LETTER from Eivind & Heidi ________VANUATU, Pacific Ocean June - July 2008
The sail from Fiji
to Vanuatu turned out to be a quick voyage at a little more than three
days. 525nm with seven knots in average. Nathaniel had now sailed with us
for six weeks, and he was getting in to “Pacific voyaging”.
Havannah Harbour is a well protected area on the west side of the main island Efate. Many small islands is protecting the area from the ocean. Short time after we anchored in Matapu Bay inside Havannah Harbour, Kalo (15) and other villagers came visiting alongside Empire in their well built small outrigger canoes. Kalo told us that he was a gardener and a boat builder. He had built his own canoe from an old tree. As the most daring boat builder in the bay, Kalo also mounted a small sailing rig on his boat. Josh (Bahati), who was visiting us on his way back to the USA, Nathaniel and Eivind later got a “guided tour” iaround Kalo’s village. Heidi stayed onboard Empire, due to a troubling diarrhoea, that we later found she had to be medicined to get rid of.
Josh managed to
stay onboard for a week, before both he and Nathaniel had to head back
to the States, where work and girls waited. When our American
friends had got on the plane, we had Empire to our selves for a short
week, before friends from Norway were embarking. We enjoyed the “lonely”
days “waiting” at the island of Lelepa in Mallao Bay, just
a few nautical miles from Port Vila.
In Mallao Bay we found crystal clear water, colourful fish, white sandy beaches and palm trees. Dark caves with spiders, cockroaches, and cave-paintings were for the adventurous waiting ashore. The cave entrance was enormous, but the cave soon got smaller as we entered. In the roof we spotted several bats, and a few of them started flying around as they got scared of our torch-lights.
Next stop was the
island of Tanna, with its active volcano Yasur. Yasur is said to be
one of the most accessible active volcanoes in the world. The wind almost
changed into our favour, so we motor-sailed some of the 150nm towards
Tanna, not to give our new crew a too rough start. As we sailed closer,
we could clearly see Yasur sending out smoke signals.
The sound that met us from the crater was enormous and violent. Sadly the day had been rainy, and there was a thick fog all over the area. Even though we now and then were able to see glowing rocks and lava be thrown up in the air. The fog made the experience even more spectacular, as we weren’t able to see eventually dangerous falling rocks.
The departure day
we woke up to Empire covered in ash. During the night the wind had come
from the “wrong” direction – from the volcano towards
us. There was ash everywhere, even inside the boat. Luckily it was easy
to rinse the ash off, at least on deck.
The little taste
we got of Vanuatu made us want more. We would have loved to spent more
time among this fantastic islands and this exciting people. Hopefully
will we one day sail back to Vanuatu…
|Mallao Bay.||Havannah Harbour.||Port Resolution, Tanna.|
|You can see more pictures from Vanuatu >>> PICTURES 2008 - VANUATU|