Day 60, 6.12.2018 , Port Vila, Vanuatu
The weather has not been so nice today. It was warm but cloudy and rainy.
We came to Port Vila, and the island of Efate, 10 years ago. Looking back at my old blogs, we did a lot here but we had much more time to play with than now. Between repair works on the boat, we had a day at the horse races; went abseiling down waterfalls; went diving and we also looked at a beach made from WW2 US Navy discarded Coca Cola bottles. One of the meals I wanted to repeat was a fruit-bat done in a red-wine sauce that Colin and I had at a restaurant in town called L’Houstalet. Unfortunately though they only open in the evenings and we couldn’t get there.
There was a safety drill for crew in the morning so I cycled on my own from the port into town. The roads were flooded in places from the recent rain and the big potholes made it an interesting ride. Sheltering from the rain in the covered market revealed more unrecognisable foodstuffs that any previous market on this trip.
Later, I went back to the ship to collect H and we got a water-taxi to Iririki Island just opposite the town. I dinghy’d to a birthday party on a beach there 10 years ago. It is now a resort, built and then rebuilt after Cyclone Pam in 2015.
This place was another one of the locations that we had been working on for a company-funded crew party as a reward for the Mindelo breakdown. These event ideas didn’t get as much interest from the crew representatives committee as expected. Their preference was for spending the money on phone cards or something else equally dull. H and I went to the resort anyway for a cocktail and snorkel.
There were reports of a big earthquake off New Caledonia yesterday which was threatening to hit us with a tsunami but nothing came of it in Port Vila. Unfortunately, our next destination, the island of Aneityum, cutely called Mystery Island on the itinerary, has been damaged with waves washing away crops and damaging some houses. The locals will be thrilled to find out we are probably not stopping there now.
Day 61, 7.12.2018 , South Pacific Ocean
Aneityum was abandoned as a port of call, as expected, which was a pity as I had a kayak tour planned. They don’t call it Mystery Island for nothing.
The weather is still bad today and the next island stop, Isle de Pins, has also been cancelled as the swell is too big for the tender boats. The turtles will be disappointed as I was supposed to be swimming with some here.
Onward to Noumea, New Caledonia where we will probably be having two overnight stops.