to us. This lovely ending was the perfect good-bye to the most wonderful country that we have visited. Fantastic and varied cruising, great provisioning, and the most friendly people in the Pacific definitely puts Fiji at the top of our list. Our only regret is that we had just over a month in Fiji before the changing seasons pushed us on again. If we had another season in the Pacific, Fiji we would spend much more time in Fiji, like so many other cruisers do.
So, it was with heavy hearts that we sailed out of the pass and pointed Speakeasy towards the island nation of Vanuatu. We think that Vanuatu is going to be extremely interesting. It is not as developed as the other nations that we have visited so far with much of the population still living rurally and engaged in subsistence farming. We hope to visit one of these villages for a real cultural experience! There is also, of course, the very active Mt Yasur volcano on the island of Tanna which is a must visit. I've been up a live volcano with lots of lava in Guatemala, but this will be Dee's first visit to an extreme environment like this. The good news is that no tourists have been killed there this year, so far. Then, after a short visit, we will be looking for a weather window to head west again to New Caledonia, or directly to Australia.
We expect to arrive in Vanuatu in about two more days. We've completed the first day of the passage and made great time with 15-18 knots just behind the beam and only moderate seas. It was fast and very pleasant. This morning, the wind is quite light and the weather reports say that we can expect light winds for the rest of our passage. At 450 nautical miles total, just under 900 km, this is a relatively short passage. Even if we have to motor for some of the remaining trip we should arrive sometime on October 4th.