Fiji - Vanuatu 2002
Landfall in Port Vila, Vanuatu was made by Moet and her crew on Wednesday 25th September, 7:00am Island time.
After 7 days at sea land was a treat - warm showers, cold beers and finally somewhere to stand on that wasn't moving! We were escorted into Vila bay by a pod of about 20 dolphins, dancing around the bow in the early morning sun calling to each other and playing in our wake. It was a perfect welcome to Vanuatu.
So by now the crew have been well initiated into the experience of boat life. Frans and I had been working full time for 2 months before
they arrived; sanding, scraping, painting, repairing, replacing, installing, upholstering, woodworking, welding, provisioning and, as always, there was an assortment of last minute jobs to be done when the crew arrived in Fiji. So before we started sailing everyone had their own project to work on - Rob was repairing the inflatable dinghy, Geoff and Anna got busy with some woodwork and Nils did some surfboard repairs while Frans and I dashed around buying last minute supplies and finishing up all our jobs! It was great to see everyone get involved in the preparations and becoming part of a team.
Boat yards and marinas are strange places full of interesting characters all with stories to tell and we met up with some great people and plenty of old friends from last year.
Everyone was interested in this trip because it's not often you see six young people on a small sailing boat - especially one with all the toys we have on board: 2 windsurfers, a kiteboard, 2 bodyboards, 4 surfboards, 2 guitars, a drum and of course Anna's cello! The cello has been a prime attraction and it seems that Anna has quite a fanclub over here!
Leaving Fiji was not how we planned it - but then boats and plans aren't very compatible partners. We left 4 days after the rest of the regatta fleet as the day of the race was blowing 30 knot winds. It turned out to be a wise decision as when we talked to the other boats on the radio thay had not had a good time of it - 10 metre seas, broken rudders, torn sails, boats tipped over till their masts were in the water ... not nice. It's a hard decision to make when everyone is excited about leaving, but the weather is not to be argued with and we didn't want everyone to jump ship as soon as we arrived in Vanuatu swearing never to sail again!
We were extremely blessed for our crossing - sunshine every day, bright full moonlit nights, a gentle ocean swell, pleasant winds and plenty of fish. It was a perfect trip altogether.
So now we are setting sail into the remote northern regions of Vanuatu where the locals have a passion for wearing penis sheathes and the jungle is so dense many of the mountains have never been climbed.
We'll heep you posted ...